BAY ST LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - My weight loss journey is far from over. I still want to lose another 30 pounds, and Patrice told me Thursday, she has one more dress size to go. It turns out, our weight loss journey inspired some of you to shed those unwanted pounds.
For instance, six members of a bridge walking group are already 75 pounds lighter than they were six months ago. I spent the afternoon with part of the group to see what motivates them to keep at it. Every step they take is a small victory over what became a very big problem.
"After the storm, I think, everybody gained a lot of weight, just from, you know, we were all a little depressed, a little shocked, and we just all starting putting on weight," Sandi Necaise said.
Necaise is a realtor who has her own reasons for wanting to change.
"When I saw your special, I was like, you know, I want to get back in shape not for the way I look, but for health reasons," Necaise said. "I thought, if she can do it, then we can all do it, cause you work."
My regimen included and still consists of eating healthier, working out and changing my mental outlook on life. Consequently, when I stepped on a scale in March, I was 40 pounds lighter.
March is when Sandi started her bridge walking club. She is one of six that have joined together to walk the Bay St. Louis Bridge three days a week. Is it working? You bet it is. Sandi has lost 19 pounds.
Her friend Anji King had a steeper hill to climb. But by making some major changes in her life over the past couple of years, she has lost 45 pounds.
Anji King said, "Knowing our kids needed us, we had to start thinking of ourselves first because our kids do what we do."
Anji is a Weight Watcher leader and is becoming a certified trainer now.
I don't know why it took me 31 years to figure out that if I went on a diet and lost weight and then went back to whatever I was doing before that I was going to gain the weight back. Because that's what I was doing before when I gained weight. But it's something that just has to click in your head. You can shake somebody till they're blue in the face, but if it's not getting through to them and they're not ready to do it, then they can't do it.
King pointed to her head as she said, "This is 98 percent of your battle. If you can get this, your mind, in the game and ready and you're ready in your mind, then you can do it."
Marsha Barlow is a nursing instructor at JD. In the past four years, she has dropped about 50 pounds.
"It's more that just the working out and eating right," Barlow said. "It has to be a complete lifestyle change. You have to make time for it."
King said, "You have to make it part of your schedule."
"You have to make it part of your day," Barlow said.
These ladies swear by the group method.
"If you don't go one day, I promise you it'll be two days you don't go," Necaise said. "That's why when we walk on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and I call and they all get aggravated with me. I'm like, oh no, we are all gonna keep losing this weight. We gonna stay fit and stay in shape."
Barlow said, "We never call her names or anything... to her face!"
A little friendly 'mocking' not only keeps the exercise fun, but it is a great stress reliever, especially with friends. They do a lot of girl talk, and all that talking can leave you thirsty.
And as Anji, our personal trainer, always reminds us, water is good for you and really can help you lose weight.
KIng said, "Our bodies mistaken dehydration for hunger a lot of times. So. If you'll just take a glass of water and drink it, you'll fill up."
Experts suggest drink water first, wait and see if your still hungry. Also, don't be fooled by low calorie snacks, because all those calories will add up rather quickly. 3,500 calories in grapes is still a pound. And 3,500 calories in fried chicken is a pound. So, obviously you can eat a WHOLE lot more grapes than fried chicken
"Every once in a while, we need that fried chicken," Barlow said.
And she's right. Try not to deprive yourself too much. You can have just about anything, moderation. And there are ways to make healthy foods more delicious!
One of the things I follow now is the Hungry Girl. It is awesome! It's full of great tips, tricks and eye-openers. The Hungry Girl is a girl that likes to eat, but she has tricks for eating healthier. She has a couple of books out and a web site that is free to join. You can get numerous low-fat and low-calorie recipes. Plus, you can sign up for the newsletter.