Member Spotlight: Janel Sebeny

Janel Sebeny is a wife and mother of three — two teens and a toddler. She is a middle school teacher and an R+F Consultant. She is a Four Seasons Health Club member. Janel is also a breast cancer survivor.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, survivors among us and those currently fighting, Janel shared her story with us…

Janel was diagnosed in 2015, just three days after her wedding. Following a workout, while taking off her sports bra she noticed a spot on her breast was harder than usual. “I was thinking maybe I was just gaining muscle since I had been working out quite a bit. However, I was unsure since it was A) on my breast and B) seemingly isolated in one spot. I did not have any other symptoms, in fact, I was in the best shape of my adult life,” Sebeny shared.

At the age of 38, she would not have had a mammogram for another couple of years. The American Cancer Society recommends women of average risk for breast cancer to get a mammogram every year from age 45-54. Women of average risk have the option to start screening annually from age 40-44. A woman is considered to be of average risk is she does not have a personal history of breast cancer, a strong family history of breast cancer, or a genetic mutation known to increase the risk of breast cancer.

Janel’s grandmother and cousin both had breast cancer, but genetic testing did not flag her as having breast cancer genetically. “It is a puzzle to me, but I feel like I have been more aware of environmental factors as a result,” she explained. “I strongly encourage self-exams and general awareness about your body,” Sebeny added.

She scheduled an appointment with her doctor for the next day.

After her diagnosis, treatment plans were made under the care of Community Cancer Center in Normal. Her treatment process included 8 rounds of chemo, a double mastectomy, and reconstruction. The process did not stop there. “At that time, they put in spacers to expand the breasts. I also had a good amount of lymph nodes removed. After that healed, I had about 25 days of radiation. Then, one of my spacers had an infection, so that delayed my final reconstruction surgery, which took place about a year later. From there, my body slowly recovered.”

For Janel, life after breast cancer went on with a happy surprise. “Soon after my body made a full recovery, I discovered I was expecting. I was so thankful I did not begin taking the medication I was supposed to take. I decided I would maintain cancer-free with diet and exercise and try to detox from all the chemicals and radiation my body endured. I had a fairly healthy pregnancy and Mason is thriving at almost two years old. Life now is busy with two teens and a toddler! I am thankful to celebrate birthdays instead of thinking I am getting old. I feel so incredibly blessed,” she shared.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle continues to be a #1 priority for Janel and her family. “I joined Four Seasons last spring so that I would not only benefit from using the gym but also my kids could see the value in having healthy bodies. Not just physically… mentally and spiritually too. I like that Four Seasons offers mind and body classes as well as fitness ones,” Sebeny told us.

Although she’s recovered, breast cancer is still a part of Janel’s life as she maintains an active Facebook group called Janel’s Warriors. The group was started when she found herself overwhelmed by the amount of support she received while facing breast cancer. “These people became my “warriors”. Instead of updating each person individually among my family, friends, co-workers, and church group, a couple of my friends started a Facebook group for me. This way, it could be posted in one place. From there, it became a place for me to journal and explain how I was feeling along the way,” Janel explained.

Now the group serves a new purpose — offering encouragement and support to others. “I encourage women to do self-exams and hold each other accountable for mammograms and regularly scheduled exams at their gynecologists, too. If this is something you are facing, rely on your support system and know you don’t have to do this yourself. I believe sharing my experience can offer hope and encouragement to others. Give yourself permission to rest and recover. It takes time to heal, and then you will find your new normal.”

Supporting women, raising a family, living a healthy lifestyle, and more… Janel is truly an inspiration. “Some say they are living their best life; I say, I have been given the opportunity to live life to the fullest,” she told us… and she absolutely is!

Thank you, Janel for sharing your story with us! 

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Community Partner Spotlight: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Illinois

You may have seen the Four Seasons Core Values posted around the clubs. These Core Values were established for employees, by employees and are a list of values we believe our employees and members should exemplify day-in and day-out. Our Core Values in action look like this:

Not only do we believe our employees and members should exemplify these values, we also look for Community Partners who share in our values, like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Illinois.

For more than 25 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Illinois has been helping our community’s most vulnerable children through the power of relationships. Carefully screened adult mentors, known as a Big Brother or Big Sister, are matched with children in the community, affectionately known as Littles, who need someone to look up to. Bigs and Littles each meet regularly to participate in a fun activity together opening the door for a conversation about life and personal issues, while allowing the Littles to receive the support and care needed to make good choices.

“The vision of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to make sure that children achieve success in life, “ shared Corey Burrows, Chief Operating Officer of  Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Illinois. “Our mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.”

The impact on the children truly is immeasurable, as a former parent whose child was enrolled in the program shared: “There are not enough words to describe how grateful I am for this program and my son’s mentor. My son’s mentor has become part of the family. He is family to us.”

We at Four Seasons Health Club are thrilled to shine a spotlight on our Community Partner, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Illinois, and in doing so highlight a need within the Big Brothers Big Sisters community.

“Partnerships with community businesses like Four Seasons allows us to offer our children in the program opportunities for recreational, educational or cultural experiences that they normally would not have without the generosity of our partners,” said Anne McDowell, Community Partnerships/Match Support Specialist. “Also, having opportunities to educate the Four Seasons membership about our programs and the fact that we need more mentors, especially men, can bring more positive mentoring relationships to youth in our community and on our waiting list” she added.

According to BBBS, only one out of ten new volunteers enrolling at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Illinois is male, whereas a majority of the children applying are boys raised by a single female parent. The boys need solid male role models to grow into responsible adults. These youngsters are ready and waiting for a few good men to step forward. Being a Big Brother requires no special skills – just a desire to step in and make a difference.

Interested in becoming a mentor or simply learning more on how to get involved? Contact the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Illinois office in Bloomington at 309-828-7383 or email Anne McDowell at a.mcdowell@bbbscil.org.

 

For information on becoming a Corporate Partner or Sponsor of Four Seasons Association, contact our Community Outreach Specialist, Melody Tria, at Melody@4seasons-club.com today!

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Picking Up Where They Left Off

Anne, Kris & Susie, September 1998

Member Spotlight: Susie Magnuson and Anne Grotbo

Four Seasons Health Club members Susie Magnuson and Anne Grotbo first met in 1995 while Anne pushed her new son in a stroller around their neighborhood. Along with a third friend, Kris, the women made plans to get together daily for a 30-minute run.

A wonderful friendship blossomed during their daily runs as they chatted about everyday life, and according to a smiling Susie, solved world problems.

In honor of Anne’s 40th birthday, the trio set a goal of running a half marathon. Together they worked towards this goal, even though Kris had moved to a different state. In November of 1998 the friends accomplished their goal, and just one year later, ran a second half marathon to celebrate Susie’s 40th birthday.

Shortly after, Susie moved to St. Louis, and as time would have it the friends lost touch over the years.

After moving back to the area recently, Susie rejoined Four Seasons Health Club. In November of 2018, she walked into a Killer B’s group fitness class and was surprised to see her friend Anne, who she instantly recognized.

“I walked into class and there she was! She looked exactly the same,” Susie shared.

Anne and Susie, March 2019

“We picked up right where we left off! ” added Anne.

Now, 20 years later, the two friends meet for Killer B’s every Wednesday morning followed by a visit over coffee near the Juice Bar. They chat about everyday life and, of course, solve world problems.

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Community Partner Spotlight: Jason’s Deli

Jason’s Deli, located at 321 South Veterans Parkway in Normal, offers a wide variety of options from salads all the way to a monster corned beef and pastrami sandwich. They also offer a wide gluten sensitive menu or low sodium menu, healthy kids meals, and desserts. The food they serve contains no high-fructose corn syrup, artificial trans fats, colors or flavors, and no processed MSG. They leave out all the bad stuff, filling you with wholesome ingredients that fuel your body.

“Our mission is to make every customer happy. Our core values are highest quality food served safely, out of this world hospitality, highest personal standards, a great place to work, and a healthy growing company,” shared Wesley Donovan, Managing Partner of Jason’s Deli in Normal. “We at Jason’s Deli want to make every customer feel as though they are sitting down at a table in their own home to eat. We understand how tough it can be sometimes to find the right nutritional diet that fits our busy lifestyles. We appreciate customers trusting us with that decision.”

Quality, delicious ingredients? Check. Great service and atmosphere? Double Check.

“We strive to be more than just a restaurant. We want to be somewhere that you get excited to take the family on a night out, an option that you know you can fit in on your short lunch break, or a friendly option to take the friend you haven’t seen in years to sit down and catch up,” Wesley added.

A look at their menu shows plenty of options. We tapped Jessica Schauls, Four Seasons Health Club Fitness Center Manager, who also has a background in nutrition, for her picks for healthy, nutritious meals. Bonus: All three options are under 500 calories, filling and delicious!

When picking a healthy lunch option, pick a meal that will keep you full for a while, but not so heavy that you can’t stay awake at your desk. That’s the worst and is what tends to make you reach for the carb loaded, processed snack around 3pm or something filled with caffeine that disrupts your sleep. You want to choose something that helps you stay alert and focused! Look for a balance of macronutrients: lean protein, smart carbohydrates, healthy fats, and colorful vegetables for a variety of micronutrients (which supply you with essential nutrients for proper body functions). Here are some great options at Jason’s Deli that check all the boxes!

Nutty Mixed Up Salad – With or without chicken (for the non-meat eaters), it’s a great option, especially if you have a bit of a sweet tooth. The dried cranberries and raisins will satisfy the craving, along with some fiber-rich apples and grapes. Nuts, feta, and pumpkin seeds provide healthy fats for good brain function and keeping you fuller, longer.

Salmon Pacifica Salad – This is a great option if you’ve worked out today! This salad is packed with protein to rebuild muscle and potassium, an electrolyte lost through perspiration, from avocados (more than bananas!). Feel good about this option even more because of the variety of color added with all the veggies thrown in: cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, and peppers. Plus, the cucumber-dill vinaigrette is not only packed with flavor but helps keep calorie intake low. Vinaigrettes tend to be lower in calorie than cream-based dressings like ranch or blue cheese.

Mediterranean Wrap – You’re at a deli… you have to get some deli meat! This wrap has turkey breast and hummus for protein, veggies, and an organic wheat wrap for some plant-based goodness. Add some wonderful kalamata olives for flavor and as a heart-healthy fat. There is a reason the Mediterranean diet is so good for you and this wrap is a good example of the reasons why!

If you have a craving that simply won‘t be satisfied unless you get that Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup for example (that’s what I’m craving right now with this colder weather!), that’s okay! It comes in at 950 calories. For most inactive individuals, that can be about half or more of an appropriate calorie intake for a single day. But if that’s all that will satisfy the food craving you are having, split it up. Have half now and the other half later for a snack, dinner or lunch the next day.

We at Four Seasons Health Club are thrilled to shine a spotlight on Jason’s Deli and extend our thanks to Wesley and his wonderful staff for their support of our community and events!

“Four Seasons is more than just a gym,” said Wesley. “It’s a place to take the whole family. Being a community partner with Four Seasons means so much to us because of the family aspect that it provides. It’s not just somewhere that you go to work out. It’s where you and your family can share precious moments. We have always been proud to partner with Four Seasons and will continue year in and year out because we know that you share the same love for the community and your staff as we do.”

We’re proud to partner with you too, Wesley!

For information on becoming a Corporate Partner or Sponsor of Four Seasons Association, contact our Community Outreach Specialist, Melody Tria, at Melody@4seasons-club.com today!

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Barre and Balance

Barre and Balance: Tuesdays, 8:15am at FSII in the cardio studio

Group Instructor Ariana McCann shares her insights with Kim Hillard, Four Seasons Senior Fitness Specialist

Why should I take a Barre and Balance class? Barre and Balance seeks to improve participant’s posture, balance and foot health. We work on slow, deliberate movements to open the hips, challenge the core and major muscle groups. We focus on form, posture and control throughout the class.

Who can participate? It is geared towards the modified crowd, but there are plenty of options for people who want to bring it up a notch or two. I find it helpful to know about limitations/challenges before class to help give options for modifications.

What should I wear?  Comfortable gym clothes work well. I encourage people to go barefoot or in socks. Some people use socks with grips on the bottom. Please drop your boots outside and come in barefoot so as not to track any salt into the studio.

What should I do the first time I attend? Introduce yourself and tell me about any physical challenges or limitations you may have.

What type of equipment will I need to bring/set up? You do not need to bring anything with you, but may need to grab some equipment from the front before class begins.

What type of movements/exercises can I expect? We start with a head-toe warm up including foot specific movements and stretches. We’ll cover legs, core arms and every class is varied a little bit. There is a hint of a traditional ballet barre feel, but it is not nearly as intense as a barre class.

What differentiates Barre and Balance from Barre to the Beat? There will only be 8-16 reps of each exercise, it is at a slower pace and the music is lower. I do not use a mic, so the music is not as loud. 

What will I see? You will see 4 free standing barres and my mini barre at the front. We typically face the mirrors, but do turn the other way when we alternate legs. We may use a small weighted ball, a block, a small inflated ball or a resistance band. I will move through the room as needed to correct form and posture.

What will I hear? My voice cuing for proper alignment and form throughout each exercise with some light music in the background. 

What will I feel? During class, you’ll feel every major muscle group work along with some smaller supporting muscle groups. You’ll have a few breaks during class, but you will not feel very sweaty. After class, you will feel a sense of accomplishment, steadier on your feet and hopefully taller!  

Thank you, Ariana, for the insights on what a Barre & Balance class is like. It is classes like this that make us more intentional about our movements. Check out this awesome class!

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