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In the early morning hours of October 6, 2005, my life changed forever. My husband of 35 years, Richard, suffered a massive heart attack and died in my arms. We had decided months earlier to start eating right and losing weight. We knew that our excessive weight was affecting our health and that the numerous prescriptions that we were taking were all weight related – high blood pressure, diabetes and pain medication.

After three months of short term goals written on post it notes daily, i.e., “breathe in and out” and “brush hair and teeth”, I made the decision to LIVE it – not DIEt and changed my daily eating habits.

When Richard died, I weighed 232 pounds. Today, I weigh 155 with 17 pounds to go to get to my goal weight of 138. I am now the “average American woman” in a size 14. It isn’t easy. But I’ve learned that if you don’t have the high calorie food in the house, chances are that you’re not going to drive to the local convenience store at 9 pm to pick up the bag of chips or pint of ice cream.

My daily calorie intake averages 1200. I have cereal and fruit for breakfast. Low calorie snacks for that “afternoon pick me up” and fish, chicken or pork for dinner. I limit my carbs and avoid breads (my weakness). Do I indulge???? Of course! I LOVE dark chocolate – but limit myself to two small miniature pieces three times a week – not a large serving and certainly not every night.

My exercise routine is simple. I walk everyday. And now that I enjoy clothes shopping, when I go to the mall, I park at the opposite end of my favorite department store which means that I have to walk the full mall to get back to my car. I also have a house cleaning schedule that includes cleaning a single room every day (with Sunday’s off to enjoy my Sunday paper) and I play music so I can dance while I clean. Nothing better than listening to the Eagles!!!!!!

I feel great – and people tell me that I look great. It’s still a daily struggle to keep the weight off. I only wish that Richard and I had started this sooner together. I know that he’s looking down at me – with pride – knowing that I’m here for our children and grandchildren.

I DID IT – you can too.


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