Local News

Woman Sticks To Weight Loss Commitment

Posted January 13, 2006

— January is the time of year many people commit to lose weight and get fit, but the gyms are not as full by the time summer arrives. Healthy eating and exercise habits can be tough to stick to, but one woman was able to do it with positive results.

There was a time Jennifer Gaddis was not too proud of how she looked.

"I've struggled with my weight all my life. I'm one of those emotional eaters. If I'm happy or sad, I turn to food," she said.

Now, times have changed for her.

"I have lost a lot of weight. I lost over 100 pounds, 105 to be exact," she said.

For years, she tried diets. Nothing worked until a year and a half ago. With nutrition and fitness programs at the UNC Wellness Center, her lifestyle changed.

"I just basically got moving and really watch what I eat," Gaddis said.

Gaddis said she walks an hour every day. Four to six days a week, she is in the gym with a complete exercise program.

"Every exercise program should be made up of a cardiovascular workout program, a strength training workout program and a stretching workout program," said Jamy Albo McGee, of the UNC Wellness Center.

With any weight loss program, exercise is key, but you will not lose a significant amount of weight with exercise alone. You have got to cut calories. Gaddis didn't diet. She said no food is off limits, though she will not keep sweets in the house.

"I really specifically focus on trying to eat more fruits and vegetables as much as possible, even vegetables more so," she said.

Gaddis eats lean protein and drinks lots of water. She never thought she would be in a story like this.

"You see people that have lost a lot of weight and you just don't think it can happen to you, but I think I can be a testament that, yes, it can happen, if you make that decision for yourself and make those choices," Gaddis said.

Gaddis made her lifestyle change before poor health forced her to do so. She knew she had a family history of heart disease. Her father died of a heart attack at age 58.


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