How long she’s kept it off: She started in January 2009 and has maintained her current weight for six months.
Personal life: “My husband, Charles, and I live in Dallas,” Hickman said. “We have three children, Nicole, Memory and Chris, and three wonderful grandchildren, Joseph, Nia and Madison. I love working for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in my position as manager of physician data systems in the medical staff office.”
Turning point: “I attended the  presidential inauguration with my daughter, Nicole,” she said. “On a day of freezing temperatures and miles of walking, I found myself gasping for air as I was not physically up for the challenge. At one point, I looked over at Nicole and saw tears and fear in her eyes as if I was dying in front of her. I knew that day my life had to change. I returned to Atlanta and began my weight loss journey. One of the tools I use in my journey is a program called Strong4Life, provided by my employer, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The program is an employee wellness initiative designed to help employees interested in improving their health.”
Diet plan: Breakfast is a whey protein drink followed by a boiled egg or protein bar. Lunch is lean meat with cottage cheese and an afternoon snack of nuts or a protein bar. Dinner is lean meat with a vegetable and a baked potato.
Exercise routine: She walks, aiming for 10,000 steps per day. She does strength training two times per week in the evening. On Sundays, she hikes.
Biggest challenge: “My biggest challenge was learning how to make time for exercise,” she said. “I had to learn that it was OK to say no to others and to put myself first. I learned to care enough about myself to stop putting everyone and everything else before me.”
How life has changed: “I have found myself again and I like me,” she said. “Exercise is the norm instead of the abnormal. I enjoy the outdoors and love hiking. My husband, Charles, has started hiking with me on Sundays and it’s a great time to connect and talk.”
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