The Blog

General Health and Wellness | November 13, 2014

Meet Our Fall Interns! The Programs Team:

MEET LAURA CASTILLO

Hi, I’m Laura Castillo-Alaniz, and being an intern for IT’S TIME TEXAS has allowed me to continue to make healthy the norm, which is exactly what the organization strives for.

Growing up, I was an extremely active person. My parents made me try every sport at least once ’til I found one that I liked. I ended up sticking with softball and competed with a club team for over ten years.  Through softball and other school sports I maintained a healthy lifestyle by being active at least five days a week.

Even though I was active throughout my childhood, the nutrition aspect was not a key thing that we focused on in my household. Then, my father was diagnosed with pre-diabetes and everything changed. We started eating out less, changed white bread to wheat, changed ground beef to turkey, made sure there was a salad with every dinner, and many other things. Those changes brought an awareness to me that had never been there before. I became more careful about what I snacked on, the amount of food I ate during the day, and the choices I made while at restaurants. This new physically active and nutritionally aware lifestyle inspired me to pursue a career directly related to helping others who are not as knowledgeable.

In the future, I hope to use the knowledge that I have acquired at IT’S TIME TEXAS to make other people aware of how important being healthy is. The little bit that I do will hopefully impact enough people to create a wave of health within the business, corporation, or organization that I work for!

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MEET CARLA CHAPA

My name is Carla Chapa, and I strive to make healthy the norm by drinking LOTS of water, exercising whenever I am able, and buying the right kinds of food.

I wasn’t always the healthiest of individuals; when I was younger I would eat my share of junk food and constantly crave sodas. As I started to get older, work and school became more demanding, and I knew that the food I was eating was not giving me the energy required for such a busy life. When I ate unhealthily, I felt sluggish, slow, and unable to keep up with the demands of my schedule.

My biggest lifestyle change came during the two years I lived in Hawaii without a vehicle. Without any form of transportation, I had to walk at least three to four miles to work every day. It was through eating healthier that I not only had the energy for these walks, but I was also able to enjoy them more.

As my diet improved and my walking increased, I developed even more energy to do a number of different things that I would have otherwise been too tired to do. Whether I was playing in the park with my dog, throwing a frisbee at the beach with friends, or going for a swim, I had increased energy levels to maintain an active and fun lifestyle. Now that I have embraced a healthier routine, I am happy to join IT’S TIME TEXAS, an organization which strives to promote the same ideals of health that I try to embody each day.

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MEET HEATHER HART

My name is Heather Hart. About 1 year ago, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, a disease in which my thyroid does not produce the right amount of a hormone. This caused me to gain weight during the time that the disease went undiagnosed. I knew that I needed to engage in a lifestyle change that would not only help me to maintain my weight, but that would also help me to lose the weight that I had put on.

I worked with ACTIVE Life in their Out of School Time program, teaching kids how to be healthy and why it was important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. During this time, I realized that I should be following the same lessons I was teaching the kids!

I chose to do an internship with IT’S TIME TEXAS because I believe that society should make healthy the norm. Since my diagnosis, I believe that knowledge is an important aspect of this mission. With the knowledge of how to be healthy, the action is one step behind, and interning here is allowing me to create that action. IT’S TIME TEXAS is a place that strives for success and empowers others to either maintain their healthy lifestyle, or create a new one.

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MEET CAROLINE HILBERT

Hi! My name’s Caroline Hilbert, and I am a programs intern for IT’S TIME TEXAS.

As the daughter of a nutrition-oriented mom and an outdoorsy dad, much of my time growing up was spent munching on fruits and vegetables, hiking on camping trips, and helping with yardwork. From an early age, I was shown the value of being active and eating healthy.

Unfortunately, once I began college, my environment no longer promoted healthy habits, and I struggled with maintaining a well-balanced diet on my own. I used my stressful schedule to justify my inactivity and poor dietary habits, and this unhealthy behavior continued through my undergraduate years and into my medical school years. However, once I witnessed the negative consequences of poor eating habits in several patients, I started to rethink how important my own health habits were.  Through these patient encounters and the help of family and friends, I began to regain a much more positive attitude towards my health. I now make a daily conscious effort to eat well-balanced meals and to maintain an active life.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with the programs department this semester, and I look forward to interning with IT’S TIME TEXAS for several more months. I hope to use the skills that I gain during this time in my future career path of non-profit work and health promotion.

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