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We heard about Angela from our wellness team. She lost 80 pounds over the course of eight months, primarily through Weight Watchers, which we offer for our employees. I’ve struggled with my own weight the past few years, and what really spoke to me about Angela’s journey is that she’s been there – she’s lost the weight and gained it back before. Many times. But she’s learned along the way what really works, and she’s sticking with it this time. For her, it’s either that or go down the path toward diabetes. With a new grand-baby, she wants to live a long, healthy life. She says it’s not about the number on the scale, but the way she feels.

I think she’s on to something.

Sometimes the first step is the hardest step. What inspired you to make a change and what has that journey been like?

I have been on diets off and on most of my life. I could write a book on how to lose weight, we all could. We know what we should do: eat less and move more. Unfortunately, I also know how to gain all the weight back.
After doing my health screening at work this past summer, my numbers were one point away from being considered pre-diabetic. I knew I was pushing it, and I knew one day that would happen, especially as I got older. Still, I continued to be in denial.

It just so happened that my health screening coincides with my yearly physical. Of course, my doctor saw my numbers and told me I had to change my lifestyle. She told me to join Weight Watchers again. That got me motivated. I did not want to deal with diabetes.

Weight loss is not easy. How did you kick-start your weight loss journey?

My primary care provider is great. She gave me a goal to lose five pounds in a month and told me to make an appointment to come back to see her. I met my goal and then some. I lost nine pounds!

I watched what I ate and, as my doctor suggested, moved more. She told me to start slow at just 10 minutes a day the first week and to increase my time each week. I also told her I wanted to check in each month with her so I could stay on track, stay motivated – get that reality check. Around that time a new Weight Watchers session was starting at work, so I registered.

What are your best tips and tricks to live a healthy lifestyle?

Unfortunately, there are no tricks … I wish there were! With weight loss, it truly is an “eat less, move more” reality. With Weight Watchers, we have the best coach, Eve Barnes. She has been leading the sessions for as long as I can remember. It helps to have her in our weekly meetings.

It is also very helpful to be in the meetings and listen to everyone’s stories. It is easy to assume the “skinny” people you see walking around are so lucky, but in the meetings, you find that we all have the same issues and struggles with weight.

Any other advice for people who are ready to get started on their own health journey?

Be realistic. If you stick to it, you will lose weight If you stop tracking and stop going to meetings, you gain weight. Like Eve tells us, don’t panic if you gain some weight. Just get back on track.

I gained all my weight back in the past when I quit going to Weight Watchers, thinking I could do this on my own. WRONG! When I was younger, all I thought about was losing weight. I thought it would solve all of life’s problems. NOT TRUE!

Now I am happy with myself, regardless of my weight. My goal is to be healthy and live a longer life. I just have to take things one day at a time. That is all I can do to stay focused and on track.

Maggie Brown

About Maggie Brown

Maggie Brown is an internal communications specialist at BCBSNC, focusing on spreading the company’s news to its 4,500 employees. What Maggie loves most about her job is connecting with employees and sharing their remarkable stories.

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