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Success Stories: Dorothy

"I'm healthier now than I've ever been in my life!"

Dorothy Baume6 Years Ago
Highest weight: 236 lbs.
Current weight: 116 lbs.
Total weight lost: 120 lbs.
Height: 4'10" Age: 55
Time it took to lose the weight: 6 years
Has kept it off for: 13 years
Dorothy 6 years ago

My weight has been a lifelong problem for me. The first time I went on a diet, I was in 9th grade. By the time I graduated high school, I was 150 pounds. I tried a commercial weight loss program on and off over the years, but I only almost reached my goal weight one time. I tried other things, like seeing a dietitian, but I guess my head wasn't in the right place.

I went back to a commercial weight loss program again in 1993. I was turning 40 and had gone through a divorce. I was so unhappy with my life. I would come home from work, eat, watch television, go to bed, and the cycle would start all over again the next day. I finally realized that if I didn't do anything to change my ways I would never see another 40 years.

When I went to my 20th high school reunion, everybody had aged tremendously. I had been the heavy, fat kid in high school – but there I was, the most fit person in the room!

How I Did It

I followed the commercial weight loss plan, but this time I added physical activity. I was so heavy, but I would go to the mall after work and walk for 10-15 minutes. Now, I can walk in my neighborhood for two hours.

I watched my portions and started eating balanced meals for the first time. I had to learn a new behavior pattern, including knowing when I was full or hungry. I started taking an exercise class at the local hospital, and I walk when I can. When I don't exercise, I make sure I balance it by eating fewer calories.

The weight started coming off. With every 10-20 pounds I lost, I got rid of those clothes that were now too big on me. I did not want to make it easy for me to go backwards this time — I didn't want to go back. I think maybe I have an old pair of jeans, but I have no idea where they are!

Biggest Challenge

Re-educating myself about how to eat, and changing my behavior. I used to take a box of cookies and plop down in front of the TV. Now, I try to fill up on veggies and fruit.

Maintaining the Weight Loss

I finally faced the fact that this is something I have to do for the rest of my life. I've worked too hard to go back. Every good check-up from my doctor reaffirms what I'm doing.

The Biggest Thrill

I have a whole new life in many ways. I feel better and am healthier than I've ever been. I can wear nice clothes and feel good in them. I have choices now when I buy clothes. It's no longer, "This looks okay, how many colors does it come in?"

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