Menopause and Weight Loss: One Woman’s Story
Peggy Bradford is a woman who took matters into her own hands after hitting 218 pounds three years ago, following a hysterectomy that threw her into premature menopause at age 46.
Bradford, who has a six-year-old daughter, felt terrible while on a prescribed course of hormone replacement therapy recommended by her gynecologist. She saw the extra pounds mounting and worried about the effects of the medication. When she consulted her physicians about going off the hormone treatment, they told her that this was a decision she needed to make for herself. She realized that wasn’t the only change she needed to make.
Bradford weaned herself off hormones and started taking 10,000 steps a day and she hasn’t stopped. She didn’t join a gym or Weight Watchers or watch exercise videos. She simply straps on a pedometer (she recommends The Omron HJ-112 digital pedometer) and keeps moving—all day, every day. “I have many days that I fall off the wagon, but I pick myself up and get going again,” she says.
Bradford believes many people make the mistake of setting unrealistic goals. She feels that the concept of calories in and calories out is a successful weight-loss strategy. In addition to taking 10,000 steps a day, Bradford has found that jogging in place with weights while watching The Food Network is also effective. Strangely enough, it satisfies her desire to be around food.
Bradford also modified her diet: she no longer drinks soda—seltzer is now her friend. She doesn’t eat low-fat or no-fat food. She satiates her appetite with real food that provides good nutrition. She controls cravings by eating three meals a day and treating herself to a few bites of ice cream each night. Bradford points out, “This is not a death sentence—if I were to treat it like such I would never succeed. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change.”
Her results speak for themselves. In one year she lost 70 pounds and has kept them off for two. After losing the weight, Bradford decided to start a Facebook page called Steps to Good Health to inspire others. The page has more than 2,500 followers from around the world who can email her anytime (firstname.lastname@example.org) with problems or questions. She also creates challenges and gives out rewards, enlisting vendors to donate prizes such as pedometers or healthy snacks. Several TV networks have picked up her inspiring story.
Many people find it hard to believe Bradford lost the weight without pills or a special diet, a fact she is very proud of and emphasizes to reassure others that they can experience similar success.
I ran Bradford’s model past a friend who recently started her own weight loss program. She has lost 12 pounds over the past two and half months and agrees that eating regular food (just less of it) is important along with greatly increasing her level of physical activity. She also thinks a support system like Bradford’s Steps to Good Health is central to getting through those “tough moments.” I believe, as she herself does, that she will succeed this time around.
To your health!
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