Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Strength to Move Forward

One of the most common struggles people face today is maintaining a proper weight. The danger in a few extra pounds here and there is that they begin to add up, and before long can drastically change a person’s life. But it is sometimes easier to accept and accommodate a new body, rather than face the challenge of altering routine and working towards a healthier lifestyle.

So when I heard that Jackie Hebert of Abbeville lost seventy-five pounds in two years, I knew I had to interview her. I wanted to know what triggered her decision to take the long journey involved in changing her life. I needed to hear where she found her strength.

“So many different factors led to my decision to lose the weight,” says Hebert. “But the biggest was that it was my time.”

A couple of years ago, when Hebert was about to turn fifty, her health became a concern. Her father passed away at fifty-three years old from a heart attack, and she knew that her weight put her at risk as well.

“I wanted to be around for my three daughters and the rest of my family,” says Hebert. “I needed more energy to spend time with my grandkids.”

Hebert was given a gym membership for Christmas of 2007, and around the same time her company started hosting Weight Watchers’ meetings. She was also motivated by the fact that her middle daughter promised a cruise for the two of them as a reward for losing fifty pounds.

“The economy also played a role,” says Hebert. “I was afraid I might have to find a new job, and I know that appearance is important.”

In January of 2008, Hebert began going to Health Works in Abbeville twice a day, six days a week. She says that the pounds began to immediately melt away, which motivated her to keep up with her workouts.

“I was an athlete in high school and knew that exercise was the best way to lose the weight,” says Hebert. “I’m a routine person and knew I had to fit health into my schedule if I was going to be committed.”

According to Hebert, the hardest part about starting her exercise program was the muscle soreness. But she soon discovered the swimming pool, which helped relax both her mind and body.

“The gym has become a second home to me,” says Hebert. “The people at Health Works have been very supportive and are now a part of my life.”

The benefits for Hebert have been more energy, new friends and positive feedback from her family. Her advice to someone who wants to get in shape is to do it for them self, and to find an outlet they enjoy.

“I love swimming,” says Hebert. “If I didn’t, I wouldn’t continue with my exercise program.”

One of the obstacles that Hebert faced in her journey towards a healthier lifestyle is eating properly. Since Weight Watchers no longer hosts meetings at her office, she lost the support of a diet consultant. She has, however, made a new goal to get into the mindset of planning her meals, and to lose another forty pounds.

“Where will you get the strength to change your life once again?” I asked Hebert when I interviewed her.

“By remembering where I was, and reminding myself of where I am now,” says Hebert. “This will give me the strength to move forward.”

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