Today’s true weight loss story comes to us from Las Vegas, Nevada where Amanda Shepherd is enjoying the freedom of being 60 pounds thinner and has her eye on a future Tough Mudder competition. The look on her face in the before and after pictures says it all, she’s a pretty happy girl. We asked Amanda to tell us about her journey.
Tell me when your weight struggles began. I’ve always been the bigger kid in school. I was made fun of, but I always chose to surround myself with friends who didn’t care that I couldn’t fit in to double zero jeans. I never noticed that I was the bigger kid. I was a cheerleader, even though I was the biggest one.
It was in college that I stopped being as active, and started eating (and drinking) a lot more than I should have. That’s when the weight started coming on strong.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I ate whatever tasted good, and I ate a lot of it. I drank on the weekends because it was the cool thing to do. I wasn’t active at all. Exercise was not in my daily routine. I took the “freshman 15” seriously.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? The day I stepped on the scale, realized I hit 240lbs, looked in the mirror and cried. I just had knee surgery and it was hard to hold my weight. I could hardly walk up the stairs without breathing heavily. I knew that if I wanted my life to go somewhat back to normal after surgery, I had to start losing weight, immediately.
Just two days after nearly 100 tornados sent a devastating storm through Wichita, the city’s mayor, Carl Brewer, carved out time to welcome a gale-force of health to KU Medical School. Dr. Wayne Andersen, co-founder of Take Shape for Life and author of Habits of Health, visited Wichita last night to talk to the local medical community about creating health, not reacting to disease. It’s all part of his Take Shape for Life initiative.
“Wichita has some ugly [health] statistics,” said event coordinator Deb Floodman, who introduced the mayor. Running on only a few hours of sleep, he took notice that Deb glanced his way way when she made the statement, and laughed when responding “I’m working on it!” He welcomed Dr. Andersen, his message, and the potential it has to help reform one of the most unhealthy, overweight cities in the country. A starting point is to educate Wichita’s doctors so that they can properly care and treat thousands of overweight and obese patients.
“Our patients are patched up, but not fixed,” said Dr. Andersen at the top of his lecture. He shared some startling statistics about health and obesity, including how obesity recently overtook smoking as the most costly health problem. He explained our biological history and how we’ve gotten ourselves in to the mess we’re in because “we’re eating way too much food,” and the wrong kinds at that. And he talked down a $68 billion diet industry that “doesn’t work,” only exacerbates a seemingly endless problem.
Watch our exclusive interview from the event, then read on to learn more about Take Shape for Life.
By Dr. Wayne Andersen, co-founder of Take Shape for Life
Type 2 diabetes is the most common kind of diabetes, accounting for more than 90% of cases. People are at the highest risk if they are overweight or obese. In addition, advancing age, smoking, and inactive lifestyles increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Complications of this common illness can be serious. Chonically high blood sugar can damage nerves and blood vessels, affecting your eyes, kidneys, and heart. You can develop hardening of your arteries, which in turn can lead to heart attack or stroke.
Type 2 diabetes is on the rise, mirroring our increasing rate of weight gain. It’s important to understand that our obesigenic (fat-producing) environment is taking a toll on our health through type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions that are the result of poor diet, insufficient sleep, and a sedentary lifestyle. Prescription medications treat the symptoms of the disease instead of creating health. Though we cannot change our world overnight, we can change how we respond to it. Changing our focus from reacting to what is wrong to creating what we want in terms of our health is critical. We make over a 1,000 small choices a day, which either contribute to, or erode, our overall physical health. We CAN create health—and here’s how. (more…)