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Unexpected Inspiration From a Support Group

April 19, 1999|JULIE DELGADO

In 1994, my best friend talked me into joining a weight-loss group with her. I am an addicted walker but had been noticing that I was getting short of breath while walking up hills. My mother had been a non-exerciser and overweight; I knew I needed to change some of my habits.

I had had three knee surgeries and a major back surgery, and had been putting on weight slowly. No one noticed but me. The extra pounds didn't show as much on me as on some people. But I knew that I had to do something and refused to buy clothes any size bigger than the 14-16 I was wearing then.

When my friend and I first started with the group, I didn't think it was going to work. In our first few meetings, we were two very quiet women listening to other people's stories of exercise and eating habits and thinking that we would quit soon. But when the pounds started dropping off--slowly at first--and I started to feel better and had to buy clothes in smaller sizes, I really got into all the meal planning, more walking and exercising, and feeling good about myself.

I marked down everything I ate for breakfast and lunch, and whatever was left in my daily plan was served with a half-head of lettuce and various veggies for dinner.

Eventually, my friend and I raised our hands high when our leader would ask, "Who resisted temptation this week?" I'd reply, "They had doughnuts at work, and I didn't eat any." The leader would then ask who had exercised more that week, and again I would brag.

My husband and I retired to Big Bear a year ago, and I walk three days a week, do senior aerobics three days a week, with Tae-Bo in between and golf two to three times a week in the summer. I've maintained my goal weight for 4 1/2 years and feel great.

I thank the weight group for giving me a new outlook on life. I know now that I have many happy and slim years of retirement ahead of me.


Vital Statistics

Name: Julie Delgado

Age: 56

Occupation: Retired secretary

Height: 5 feet, 6 inches

Old weight: 167

New weight: 137

Time to get there: One year

How Did You Do It?

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