Good News for the New Year!

Good News for the New Year!

The clock ticks toward the New Year.  It might be time for a health resolution and it makes some sense to look at success stories. Perhaps you will be motivated in resolution by the successes of others, especially if you want to lose weight.  

Motivation to lose weight

I do love success stories. I hear them locally on almost a daily basis. There were two such stories in the November 28, 2019 issue of the The DeQueen Bee in DeQueen, Arkansas. The DeQueen  Bee is one of four papers published by the Mena Star. My articles are published not only in the Montgomery County News but in those papers as well. So I do follow them.

It is very common for success stories to revolve around losing weight. Frequently the doctors, researchers, and “citizen scientists” I follow got started on the path to their field of expertise through struggles to lose weight.

If you were to overcome an autoimmune disease like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis nobody might know but you. But when a lot of weight gets lost, everyone around you seems to notice. So you won’t be surprised that these two stories began with a desire to lose weight. 

I have not talked to these two people and am only reporting what I read in the paper. And I made up names for sake of anonymity — which may be unimportant since their names and stores were in the newspaper. But anyway that’s my disclaimer.

Two success stories with much in common

Their stories have much in common. Augusta and Cathy had been overweight their whole life and decided at some point that they were tired of being fat and tired. Both have a support system, either a husband who is on the same weight loss path as they or a husband/mom who is positive reinforcement all the way.

The support system thing goes further. Each had a connection to a gym, connections that happened in totally different ways. Someone at each gym is committed to encouraging and helping them individually. Therefore Cathy and Augusta have stuck consistently with a workout regimen. Both immediately changed their diet but initially in different ways.  

Cathy first did plain old calorie counting, reducing her calories by almost half, too many of which, according to the article, were consumed at a fast food restaurant. Calorie counting can certainly work for some people but adherence for life is tough for a variety of reasons. So I applaud her dedication. Augusta and her husband, on the other hand, adopted a “keto” diet, low carbohydrate and higher fat, from the beginning.

In time Cathy transitioned to what is described as “a lot of protein from fish and chicken, vegetables” and no sugar. This is actually a good basis for a proper “keto” diet although that word was not used.


Cathy has lost fifty pound and is within five pounds of her goal. Augusta has lost 84 pounds and has 30 more to go. Beyond her a variety of meat and vegetables, she avoids high carb vegetables including potatoes of any kind.

Their advice to others? “You have to make a lifestyle change and be willing to put in the work”. “Just stick to it.”

It is important to understand that the great value Cathy and Augusta experienced from exercise was not the weight loss. In a previous article I reported the message of a personal trainer. “You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet.” So if your personal situation precludes committing to the level of exercise activity experienced by these women, don’t abandon hope. Diet is primary.

These two stories started with just wanting to lose weight and ended (as Augusta describes) “a different person.” This too could be you.