In Phee’s words:
I went to the doctor, who had put me on yet another medication. I drove to the pharmacy and I just said, “Nope. I’ve had enough.” It was time to do something about my weight. I joined Weight Watchers meetings and started following the Plan that night. The meeting happened to be on the third floor of a medical building. I walked up the steps, and I had to stop to catch my breath. That was my wake up call. I said “This is the day I’m going to change.” And I did, and haven’t looked back.
The first night I went to a meeting, my Leader, Rebecca, started talking about how soon the Kentucky Derby was, and how we should set a goal for that date. I remember I sat there and thought, “That’s months away!” But as it turned out, it went by really quickly. By the time Derby rolled around (about three months later) I had lost almost 30 pounds! Rebecca was right. I wore an outfit that I had long since given up on ever getting back into. At that point I said, “This is great! This is really happening!”
I can’t stress how amazing my Leader is. She puts us at ease and answers all of our questions on how to stay on track. The whole group experience is fantastic—a real sense of community. Our group is so supportive and we all help each other. I still go every Monday even though I’ve been at goal for a year. I just enjoy the motivation it gives me. It keeps me on the straight and narrow.
Fitting in fitness
My exercise routine started out slowly because I’m not a huge fan of equipment exercise. I started off walking. Where I work there happens to be a track that’s two miles around. So I started walking two miles a day and slowly built up to four miles a day after just a couple of months. I pretty much just stick to a good walking routine. If I’m going to watch TV, I sit on my stability ball. I don’t care if I’m just wiggling my bottom around—I’m moving! Even if I get up at the office and walk around co-workers will laugh and say, “Here comes Phee!” I just walk around the office for fun because it’s better than sitting!
The family factor
My family is my biggest inspiration. I’ve been married for 34 years and my husband, though he loves me no matter what, he’s very proud of my weight-loss. In fact, after I’d lost about 50 pounds or so, Jillian, my granddaughter, came up to me and put her arms around me. She said, “PheePhee, I can get my arms around you now!” It was kind of embarrassing that she couldn’t do that before—a great moment for me. She’s very proud of me.
The best part
There’s no bad part about being 60 pounds lighter! It’s an amazing feeling to hop up in the morning and be excited about getting dressed, to wear clothes that you wouldn’t think you could wear anymore, and try colors. It’s just fun and I feel so healthy. That’s a major, major thing for me. And now my blood pressure is down and I’m med-free! I just feel great, and enjoy every day now.
Advice for others
I like to give advice to people my age, because even younger girls in their 40s will say, “Oh I’m getting too old to do that.” No. There’s no such thing. There’s no such thing as being too old to lose weight. And to maintain the weight, that’s a big deal too.
Three people from my work have joined, and even one of my bosses subscribed to Weight Watchers Online because he’s inspired by my loss. He gave me a 50-cent piece when I lost 50 pounds and he said, “Keep this with you if you ever get discouraged. Just remember what you’ve done and how far you’ve come.” I carry that with me every day. I never considered myself to be an inspiration, but it’s nice to hear that I might be able to help others along their own weight-loss journey.