Chartonya Brown stepped on her scale before embarking on a trip. She was shocked by the number she saw. The day after she returned from her trip, she started working on losing weight. In just a few months, she dropped 40 pounds and completely changed her approach to eating. Gone are the days of fast-food, fried food, junk food and sweets.
What was your health like back when you stepped on that scale?
I was healthy, but there’s a history of high blood pressure and diabetes in my family. When I got on the scale and saw the number that came up, I thought, “Whoa!” It was way more than it should be. The day after I returned from my trip, I started working on losing weight.
What was your approach to losing weight?
I know what my downfalls are: fast food, sweets, junk food, fried food – everything I shouldn’t have. Initially I was really strict. I would only eat fish and chicken, salads, veggies, fruit and water to drink. I did that for two months. I wanted to lose 30 pounds. Once I got to that point, I shifted to maintain during the week and maybe splurge on the weekend. That’s what I’m still doing today. And I’ve lost another 10 pounds.
Now I’ll allow myself to occasionally eat pasta, or eat out, or have a dessert. I weigh myself every week, but I’m taking it slow and being patient, doing my best to be healthy as I get older.
What were some of the roadblocks you encountered?
Temptation is always there. I live in a house full of men and still have to cook for them. A lot of times I would have something totally different to eat than what I made for them.
What advice can you offer to others?
When coworkers and friends ask me how I’m doing it, I tell them I had to change my thinking about food and be more conscious about what I eat. I’ve seen people who had weight loss surgery and 10 years later they’re back where they were because they never really changed their behaviors. That’s why I felt it important to change my mindset rather than going for a quick-fix.
My advice is to eat more fruits and vegetables. Stick with lean meats and limit carbohydrates. Portions have become so large – be aware of how much you’re eating as well as what you’re eating.
How often do you exercise?
I’m hit or miss on exercise. I’m trying to walk three times a week. A lot of the time it’s at Tom Bass Park (in Pearland). I also take the stairs while at work.