Veolia Gibson, 54: From 400 pounds to 138 pounds
• Former weight: 400 pounds
• Current weight: 138 pounds
• Pounds lost: 262 pounds
• Height: 5 feet 8
• How long she’s kept it off: 20 months. Started November 2004 and met her goal November 2006.
• Personal life: “I live in Dunwoody. I now tell my weight loss story to others in hopes of inspiring others to take better care of themselves,” says Gibson.
• Turning point: For roughly 30 years, Gibson was busy working a desk job and focused on taking care of her children. She was physically inactive. Over time, she went from 150 pounds to 400 pounds. Her turning point came when she realized, “You get to eat every day of your life, so you don’t have to eat it all at once.” She decided to start walking, so she bought herself two pairs of sneakers so she could alternate her shoes. “I started walking almost daily — the weight really started to come off. It worked because I didn’t focus on losing 262 pounds all at once. I just focused on being healthy and walking.”
• Diet plan: “I eat something every three hours,” she says. “In between meals, I snack on bulk nuts — Brazil nuts, almonds and walnuts. I also eat a lot of edamame, mostly dry-roasted ones as a salty snack. My diet is high in veggies and protein, low in sodium, otherwise well-balanced. I make sure I eat from all the food groups.”
• Exercise routine: “I walk at least six days per week,” she says. “I love power walking.”
• Biggest challenge: ” I am very focused and driven,” she says. “Once I achieve my goal, I sometimes stop doing what I did to get there — especially during vacations and holidays — but I get right back at it and in a week I’m back in my skinny-minny clothes. It feels so good to have figured out how to live well and look good doing it.”
• How life has changed: “I have so much energy and my stamina is incredible for a 54-year-old,” she says. “And to me, the best part is that I did it all by myself without spending money, having surgery, taking pills or trying the latest diet fad.” She’s gone from a size 32 to a size 2, and was recently featured on the “Today” show. “I now share my experience with others via inspirational and motivational speaking. Others can reach me by visiting my Web site at www.vrightway.com.”
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