It is easy to talk about the rising rate of overweight people in the United States in statistics about health care costs, pounds, or the number of people diagnosed with diabetes. What we don’t hear enough about, in my opinion, are realistic solutions for people who want to improve their health. One Molina Healthcare employee in Long Beach, Alicia, is a perfect example of someone who has taken control of her health and made huge progress over the course of six months – losing over 50 lbs.
“My health was declining and when I thought about my sons and my parents, I decided I needed to make a change,” said Alicia, when asked what inspired her to improve her health. “I also wanted to reduce the number of meds I had to take.”
If you have ever tried dieting, you know it is not easy – especially over a prolonged period of time. In January 2012, Alicia started making simple but profound changes in her lifestyle. She did not do it with a master cleanse, an all protein diet, or five hours a day at the gym.
Alicia reduced portion sizes and started eating a high proportion of fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods. “It is not as much about what you eat, but how much,” said Alicia. She also walks about two miles a day, but not all at once. She uses her breaks at work to take short walks with coworkers and then does a longer walk when she gets home at night.
Although Alicia has had great success, it has not always been easy. “The first two months were very challenging for me,” she said. “Training myself to eat less was extremely hard to do.” And her journey is not over yet. Alicia’s goal is to reach her healthiest weight so she is at a point where she can reduce or even eliminate her meds, and she wants to continue this healthy lifestyle for the rest of her life. She should be an inspiration to any of us looking to improve our health – whether it is losing weight, reducing cholesterol, quitting smoking or something else.
Do you have a success story about improving your health that you want to see profiled here? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or tell us about it in the comments.
Update: Alicia has lost 100 pounds, and is no longer diabetic! Read more here.