May 9, 2013

A Real-Life Weight-Loss Story

weight lossLast week, I had the pleasure of meeting an incredibly inspiring woman. In my quest to find a weight loss program/exercise regime/healthy lifestyle, I found myself at Curves to explore their Curves Complete program. There, I encountered Ms. T. I recognized her from the Weight Watchers (WW) meetings I attended long ago. She’s been working at Curves for 7 years and did the Curves Complete program herself and lost 20lbs. Definitely, nothing to sneeze at. But even more encouraging was the fact that before the 20lb. weight loss, she had dropped 80lbs. in one year and was her own motivation to get started.

She was on several medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, acid reflux, and she was unable to do anything without being in pain. Relegated to her couch as her youngest was about to turn 17 years old and move on to bigger and better things in life, she decided she had to do something and didn’t want that something to be sitting on the couch while everyone around her had fun. One day, faced with a choice between Wal-Mart and a Weight Watchers meeting, she had her sister drop her off at Weight Watchers, and thus her journey began.

For the get moving part of WW, she strapped on a back-pack and started walking. Ms. T said she went from barely being able to walk a few feet, to now being able to walk 5-8 miles. After 3 months she was able to stop taking her diabetes medication. And the rest of those medications she was on? Today, she said she takes one pill and it’s half the dose of high blood pressure medication that she used to take.

We’ve all heard and read about people and their inspiring weight-loss stories, but last week was my first time actually meeting one of these ‘mythological’ people. You see the pictures. Read about their success in a magazine, online, or in a weight loss packet–but meeting one of them in the flesh? WOW!

I would love to say that Ms. T’s story inspired me so much that I’ve started my own 100lb. weight loss journey (yes, you read right–100lbs. to lose per my doctor). And while I haven’t signed up for WW or Curves or strapped on a back-pack, it has got me thinking. With obesity so prevalent in our society there becomes a fine line between loving yourself and embracing your curves (for women) and realizing that you’re unhealthy and doing something life altering to change it. Ms. T said she had bought a whole new wardrobe in her larger size and didn’t get to wear half of the clothes she purchased. A good thing, because she lost so much weight. She said she wasn’t even mad about the money she had spent.

I believe just about any weight loss plan will work, if you follow it–and trust me, I’ve followed many. But the lifestyle change is what’s so important. It can’t be short-term. It can’t be a quick fix. It has to be something that’s an inherent part of your DNA–and if it didn’t manifest itself there when you were younger, you have to figure out a way to put it there now–for good. That’s what I’m trying to figure out. Stay tuned as my journey begins.

photo from shutterstock

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