Health Team

Weight loss done best the 'old-fashioned way'

Posted July 10, 2009

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— A Raleigh woman eschewed diet plans, pills and weight loss surgery – and lost more than 100 pounds through what she called "the old-fashioned way."

Until about five years go, Tammy Lynette Jackson felt she couldn't escape the same weight-related problems as many others in her family.

"My family has a really high incidence of cardiovascular disease and adult-onset diabetes," she said.

Then, Jackson weighed 265 pounds. Now, she weighs 135 pounds. Her cholesterol's also down from 245 to 130.

Weight loss done best the 'old-fashioned way' Woman loses weight with diet, exercise

Her secret?

"Just the good, old-fashioned way, with exercise and just dieting," Jackson said.

Jackson began an exercise program at WakeMed's Health Park. For 30 minutes to an hour, five days a week, she did a combination of aerobic and strength training.

She didn't follow a diet but ate sensibly, using the U.S. Department of Agriculture's food pyramid as a guide.

"I eat more baked and broiled. I try to stay off the fried foods. Very rarely do I indulge in, like, a fast food," Jackson said. "I eat more fruits and vegetables, low fat and actually do a whole lot of whole wheat pastas and cereals and whole wheat breads. And I've left off the sugary drinks whatsoever – no sodas, no sweet tea."

Jackson wanted a long-term lifestyle change, not a quick fix. Five years later, she's exactly half the woman she used to be.

"It was very slow, but I feel like that's the best way, and I've kept it off for a long while now," she said.

"Tammy has, you know, really stuck with it," said Chrissie Bloomer, a fitness specialist at WakeMed. "Dedication is what makes a big difference in the long-term goal."

Jackson said she's confident she won't fall back into her old lifestyle.

"All I have to do is look at a picture of myself, and I know that I'm not going to," she said.


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  • scientistjo Jul 14, 2009

    Yes, the "put down the fork!" method will always work.

  • mkcollins Jul 14, 2009

    This is great to see. I just started following the food pyramid a few weeks ago and i am actually eating more food and losing weight. fabulous.

  • BeActive Jul 14, 2009

    Be Active North Carolina congratulates you on your huge accomplishment in adopting a lifestyle change! Good health really is all about being active! Get Moving and Be Active!

  • GWALLY Jul 13, 2009

    I did the same thing 8 years ago.....never spent a dime on a diet or pills....just used common sense and dropped 90 lbs...and kept it off!!! I just laugh when I see these "send me your money diet" cures on tv.........!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • merrywidow Jul 13, 2009

    This is so great for her, congratulations! Pills and diets are not going to do it, it takes getting off your duff and exercising and eating the right foods in the right quantities. And drinking a lot of water. It's that simple!

  • dlawhorn Jul 13, 2009

    This was a great story. I know her and I am proud to know someone with so much determination.

  • Malcontent Jul 13, 2009

    I'll eat more veggies and more baked stuff, but, I ain't giving up my SWEET TEA!

  • Phrostbite Jul 13, 2009

    great story, really encouraging for others trying to make the change. I made a real lifestyle change 2 yrs ago & have lost 70lbs, 60lbs to go until my goal weight.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jul 13, 2009

    Great for her. There are so many diet plans/miracles advertised. And so many exercise machines and devices advertised. Its a huge market. The problem is everyone expects them to be easy. And after they lose some weight, they gain it back as soon as they stop their program.

    The only way to lose weight and keep it off is to PERMANENTLY change your lifestyle. When you start something, you have to accept that whatever you start, it is permanent, not a quick fix.

  • lillann15 Jul 13, 2009

    Good for you! I may need you to be my motivation...