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Toi Degree column: How to lose 50 pounds

By Toi Degree
For the Salisbury Post
Hello there, it’s me…I’m back! I hope that you all are continuing to put the principles of Eat Smart, Move More; Weigh Less (ESMMWL) into practice as you strive for a healthier lifestyle. As I mentioned in my last article, just like many of you, I, too, have issues with weight loss. I remember when I taught my first ESMMWL class, my name was the first name on the roster. I needed to not only be the instructor but also a participant in my own class as well. I am a firm believer that you can’t encourage or promote anything unless you know for a fact that it works and I quickly found out that it does in fact work.
At the end of my first course, I had lost about 10 pounds. My co-workers also lost weight during those 15 weeks. But I did not continue to follow the principles and those pounds I had lost returned, with friends. I continued to try to lose the weight, and over time, new friends joined the old ones that were already there.
As I continued to teach ESMMWL and see how well others did on the program, I started to look more at myself and wonder how I could teach this sort of class and not be a role model. Then came the Comprehensive Wellness Initiatives (CWI) — which required employees to attest to tobacco and weight Body Mass Index (BMI) restrictions.
Once I found out that this was coming down the pike, I really began to take a hard look at my weight. When I checked the Body Mass Index (BMI) chart, I found out what I already knew — my height and weight were not in line and I would not make the cut. All my new friends had me tipping the scale at about 20 pounds heavier than I had been when I was a student in my own ESMMWL class. I began looking for ways to make some lifelong changes, and in my search I discovered Weight Watchers.
Yes, I was a skeptic at first, but at the end of the first week I was five pounds lighter. I quickly started to become a believer and I found that the program and ESMMWL were very much alike. I began my Weight Watchers journey on Monday, Sept. 20, 2010, and since then I have lost 50.4 pounds! I am so excited, and one of my friends calls me Ms. Weight Watchers because I am so committed to the plan. I have never in my life felt better, more in control and unafraid of food. I have taken all that I have learned from both ESMMWL and Weight Watchers and combined them to make a beautiful marriage.
I am sharing all this with you all for the following reasons:
• You should never be afraid to seek help, encouragement and knowledge about losing weight
• I am so amazed at myself for working so hard and staying committed to leading a healthier lifestyle
• I want to encourage you all to get on board.
I don’t mean that you have to go out and join Weight Watchers, but I want to let you know that you can lose the weight if you work at it.
Believe me, it does take work. There is no magic pill, no magic remedy and no quick fix. If so, I would have already found them. It takes hard work, discipline and a desire to look and feel better.
Once you start to see results you will want to continue to see how amazing you look in the end. There is no better feeling than for someone to tell you how well you look. I am getting ready for my 20-year class reunion, and I am so looking forward to walking in and looking as if time has stood still for me!
I will almost be back at my high school weight — how great is that? Don’t give up; there is hope. Just keep working at it.
If I did it, so can YOU!
Toi N. Degree is a family and consumer education agent for North Carolina Cooperative Extension – Rowan County Center.

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