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Lynell Graham, LVN, Gastroenterology, Berthelsen Main Campus


When a doctor’s visit revealed Lynell might have to begin taking insulin, she decided to take the first steps toward better health by combining Weight Watchers and hitting the pavement. She walks during her lunch breaks or in the evenings and has a goal to take 10,000 steps each day. So far, she has lost more than 60 pounds. She says she still has a few more pounds yet to lose and the Kelsey weight challenge keeps her motivated to keep on steppin’!

What prompted you to take control of your health?
I’m a diabetic and my hemoglobin/A1C was elevated, so my doctor warned me that if I didn’t make some changes, she was going to have to put me on insulin. That is the one thing I didn’t want to do. That’s all it took. I take care of everybody else, but now it was time to take care of me.

What changes did you make in your lifestyle?
I decided to do Weight Watchers. I haven’t taken an elevator since I walked out of the doctor’s office that day. I use the stairs for everything, walk about 10,000 steps daily, and exercise several times a week. I gave up sodas and sugars. It took awhile, but I’m good with it now. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, as well as chicken and seafood.

What is your favorite healthy meal?
Grilled chicken with some grilled onions, and I make homemade French fries in the air fryer.  I love my air fryer!

What’s your favorite dessert?
For a treat, I’ll have the sugar-free Blue Bell ice cream with some sugar-free whipped cream.

How difficult was it to change your routine?
It was very difficult! I started out just walking around the block. Then I started going farther and farther. I do exercise routines in my craft room or at the gym in my apartment complex. It was a challenge to get into the habit of exercise.

What do you do to relax?
I like to read and memory plan – which is a planner, but instead of planning ahead, I put down highlights of what happened the week before. It’s almost like a scrapbook. I do a lot of crafting, especially beading.

What is something you know now that you wish you knew at the beginning of your journey?
By eating healthy, I’m not denying myself because I don’t feel hungry. Even though I’m not having the cake and chips and cookies I used to eat, I have good snacks and feel satisfied. That was an eye opener for me!

Who inspires you?
My husband and I have a daughter who is about to get married. I want to be around for my future grandchildren. I’ve raised my kids already but want to enjoy being a grandmother!