Did your doctor help motivate you to lose weight?
My doctor, Debbie Walcott, M.D., said I needed to lose the weight. She told me my blood sugar was high and I was prediabetic, and she put me on high blood pressure medication. That was my “aha moment.”
How did you go about it?
I joined Weight Watchers and started attending weekly group meetings. I like the meetings because you don’t feel like you’re alone. Other attendees can relate. They’re a good support system. Plus, you’re more accountable when you weigh in each week. You can pick up good tips on food items to buy and how to prepare them so you won’t get bored eating the same things over and over. Weight Watchers helped me learn what to prepare and how to make them. You learn how to not just mindlessly eat.
I changed my eating habits. I cut back on the sweets. I discovered that I’m a fast-food junkie. Yes, it’s quick and easy, but it’s also a fast way to pack on the weight. So I had to cut that out. My best friend was bread. I had to cut back on that, too. Now, I eat in moderation and watch portion control. I focus more on fruits and vegetables.
Is walking your only type of exercise?
Walking is my main form of exercise. I’ll do 2 miles on the treadmill at home. I also occasionally attend Zumba classes and lift weights at the gym.
What keeps you motivated?
A lot of my coworkers are so sweet. They say, “We’ll walk with you.” They help keep me motivated. Some of my friends and I have downloaded the Nike walk app and challenge each other to walk 60 miles in 30 days. It sounds like a lot, but once you get started and the competitiveness kicks in. We recently started a new challenge and some of my family members have become involved. My coworkers, family and a lot of my friends encourage me to keep going and they work out with me.
How much weight have you lost and how do you feel?
I’ve lost 98 pounds over a year and a half. I no longer need blood pressure medication and my blood sugar is back to normal. My knees and ankles don’t hurt as much. I’ve also gained confidence. Before, I tried to be invisible. Now, my personality is coming out more.
Was losing the weight hard?
It isn’t easy. Every day is a struggle – like this morning when my alarm went off at 3:45 and I was not in the mood. Every day is a battle. Every day is a day that I have to tell myself, I can do this.
What lessons have you learned along the way?
I don’t beat myself up like I did in the past. If I miss a workout, I get right back to it the next day.
What advice do you have for others who want to be healthier?
My advice comes from something a patient once said: “No matter how you feel, no matter what you’re going through, just never give up.” So, keep going. Set a series of goals and be realistic.