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Karen Emanuel, RT, Mammography Tech, Berthelsen Main Campus

Believe in the possibilities

Karen Emanuel took a chance and surprised herself by winning a healthier, happier way of life.

Karen went to her first Weight Watchers meeting to humor her friend. She had tried everything to lose weight and saw no reason that the program would be different. But it opened a door to change. She’s lost some 50 pounds, walks about 20,000 steps a day, and gained a group of new friends. Karen plans to be around for her kids, grandkids – and grand dogs – for many years.


How did you get involved in Weight Watchers?
My best friend, Linda Cullen, was bugging me to go with her to Weight Watchers meetings at Main Campus. I said, “Fine, I’ll go, but I won’t like it and won’t go back.” But when the leader started talking, I really liked her, so I decided to try it. After I got with the program, I started losing. The more I lost, the more I wanted to lose.

 
Would you recommend it to others?
I have a mitral valve heart problem, I’m diabetic, and I have rheumatoid arthritis and lymphedema. If I can do it, anyone can! Whether you have 5 pounds to lose or 150, Weight Watchers is a great approach. 


What do you like about it?
It’s a wonderful support group and a healthy way to change habits. Not only does it take a village to raise children, but it also does to get healthy. It’s an awesome group, and they really feel like family. You can openly talk about anything at the meetings. 
With Weight Watchers you don’t deprive yourself; you just plan. The app is the simplest and easiest way for me. 


What are some of your food challenges?
My biggest problem is sweets, but there are things you can eat on Weight Watchers that are sweet. In our department, it seems like there are always desserts around. But Linda and I share a locker and bring healthy snacks, like protein bars and peanut butter. 


Tell us a little about what you eat.
I really like cooking, and I usually cook all day Sunday and make enough for the week’s meals. I make a good pork loin, and I love grilled or boiled chicken. For lunch I often eat pork with bread or crackers, sometimes tacos. The great thing about Weight Watchers is that you can eat a variety of foods. 


Exercise?
I started walking with my friend at lunch. In the heat and bad weather, we walk circles on the first floor of the Main Campus. I went from barely able to walk 3,000 steps to walking at least 16,000 a day. One day I walked 26,000. I just bought a bike with a basket so I can ride to the grocery store.


What drives you?
I have three sons, five grandchildren, two daughters-in-law, and several grand dogs. I love them all and want to stay around. I grew up with my grandparents in my life into my 30s, and it was so important. Also, I love life in general! God put me on the Earth for a reason, and He’s not through with me yet.


Do you have any goals?
I want to keep up my progress and lose another 75 pounds. 


Give us some tips.
If you eat it, own it. Then get back on the wagon. No one is perfect all the time; we all fall short. But if you continue to try, you will lose weight. If you quit, where will you be? Life is what you make it.