At the rate she’s going, Debbie Bielinski will soon be dripping pearls rather than sweat.For the past two years, Bielinski has worked out with a fitness trainer at Centegra Health Bridge Fitness Center with the goal of losing weight and improving her health. Since Centegra began its Pearls for Wellness program March 1, Bielinski has collected more than 44 pearls for her efforts to become healthier.
”When I heard about the pearl program I was excited about it,” Bielinski said. “I thought it was fantastic. Every pearl is going to represent an hour of working out and an hour of getting closer to my goal. My plan is to continue collecting the pearls for a necklace, a bracelet and an ankle bracelet.”
Bielinski is one of thousands of greater McHenry County women who have received pearls through Centegra’s program. More than 15,000 pearls have been given to women who receive services such as annual physicals, annual screening mammograms, bone density exams and who take part in select classes and services at Centegra Health Bridge Fitness Centers.
”We are having so much fun hearing the stories of the amazing women who are enjoying their pearls,” said Susan Milford, Centegra Health System’s senior vice president of strategic marketing, planning and wellness. “This program provides women a tangible reminder that their own wellness is extremely important. Women are often busy taking care of others and they overlook their own needs. The Pearls for Wellness program helps them take time for themselves.” Bielinski has lost more than 70 pounds and 44 inches since she began working out with her trainer. She has combined strength training and water aerobics to achieve her impressive results.”I am not a person that loves to exercise, and I’ve still got a ways to go,” Bielinski said. “I know I am going to get there.”
With each personal training session, Bielinski receives another pearl that reminds her of the effort and energy she has put toward becoming a healthier person.”I am thinking it will take somewhere around 50 or 60 pearls to make a necklace,” Bielinski said. “I will wear the necklace and bracelet with pride because that will represent all my hard work.” Centegra partnered with Dalzell and Co. Jewelers of Crystal Lake to provide the freshwater pearls. Women can take their pearls to the jeweler at 41 N. Williams St. to have them strung on a micro-cord necklace for $5.
The pearls are fun, however Bielinski said the best rewards are the physical and emotional changes she’s made.”I am finally seeing the results,” she said. “I will go on forever. I will always be at Centegra working out.” Centegra Health System is committed to meeting the healthcare needs of the residents of greater McHenry County and to making services available in multiple and convenient locations, including hospitals in McHenry and Woodstock, Immediate and Physician Care Centers, Centegra Sage Cancer Center, Health Bridge Fitness Centers and more. As the region’s leading healthcare provider, Centegra Health System continues to bring the latest treatments and technology, along with the skills of nearly 4,000 medical professionals, to meet the needs of the growing McHenry County community.