MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Is losing weight on your list of resolutions for the new year? For a lot of people, it is Mississippi that gets the dubious distinction of tipping the scales as one of the heaviest states in the nation.
In Jackson County, statistics show 71 percent of the residents are obese. Changing that will require hard work and determination. A Moss Point Woman has made it her mission to help those wanting to live a healthier lifestyle.
Meet exercise enthusiast Patrice Pickett Green. It is probably hard to believe, but she once weighed more than 300 pounds.
"My highest weight was when I was 346 pounds," said Green
She said excessive eating and roller coaster diets continued until she almost lost her life.
"I was admitted into the emergency room and I had high blood pressure and diabetes. The doctor told me if I wanted to live to see 40-years-old, I had to something about my weight."
She made the New Year's declaration in 2011 to drop the pounds and gain a healthier lifestyle. Green would drink a lot of water and limit her carbohydrates during her weight loss journey.
As far as exercise, she began walking and gradually moved to Zumba and then aerobics three to four days a week. She also hosted workout sessions in her home to get others motivated to get healthy.
"I did for a year entirely free at my home because I knew other women were going through struggles just as me."
Green has lost 171 pounds.
She's certified as a personal trainer and recently opened a new fitness business with her brother called Phases in Pascagoula. She is now inspiring folks of all ages.
"My turning point was a potassium loss, almost dying of no potassium in my body from being overweight, and that was my turning point and when Phases came a long it was awesome," a Moss Point resident said.
Gautier Councilman Casey Vaughn also heard about Green's weight loss story and has made a 2014 resolution to make changes of his own.
"The decision is not easy. It is kind of like an addiction. Food in South Mississippi is great, but you have to make wise decisions."
Seeing so many people take steps toward better health inspires Green, and she hopes it inspires others.
"It takes each one to reach one," Green said.
If you want to learn more about Green's success story or Phases Strength & Fitness Club, please call (228) 219-7096.