Local News

Cary Woman Takes Old-Fashioned Approach To Weight Loss

Posted July 26, 2006

— Many people who are more than 100 pounds overweight and have weight-related medical problems like heart disease and diabetes turn to bariatric surgery to aid weight loss. A Cary woman is proof that, with the right help and a solid commitment, losing weight by increasing activity and cutting calories can work.

Laura and Glen Turk promised to love each other through thick and thin. They have plenty of pictures of their thick, overweight years. Now, they are enjoying a thinner life together.

"My highest weight was about 295 (pounds)," Laura Turk said.

Over three years, she's lost 177 pounds.

"The last 10 to 15 pounds I'm struggling with," she said.

"When she had her decision to start losing weight, I was along for the ride," said Glen Turk.

Glen lost 50 pounds. The couple said it fed off of the same unhealthy habits.

"Dairy Queen Blizzards -- we would have those at night," Laura Turk said.

"Too much fast food and eating on the run," Glen Turk said.

Now, the Turks share the same healthy habits like eating more food prepared at home.

"We sort of tag team. I plan the meals and Glen executes," Laura said.

"She's good at figuring out what to eat and I'll go make it," Glen said.

Laura's quest began with a Rex Healthcare program called Rex Weigh. Registered dietician Natalie Newell helped Laura begin a food and exercise journal.

"We also had her track her hunger level, so if she wrote something down and she's not physically hungry. We had a scale. She knew she shouldn't be eating it," Newell said.

The program opened Laura's eyes and gave her clear direction.

"My keys were exercise, portion control and a lot of water and that was the key," Laura said.

Fast food was out while high fiber, fruits and vegetables were in. Laura also engaged in a more active lifestyle. She said she started exercising at least four to five times a week. Her exercise includes regular aerobics classes and heart-thumping routines on video at home.

Newell considers Laura and Glen Turk her star students.

"They are an inspiration. I tell them that story over and over, especially to a lot of my patients that feel like, 'I'll never lose the weight,'" she said. "When I tell that story, they say, 'Oh wow, I can do that.'"

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