In 2008, Betsy, then seventy, decided she wanted to make a change. She’d never been into exercise but she went to our fitness center in SW Florida and told them she wanted to work with a trainer. She connected with Rita, who helped her develop a program. Betsy showed up four days a week. She also purchased an armband exercise system, Exerspy, from the fitness company dotFIT, that told her how many calories she was burning daily.
Betsy felt better and got stronger but she didn’t lose weight. She thought she wouldn’t have to watch what she ate and drank — exercise would do it for her. She knew a good deal about dieting; as she told me, “This wasn’t my first rodeo.”
She realized her trainer’s advice was on target and read a new book, The Mayo Clinic Diet: Eat Well. Enjoy Life. Lose Weight. She cut out alcohol, ate lots of fruits and vegetables, small amounts of protein and no “white stuff.” This program started in July 2010.
She decided to continue exercising four days per week and eat healthy but she didn’t weigh herself as she had on previous diets. After three weeks she got on the scale and found she’d lost fifteen pounds. Today, less than five months later, she has lost — get ready for this — a total of fifty pounds.
Betsy said, “That’s how it happened — almost by accident and quickly. It was the astonishment of losing the first twenty-one pounds in a little over a month that held my interest. I knew the rest would be slow but with patience, perseverance and Rita’s coaching I’m feeling pretty good now. My biggest challenge is not to be one of the nine out of ten who gain it back.
“This is about the combination of regular exercise, a sensible diet and portion control plus determination and discipline. I needed the luxury of being accountable to Rita who taught me that perspiration, also known as ‘sweat’ won’t kill you.”
The ones who don’t gain it back are the ones who make a lifestyle change; they make exercise and healthy eating a permanent part of their lives.