Earthala Clayton, Medical Assistant, Berthelsen Main Campus, Tanglewood, Pearland
When she learned that she was prediabetic, Earthala laced up her sneakers and began taking steps toward better health. Not only does she enjoy nature during her evening walks in area parks, but she has also lost 25 pounds and counting! She encourages anyone who is interested in improving their health to enjoy the journey.
What prompted you to change your health?
During a regular office visit, my doctor told me that I was pre-diabetic and put me on medication. In addition, my blood pressure was high. I decided that the best way for me to combat these health issues was to start moving.
What type of exercise routine did you incorporate into your life?
I walk. Since I travel to various Kelsey-Seybold campuses, during my lunch breaks I walk around whatever campus I am at that day. Then I walk again in the evenings. I wear a step counter and I try to take 5,000 steps during the day, and another 5,000 steps in the evening. By the end of the day, I normally have completed 10,000 steps. In addition, on weekends sometimes l exercise by taking aerobics classes I find on YouTube.
Where do you like to walk in the evenings?
I love to go to different parks. I’ll get my kids to go with me, and we’ll drive to different parks around town. I don’t use my headphones because I just want to listen to my surroundings. I want to hear the birds in the trees – enjoy the outdoors.
What about your diet? Did you change the way you eat?
I eat smaller portions of everything. So, if I eat a hamburger, I don’t eat the bread. I used to eat four to five pieces of pizza at a time, but now I will eat two. Also, I carry a gallon-sized water bottle with me all the time and try to finish drinking that during the day. I eat more salads now.
I’ve never been a big sweets eater, and I don’t like chocolate, so I didn’t have a problem avoiding those. I did cut out pasta and potatoes.
Since you do not like sweets, what is a treat for you?
My favorite is key lime yogurt! Just the kind you get from the grocery store … I love it!
How do you stay on track with your diet?
Meal prep and planning my meals definitely help. For breakfast, I normally alternate between boiled eggs and oatmeal. I always bring my lunch to work, and that keeps me from going somewhere to pick up an unhealthy meal. I pack my lunch the night before, and it is usually salad or soup.
What is your favorite healthy dinner?
Salmon! I have learned that I really like it. I season it, along with some asparagus, and put it in a foil pack. You just bake it and it is delicious!
What hurdles did you face during your health journey?
I started out at 236 pounds and had lost about 19 pounds … and then I got stuck. I just wasn’t losing any more weight for several months, so I started walking more, and I started walking faster. As a result of those changes, I finally lost six more pounds. It was like a celebration! My goal weight is 190. I’m going to take my time and not try to rush the weight off.
What advice do you have for someone just beginning to improve their health?
Make sure you are doing it for yourself. Take your time and enjoy making the changes in your life. Don’t look at it as a chore. Enjoy the walk into better health!