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Weight Loss Success: Portion Size, Exercise Schedule Helps Raleigh Woman Shed Unwanted Pounds

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Most people do not want to admit it, but just about everyone has tried to lose weight at least once.Over the next few weeks, WRAL's Health Team is profiling people who have lost weight -- and shows how they are keeping it off.

If you see Laura Wickwar walking or running along Raleigh's Capital Greenway, just try to keep up!Wickwar is fit, healthy and happy -- but she was not always this way.

Two years ago, Wickwar weighed more than 230 pounds. WRAL's Health Team first met her a year ago, when she was featured in a story about weight loss.

Wickwar said seeing herself on TV made her realize how she really looked.

"I think sometimes you stop looking at yourself and you don't realize how heavy you've let yourself get," Wickwar said.

So she got serious about losing weight.

"I knew that I would feel better, but I wanted to look better too," she said. "I went from 230 to 165 pounds."

Wickwar said she lost 65 pounds over two years.How did she do it? First, Wickwar controlled her portion sizes.

"If I were to give myself 8 ounces of meat, instead I gave myself 4 ounces of meat. I just did that meal by meal," she said.

Wickwar switched from diet soda to water.

"I think it made me full and that was part of stopping me from snacking," she said.

Wickwar is also active in a low-cost weight loss support group called Taking Off Pounds Sensibly (


).She said she depends on daily meetings, weigh-ins, and online chats with others trying to lose weight.

"You just get 24/7 support," she said.

Perhaps her best tip is that she schedules her exercise.Wickwar writes down exercise appointments on her calendar, alongside scheduled doctor visits and Girl Scout meetings. She says that was the key to her sucess.

"I could walk around all day long in my exercise clothes and not go to the gym. But if I had a set time on that calendar, I'll go," said Wickwar, who also keeps a scrapbook of all her milestones.

The latest milestone is training for a 5K breast cancer run.

"This is new territory for me at a lighter weight," Wickwar said.

Her goal is to get her fastest time yet. It is just one more accomplishment for a woman who has already achieved so much.

"I'm just real happy that I lost the weight, that I'm maintaining and keeping it off," she said.

Experts said Wickwar's plan of exercise and watching portion sizes is one that people are more likely to stick with.