May 8, 2022 - Stories

A Family Gets Healthy, with Some Help from Mom

Corie Allessie, a retired dental assistant and former Navy jet mechanic, has a few essential rules for healthy living.

 Never, ever eat in front of the television. Get up and get moving (winter is not an excuse). Prepare healthy food – especially vegetables – ahead of time. Minimize eating out. Walk whenever you can (her preferred walking partner is her 170-pound Saint Bernard, Pete). And keep yourself accountable, either by writing in a journal or sharing your goals with a friend or family member.

 She came up with these guidelines after a 23andMe kit prompted a revaluation of her lifestyle.

Corie and her daughter, Cassie
Corie (left) with her daughter Cassie and her dog Pete
An honest assessment

Corie received 23andMe as a gift from her daughter and was excited to learn more about her genetics. As she waited for her results, she filled out several 23andMe research questions about her health.

 The questions forced her to take an “honest look” at her choices and habits. “The questions really triggered something for me…maybe my weight gain wasn’t all about the COVID-19 pandemic; maybe it was about my low activity level or my eating patterns,” she said.

This reflection “sparked an interest in being more productive, active, and responsible for my health because what I do now will have an impact later on.”

 So she decided to make changes and encouraged her family to do the same.

“We’re on the right path”

By following the simple principles outlined above, Corie, her husband, and her daughter have lost over 80 pounds combined. “My daughter is running on the treadmill,” she reported. “My husband is walking more. We’re on the right path.”

And the benefits extend far beyond the scale. She now has renewed energy to do what she loves – playing with her three grandchildren (“who needs a gym, just have grandchildren,” she quipped), and creative writing. She even wrote a poem about her 23andMe experience:

“It came as a gift, but it’s so much more.

It showed me my ancestors from a time before.

Through science, I am able to see,

Those whose DNA is shared with me.

I have a connection with people far and near,

It helped me change, and took away the fear.

Together with the knowledge of my ancestry,

I can make healthy choices.

Thank you, 23andMe!”

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