Blossom Ortez | Brandy Robinson | Ernesto Diaz | Vanessa Pierce | Tammy Rone
Waist Before: 36.75” - Waist Now: 31.75”
Hips Before: 41.75" - Hips Now: 37.75"
Although her job as a night shift security supervisor forced her to eat mostly junk and fast foods, Blossom Ortez was able to maintain a healthy weight throughout her 20s. She had lots of energy drinks and sodas to stay awake and ate whatever fast food that was available. As she approached 30, her body started to change. She was no longer able to eat the unhealthy options of snacks and fried foods at night and maintain a healthy weight.
“I didn’t realize how big I was until October 2010 when I was assigned a day shift position,” Blossom said. “Because I was tired all day and did not have healthy choices at night, I had gained over 40 pounds. “I didn’t like the way I looked and I didn’t feel confident in my appearance.”
In December 2010, Blossom reduced her carbohydrate intake, drank lots of water and cut off all sodas and energy drinks. She also got back into the gym on a regular basis. She had always done simple cardio activities like the elliptical machine and walking on the treadmill, but decided to add running to the routine. She started out by running for 30 minutes.
Texas Health Fitness Center Fort Worth employees, including Randy Turner, trainer, Alex Timmons-Brittain, nutrition/dietary consultant, and Rico Gomez encouraged her to run a 5k race. “They were all an awesome and a supportive team,” said Blossom.
Blossom started cooking healthier versions of her favorite foods, boosted her veggie intake, and measured portions. "It was an eye-opener to see the difference between what I would normally eat and what a normal serving size was," she said.
One year later, she was 20 pounds lighter. To accelerate her weight loss, she replaced ground beef with ground turkey, increased her cardio sessions to 45 minutes, and added strength training three to four times a week. By July 2013, she dropped 21 more pounds and was wearing a size 6. "I was back to the weight I was in during my 20s, and I loved it!" she said.
Blossom is more active than ever. She is now at a healthy weight but would like to lose an additional 5 to 7 pounds. "It's very encouraging when you have family, friends and co-workers encouraging you," she said. "I feel more confident and I feel better physically and mentally."
- Don’t make excuses.
"I go to school and work full-time but I don’t use my busy schedule as an excuse not to take care of my body."
- Choose your friends carefully.
"Hang out with positive people - people who encourage your healthy lifestyle.”
- Break a sweat.
"It’s not a workout if you don’t sweat. If you are not sweating you need to do more."
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Weight Before: 219 pounds - Weight Now: 115 pounds
Brandy Robinson always struggled with her weight. Simple things like walking and taking stairs were physically exhausting. She always felt tired and was uncomfortable meeting new people or trying new things.
Brandy worked nights and let fast foods and sweets become her daily diet. Healthy foods were not readily available, and Brandy admited to eating whatever was convenient. She tried several weight loss supplements which promised quick results, but always ended up feeling shaky and jittery.
Fortunately, Brandy's weight did not cause any health issues but her doctor warned her of potential health-related diseases like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and joint pain.
A family history of diabetes, and the death of a family member due to complications from the disease, motivated Brandy to jump start a healthy lifestyle journey. She also wanted to get healthy so that she would be around for her son.
Brandy joined Weight Watchers at Work® and Texas Health Fitness Center Fort Worth. She started losing weight on Weight Watchers was not committed to the idea of working out. So she started training with Alex Brittain-Timmons, fitness specialist.
"Alex has been a great motivator, “Brandy said. “She pushes me harder if I'm having an off day, and never allows me to make excuses.”
Brandy has lost 104 pounds, feels much better and has a lot more energy. She accomplishes more during the day and has gone back to school to study nutrition.
She has also participated in several 5k runs. "I feel happier, less stressed and more confident than I have ever felt," she said.
Her fitness specialist agreed.
“Brandy is very determined, and that is what has allowed her to reach the fitness level she is at today,” said Alex.
- You can do it
"I think anybody can do whatever they put their mind to do. If I can do it, anybody can."
- Baby steps
"Start out small working out for 10 minutes and continue to add additional time as you build your strength and endurance."
- Set your own goals
Most people think they have to make a drastic change. Set your own goals – no matter how big or small and celebrate your milestones.
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For Ernesto Diaz, a healthy lifestyle change wasn’t about losing weight – it was about living. In 2001, he was diagnosed with lymphoma.
Before he was diagnosed, Ernesto did not eat healthy or exercise regularly. The cancer diagnosis and the chemotherapy treatment was a wake-up call for Ernesto to change his attitude about how he was taking care of himself.
After completing his cancer treatments, Ernesto learned about the benefits of incorporating more fruits and vegetables and other healthy choices into his diet. Ernesto’s cancer is now in remission and believes that his healthy lifestyle has not only improved his health, but also his personal and professional life.
Along with good dietary practices, he now participates in a regimented training program with Fitness Specialist Jon Key. “Jon has motivated and helped me increase my endurance while improving my cardiovascular system. Before training with Jon, I could not even run a block,” Ernesto said.
“At first I did not like to do work out,” he said. “I wanted to quit, but I felt like I had a responsibility to my loved ones. I didn’t want to put a burden of being unhealthy on them.”
He has lost 20 pounds, manages his stress better, has more appreciation for his staff and feels that he is more productive. He is also able to spend more quality time with his family and do things that he was never been able to do before. Constantly pushing himself to the next level, Ernesto is now training for his first half marathon, which benefits many local charities including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, an organization that is very personal to him.
Ernesto lives by the proverb, “Each one, Teach one,” which has positively impacted others around him in healthy and encouraging ways. His friends noticed the change in his appearance and attitude.
“I always speak with friends, family and others about taking better care of their health. I try to lead by example, by doing the same thing in my personal life,” Ernesto said.
- Take small steps and be consistent. Do as much as you can without killing yourself and you will see results.
- Surround yourself with people who will support you and empower you.
- You need to put your health first. Don’t let a busy schedule be an excuse not to eat right or exercise.
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Weight Before: 185 pounds - Weight Now: 149 pounds
When Tammy Rone becan work at Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine, she noticed everyone there was fit. After being there a year, Tammy also wanted to be healthy.
“You don’t want to be the only fat person that works there,” Tammy said. “I was overweight my whole life but working here around people that are fit made me decide to change my lifestyle.”
Tammy was already on Weight Watchers, but said she was lazy and ate lots of packaged and fast foods. She would cook from time to time but didn’t know how to cook healthy. When she went out, she ordered foods like lasagna, pizza and hamburgers.
Fitness Specialist Cicely Isabell, worked with Tammy. “Tammy is a wonderful client and she never stressed or worried about losing the weight,” Cicely said. “My goal was to motivate and encourage her and I am proud of her accomplishments.”
At first, Tammy saw her workouts as a chore and didn’t enjoy them. But she started to lose weight, was feeling better and had more energy.
“I liked the way I felt and I started enjoying my workouts. It kinda clicked,” Tammy said. Tammy hit several plateaus during her workout and kept it up.
Tammy is now active seven days a week. She goes to the gym at least four times a week and does cardio activity, like walking or running, on her rest days.
Tammy has run two half marathons and would like to complete another. “I would like to see how much my time has improved since I am now in my lighter self,” she said.
Tammy hit her ideal weight goal right before her 40th birthday. She went shopping on her birthday and was able to buy the smallest size ever in her adult life. “Now that I am at a healthy weight, I feel great and have lots of energy,” Tammy said. “I feel so much better at 40 than I did in my 20s.
After her shopping trip, her mom and sister came over and cleaned out her closet so that she would not have an option of gaining the weight back. Her husband has also lost weight eating the healthier meals she prepares.
- Small steps
“Make one small change, let that be a habit and don’t give up. It took me three years to lose 30 pounds.”
- Don’t be intimidated by going to the fitness center
“The staff in the fitness center are great. They will work with you to your ability. If you think you can’t have a trainer because you don’t know how to work out – start small and before you know it, you will be doing things that you never thought you could do.”
- Use your benefits and resources
“The hospital is great in the way that they promote a healthy lifestyle - with Weight Watchers at Work® program, the fitness center and its well-being promotion - it is awesome.”
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