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IU employee takes advantage of campus resources to lose weight and feel better

Jan. 25, 2017

"Small changes."

This is a common phrase among those making New Year's resolutions to live a healthier life. And for IU employee Lynne Crohn, her small changes resulted in big impact.

Before and after photo of Lynne Crohn's weight loss progress

At right, Lynne Crohn in November of 2015. At left, Crohn after losing nearly 70 pounds in 16 months. | PHOTO COUTESY OF LYNNE CROHN

Crohn spent the better part of the past 10 years assisting her parents and her in-laws as they struggled with various vascular-related health issues. She found herself feeling depressed, unhealthy and ready to make a change.

“At some point, you end up taking on a caregiver role for the generation before you,” she said. “That’s a rewarding way to give back, but also – and especially in my case -- life altering.”

“It just hit me," she said. “I thought, ‘Do I want my kids to go through that?’ If I take good care of myself, it will be better for them. Maybe I can delay those things far into the future”

Crohn decided to take action and change her lifestyle. She began by making a small change to her daily routine: a walk around campus on her lunch hour.

A week into her new routine, Crohn noticed her calves were hurting more than they should, and she was always winded. So after 30 years of smoking, she decided to give up the habit and utilized the Quit for Life Program through IU Human Resources to help her do so.  Within a few weeks; she felt better, and her legs no longer ached.

She continued walking at lunchtime every day and on weekend mornings and evenings. Eventually, she got brave enough to jog and slowly began chipping away at a 3-mile run. Crohn also started to pack a healthy lunch for work and opt for the stairs instead of the elevator.

With these changes, Crohn was able to lose nearly 70 pounds in 16 months. Along her journey, she has participated in several of Healthy IU’s initiatives, such as Walk to Wellness, Climb IU and volunteered to be a beta tester for the Ready to Move program. Now she’s an avid runner, having completed 16 5K runs, two half marathons and three 10K races.  

“It’s a mental challenge. You just have to tell yourself you’ll keep going. You just can’t stop,” she said. “Running trains your mind to just persevere, which is a good mentality to have on a lot of fronts.”

A change for the better 

Crohn is a senior large systems specialist at the School of Informatics and Computing, where she manages all of the Windows servers and workstations. She has been with the university for almost 18 years and has experienced many changes as the school has evolved and adopted new partners and locations around campus. Crohn began her role with the university when the School of Informatics and Computing was singularly located in Lindley Hall, and now the school is housed in several buildings across campus with a new building, Luddy Hall, currently under construction

Lynne Crohn running on the indoor track at the Wildermuth Intramural Center

Crohn is now an avid runner, taking advatage of the campus facilities to get a workout in before or after work. Here she is using the indoor running track at the Wildermuth Intramural Center. | PHOTO COURTESY OF CHAZ MOTTINGER, IU COMMUNICATIONS

But the change she made for the sake of her health is by far the biggest transition she’s been through, which is an especially difficult task for someone like herself in the IT field. This past summer, she was a lightening talk presenter at IU’s Statewide IT Conference with the topic, “Reduce your risk of a heart attack (without quitting your job in IT),” where she shared her journey to inspire others to take action.

“When you’re nearing 50 years old and start feeling bad, people think it’s their age. They think, ‘Oh, I just have to get used to it. I feel bad because I’m 50 years old,'” she said. “Now, I know that’s not true; you can feel great at any age. I felt bad because I wasn’t taking good care of myself. 

“A year ago, it was all I could do just to walk,” Crohn said. “Now, I run the paths that I used to struggle to walk.”

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