Three locals tell us how they did it
Arthur Y. Payne, 59
What motivated him: In 2007, my eyesight started to decline and I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. My physician prescribed medication, exercise, and a balanced diet—a combination that could eliminate my diabetes.
How he did it: I changed my diet, lined up a trainer, Michelle Szames, and started a boot camp, three days a week for an hour. I email Michelle what I eat each day to keep me accountable—oatmeal for breakfast, a low-calorie lunch, and a lot of green veggies at dinner. I also started working out at home twice a week for an hour. I am now diabetes-free! I only take two pills a day instead of nine.
Advice for someone just getting started: Start with light exercise and gradually add more. Work out with friends so you can push each other to reach goals.
The best thing about getting healthy: I feel better about myself and I’m happier. I see my doctor twice a year instead five times. My family is relieved, and being healthy makes me want to stay that way. Oh, and my wife has joined me at boot camp.
TIP: Work out with friends to stay motivated.
Sara Krencicki, 36
What motivated her: When I moved to San Diego, it was almost like I was invisible, being fat. San Diegans wear less clothes and value looks. Being the funny fat chick was not working for me here. I was motivated by being fed up. Eventually it turned into a pledge to get healthy, but at first it was vanity!
How she did it: There’s no big secret—you have to eat less and exercise. I had to develop a better relationship with food and see it as fuel. Exercise also became something I enjoyed.
Advice for someone just getting started: Fake it until you make it. Just start following a plan and get a trainer. Deal with the emotional side of fat loss and weight issues after you gain a bit of momentum... for some of us, the issues that got us fat are big.
The best thing about getting healthy: Shopping in a normal clothing store! And being told you are fit when you had been called fat for 20-plus years. I was also inspired to change careers—I’m now a certified trainer and teach Pilates at FIT Athletic Club.
TIP: Learn to see food as fuel (and exercise as fun).
Alice Nelson, 59
What motivated you: I was tired of feeling depressed, unhealthy, and lethargic. I was on the fast track to major issues like elevated cholesterol and heart disease.
How she did it: First I made the decision to do something about my weight. I followed the plan set out by the weight management team at Sharp Rees-Stealy, which involves weekly weigh-ins, support group participation, biweekly blood tests, recording all food consumed (with calorie counts) and exercise completed, daily exercise, eating prescribed foods, and drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day. Bikram yoga has helped me maintain my weight, and skin elasticity.
Advice for someone just getting started: Your health is your business. Nobody is going to do this for you. Be patient and get support from others. Throw out all the junk food in your house and your office. Never be unprepared and hungry—have appropriate foods within reach.
The best thing about getting healthy: The quality of my life is better and I have no health problems... and that affects everything else.
TIP: Drink 64 ounces of water per day.