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Health Team

Weight loss done best the 'old-fashioned way'

Posted July 10, 2009 12:53 p.m. EDT
Updated July 10, 2009 7:04 p.m. EDT

— 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.

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.