I was dangerously overweight, developing high blood pressure and cholesterol, and have a high risk of diabetes and heart disease in my family. I was out of breath and my mental health was affected because I no longer liked the way I looked and didn’t want others to see me in a public setting. It was hard on my family and friends because I was not happy, so they had a hard time being around me.
My journey started before I went to Marathon Health & Wellness Center and met with Nurse Practitioner Heather Staley, but she and the Marathon Health team were able to help me keep track of my progress and stay motivated to better my overall health. They reminded me that there were a lot of little changes I could make to help better myself and that those changes happen over time, not overnight.
I have been on an eating plan for the last five years and incorporating exercise into my daily routine. To date, I have lost a total of 186 pounds (I started at 320.7 pounds) and I make it a point to use my weighted hula hoop at least 6 days a week for 30 to 45 minutes a day. I incorporated weights into routine as well to help with my upper body strength, and I got a puppy to help motivate me to start walking more. I now walk my dog at least twice a day for 15 to 20 minutes.
My health is very different today. I’m not on the borderline of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or morbidly obese. My mental health has improved as well, and I no longer hide in my house and stay away from public places. I am able to love myself not just because of the way I look, but because I know I am doing right by me and allowing myself the privilege to live a happier, fuller, longer, life. My husband has also benefited from these changes and has joined me on my health journey to lose nearly 200 pounds himself. Our marriage is stronger and we are happier because we can do more things together.
It’s never too late, no one is ever too far gone, and there is no time like the present! There will be many bumps and hiccups along the way, but as long as you are committed to achieving a better lifestyle, there is no stopping you. — Julia Stafford, Marathon Health Member