SHREVEPORT, La. – It’s never too late to lose weight.
Shreveport local Vivan Andrews is a living embodiment of that mantra.
“I’ve been overweight all of my life,” she explained. “I’ve lost 100 pounds and then I would gain it all back.”
It wasn’t until retirement that she started losing and keeping the weight off.
“Just prior to retirement I decided that I wanted to lose weight for the last time.”
At 335 pounds, she made some difficult changes by watching what she ate and becoming much more active.
“To do that, you’ve got to make your mind up,” Andrews said. “That’s the key. I mean, regardless of what you do or how you do it….you have to make a decision that this is what I’m going to do and if you do that and really make your mind up then no one or nothing can stop you.”
More than two years ago, she made a pact with herself.: 1,000 days of change.
She started by getting moving.
“I’ve always exercised, but it wasn’t consistent. And, you’ve got to be consistent in what you do and moving doesn’t always mean going to the gym. Today, I’ve walked five miles already,” she said.
In terms of watching she ate, she encourages “people when they first start, don’t change your lifestyle. Just record what you’re doing,” she suggests. “Eat whatever you’d normally eat. Record it, write it down, your portions and all that… and then at the end of the week, see how much you ate. [Then, make changes from there.] But, don’t try to change everything all at one time.”
With the help of a fitness watch and a meal recording app, she started making those small changes determined to make it a lifestyle.
Today, she’s more than 900 days in and about 140 pounds down.
“I feel so much better than I ever have in my life,” Andrews exclaimed.
Along the way, she found the help of a weight loss program TOPS: Take Off Pounds Sensibly
“[With TOPS] you focus on taking care of you and if you make your mind up to take care of you, then all those tools that are available to you… it provides you the tools you need to change that lifestyle, she explained.
The oldest program of its kind, TOPS was founded in 1948.
Now, almost 70 years later, it’s helping this wife and mother… retired after almost four decades in the workforce… to enrich her mind, body and soul.
Vivian now heads nine local TOPS chapters.
For more information on TOPS, visit: www.tops.org
Mind, Body, Soul Monday: Vivian Andrews’ inspirational