New Leaf hosts motivational health workshop

The New Leaf Market Co-op hosted a workshop on Tuesday for Tallahassee residents who want to live a healthier lifestyle.

Mandi Johnson, a fitness trainer from Jacksonville, spoke about healthy eating habits, exercise, healthy goal setting and motivating people.

Johnson said she hopes the people who attended the event gained something from it.

“I hope they have a new outlook on what’s possible in their life,” Johnson said. “I want them to see a new option and know that they can make a healthy change.”

Johnson said it’s important for people to know about healthy eating and exercise habits.

“It’s extremely important, especially with what we are calling the ‘obesity epidemic,’ ” Johnson said. “It’s important for people to understand that ability, to have control over it to prevent obesity.”

Marcia Cone, a Miami native who teaches at SAIL High School, said the conversation that took place was effective.

“I knew I needed to start somewhere, and this was the source for me to get started,” Cone said. “It just lets me know I just have to keep working harder.”

Cone said Johnson’s discussion encouraged her to stay on the path she is on to reach her goal.

“When I started the weight-loss plan, that’s when I met Mandi,” Cone said. “And she provides that support to get up and get out and take me beyond my exercising limits.”

Johnson emphasized that exercising every week is crucial to being healthy.

“I think if you can get three to five times in a week and being ambitious, that’s a pretty good shot,” Johnson said.

Her advice to people who are trying to get on the right track to becoming healthy is: “Make realistic goals for yourself. Be patient and just keep making healthy changes. Always stay positive, because if you hold on to negative, then your body will adjust to negativity.”

Jean Crozier, community outreach coordinator for New Leaf, said she felt Johnson’s workshop had an impact on her.

“It really lightened my heart because I have a goal to lose weight by July 1,” Crozier said. “I was getting to the point of feeling depressed, so I really needed to talk to some other people that I felt were on the same journey as me.”

Crozier was moved by Johnson’s discussion and was happy to find out she didn’t have to join a gym to reach her weight-loss goal.

“She gave me the blessing that I don’t have to go join a gym,” Crozier said. “I can do what I want to do in my regular routine, such as walking my dog in the morning and stop at a park bench to do some pushups and squats.”

Jordan Holsenbeck, from Ellijay, Ga., said Johnson was a good motivational speaker.

“She gets you to move and makes you look at things you want to change about yourself,” Holsenback said.

She said she was motivated to eat healthier and exercise more after Johnson’s speech.

“Exercising and eating better always makes me feel good, and getting out [and] moving around lifts my spirit a lot,” Holsenbeck said.

Johnson also has an exercise class Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The class meets at Impact Behavioral Health at 7 p.m. and costs $10. For more information, contact Johnson at 904-923-1438.