Tip of the Week

Roll with the punches! Life is gonna smack you right in the face when you don't expect it. If you're head's on straight, you're certainly gonna handle it just fine. Roll with it. Complain a little bit, and let it go.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saturday Success Story

Today's Success Story comes from a Mrs. Debbie Helmberger in Farmersville, Texas. There's an interesting little bit of background to this piece. See, Debbie (my Momma), actually did it twice. I was admanant about featuring her on this blog--her sense of life right now is incredible and absolutely awe-inspiring. Take into account the fact that she also is still raising three children, and has four in college. This woman has got a lot of life going on! Amidst all of this, she has actively taken drastic changes to improve the health quality of her life. Already losing a substantial amount of weight, taking her children to the public track to run, putting healthy food on the table--all of these changes are ones to love and applaud. So why did she answer this interview twice? Because it came back with an obviously depressed tone. I saw a woman who was obviously not what her idea of a "Success Story" should be. And in that moment, I realized the stigma that is associated with anything "weight loss" and "diet" related. This blog is not about that. Yes, there is an emphasis because I am writing it, and this is my inspirational sounding board. But the most inspirational thing when it comes to my own weight loss is talking to empowered women, and learning by their example. And with that, I give you the Saturday Success Story, Debbie Helmberger.

Was there a point where you realized, “I’m really going to do it this time”?

Yes. Actually almost everytime. Because when I really do start, I am at that point that losing is what I need. So I know that I can do it. I feel lighter and not just in body weight, but overall. My demeanor is lighter. And I'm better educated about what I eat.

What are you excited about?

Truly I'm excited about getting healthier. I'm finally doing something just for me.

Is there anything—especially early on when it gets tough—is there anything that motivated you? What kept you going when you thought about just throwing in the towel?

I stay motivated by remembering my goals. I'm not talking about my weight loss goals-- my goals in life. When I was young I had all these goals. Those goals, those desires had to wait a few years while I reached for another desire, my family. Now I'm beginning to have a little more time to think about those dreams and maybe actually live them. If I'm not healthy, then most of those dreams will remain just that.

How did you integrate new choices into your lifestyle?

I have begun to get rid of as many processed foods as possible. Granted they are not all out of the house because there are five other people living here, but many are gone for good! I try to eat fresh fruits and veggies as much as possible.

Let’s talk about food. What would you say were your biggest problem areas as far as eating?

I love cheese and bread. And drinking with friends. I had to remember that just because everyone else is drinking it didn't mean that I had to. I can enjoy their company without the use of alcohol. My issues were health problems combined with the choices I was making. I forgot to take care of myself.

Tell us a little bit about that. And eating-wise, what changes did you make early on?

Educated myself. Changed what I ate. Getting rid of processed foods and began cooking fresh and frozen. But the "bad" food really needed to be out of the house. And then I also started cooking again. If I take the time to plan a meal and actually cook it, then I'm less likely to grab those processed quick meals.

Would you take us through a typical weekday now, and tell us how that goes, as far as exercise and eating?

Walk in the mornings, at least a mile or cardio. Boot camp three times a week. Try to lift light weights three times a week. Eat fresh veggies and fruit. Cook the food, don't just heat it up out of a can.

What were your particular difficulties, and how did you overcome them?

Remembering that when out dining with friends, it's not about the food, it's about the people. So if I decide to eat something healthy or simple, it's okay. I try to make good decisions.

What is the one habit you swear by?

Morning cardio and light weights. It's not so much about the weight loss as it is about being healthy. I haven't met my goal yet, but every small step is a step in the right direction.

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