La Dawn H. Hearns of Atlanta loses 211 pounds
Previous weight: 380 pounds
Current weight: 169 pounds
Pounds lost: 211 pounds
Age: 45 years
Height: 5 feet 7 inches
How long she’s kept it off: 4 months. She started in 2005 and met her goal in May 2010.
Personal life: She moved from Detroit to Atlanta three years ago and is now retired. “Recently, I began to help others lose weight by starting a weight loss management alternative lifestyle program designed for individuals who are overweight with a medical condition,” Hearns says. She lives in Sandy Springs.
Turning point: “At my highest weight of 380 pounds five years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” she says. “With the help of holistic medicine and a mustard seed of faith, my lifestyle and habits changed for the better shedding 126 pounds. With the support of TOPS, (Take Off Pounds Sensibly, www.tops.org), I managed to lose an additional 85 pounds.”
In May 2008, she discovered the cancer had spread to her leg bones. “But with God and a specialist, my life was spared and I’m still here,” she says.
Diet plan: “Primarily I live a vegan lifestyle,” she says.
Exercise routine: She walks one to three miles per day; she also exercises in the pool, at the gym and on the tennis court.
Biggest challenge: “For me it’s been easy to lose, but to stay in a range and not lose anymore has been the hardest for me,” she says. “The other issue is not seeing myself as fat when I look in the mirror.”
How life has changed: “In April of this year, I was one of the 18 individuals honored at Georgia TOPS state recognition day,” she says. “Upon learning of this humble honor, my worst fears came true when the doctor informed me that there were tumors close to my brain. This accomplishment of losing weight has meant and is important to me now more than ever. Since becoming stable enough to live with cancer and getting on with reaching my goals, I now want to inspire and motivate others myself to see that cancer or any other illness you are facing isn’t a death sentence anymore and you can still accomplish great things with the right people around.”
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