Peggy Bradford of Sewell, New Jersey hasn’t always been the avid promoter of health that she is today. Before losing 70 pounds the 47-year-old mother weighed close to 220 pounds and suffered from severe depression. The weight gain came after a major surgery that required her to be on a hormone replacement for one year, which left her feeling terrible both physically and emotionally.
After facing resistance from her doctor about getting off of her medications, Peggy told her husband she was going to take matters into her own hands, and that’s exactly what she did.
Peggy almost instantly began eating healthier and watching her calories, cutting out soda and choosing protein bars over candy bars. For exercise she purchased a pedometer to encouragement more daily movement.
“I started out doing 10,000 steps a day with 4 pound weights,” she said. “I’ve built myself up to between 20,00-30,000 steps a day and 12-15 pound weights. I not only jog in place when I do my workout, but I jog in place when I talk on phone, iron, do dishes, etc.,” she said. “It sounds crazy, but the steps add up and have been a huge part of my weight loss journey.”
Down to a slim 150 pounds now – just 5 pounds shy of her goal weight – Peggy is feeling like a new person and is off all of her medications. But she wasn’t satisfied with just transforming her own life; she wanted to take her message of health to the masses. Just as passionately as she pursued her own health, she began reaching out to others to help them do the same.
“I have always loved to help others, and I know that we have a huge weight problem in this country. When I was going through my journey, I felt very alone,” she said. “I have wonderful family and friends, but they were not going through what I was so they really didn’t understand.”
Out of this desire to help others Peggy started the Facebook group “Steps to Good Health,” which provides daily encouragement, accountability, tips and resources to make getting healthy a little less daunting.
Though the group started with a modest response it now has close to 3,800 members and counting.
“I don’t ever want anyone to feel alone. I want them to know that they have a place to go 24/7, and I want it to always be a positive supportive group where you can be yourself,” she said. “We have enough negativity and pressure in this world. I never want anyone to feel like that.”
Peggy’s ultimate goal for the group is to be able to share her story with Dr. Oz, since he has always been a huge inspiration to her and so many of her followers.
“I truly would love to be able to share our story with him and his wonderful viewers,” she said. “We would be able to reach out to so many people and how wonderful that would be.” Regardless or whether or not she catches the attention of Dr. Oz, Peggy’s long term goal is to continue reaching out to as many people as she can with her message of health.
For those in need of support in achieving small and lofty health goals alike, Peggy invites you to join her group where she and her members practice vulnerability and honesty in what it really takes to make real, lasting lifestyle changes.
January 24th, 2013