Wellness Inspiration - A Living Well Success Story

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Wellness Wise

Delo Gates

UT Southwestern Medical Center

1) What health behavior did you change?

Weight loss of 130+ pounds.

2) Why did you decide to make this change?

I have been overweight for most of my life. I didn't have a "high school" skinny.  My highest weight was over 350 lbs.The major reason I decided to make the change is because I hated feeling tired and out of breath all the time, not being able to fasten the seat belt in most cars and a whole list of other reasons. Another reason is when I began my journey, I worked for the YMCA and had just taken a director role supervising membership department. I felt that it was important to not only believe in what I was selling but to live a lifestyle of health and fitness since I was responsible for encouraging staff and members to do the same.                                                                                         

3) How did you accomplish your success?

I have accomplished my success so far by maintaining a low carb lifestyle of eating and exercising on a regular basis. After losing a significant amount of weight, I also became certified as a water fitness and group cycling instructor to inspire others to achieve their health and fitness goals. I currently teach 5 group exercise classes per week and am working hard to get down to my goal weight.

4) How did UT System Living Well or your Institution’s resources and tools help you?

UTSW has made a wide variety of resources available through our intranet including a map of walking trails around campus, videos, recipes and tips to help me.

5) What goals and obstacles did you have?

My goal is to lose about 60 more pounds. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about 6 years ago.This has put some challenges on my efforts in losing weight but I believe with God all things are possible. With this pit bull tenacity that I have, I will achieve this goal.

6) Who supported you during this experience?

My major support was God, my friends and family, co-workers as well participants in my exercise classes.

7) What advice do you have for others who want to make this change?

I advise people to enjoy what you do when you exercise. This will help you stick with it. Also, some people don't agree with this but I believe people are most successful when the exercise away from home and around other people. Whether you join a gym, go to dance classes, walk at the park with friends, whatever you do, do it away from home. There are far too many distractions at home. And exercising with someone will hold you more accountable.

Have a success story of your own? Please share it with us and you could be featured in an upcoming newsletter.