As a supervisor for a hospital cafeteria, Loralie makes
sure that the cafeteria has plenty of healthy choices. But until recently, she
didn’t take advantage of the healthy choices for her own meals.
Loralie’s eating habits had caused her to gain weight, and her blood
pressure was high. “I had given up, just given up,” she says. “In fact, I had
reached a point at my life where I figured, ‘I’m in my 50s. This is just who I
am. This is where I’m going to be.’ And so I had accepted it.”
says all that changed after she ended up in the emergency room several times
with very high blood pressure. “I just was going to have to take some drastic
steps,” she recalls, “I was getting scared, just getting scared at how I felt.”
That led her to change her eating habits to get to a healthy
weight and lower her blood pressure. She lost more than 40 pounds, and her
blood pressure is now under control.
Making gradual changes
Even though Loralie was
motivated to change her eating habits, the changes didn’t happen overnight.
“I’ve made some gradual changes. I did one or two things at a time.”
The first change she made was to start drinking water instead of diet
soda. Next, Loralie says, “I started trying to eat a little bit for breakfast.
That was a fairly simple change to make.”
Loralie found that each
change she made motivated her to make another. “I think that, anytime, even if
you just make little changes, the benefits spur you on to do more. You don’t
start out trying to change your whole life.”
Fitting all foods into her healthy eating plan
Although she wanted to eat healthier, Loralie knew that she did not want
to go on a diet. “One of the things that makes you resent healthy eating is
depriving yourself of things that are tasty and yummy.”
feeling deprived, Loralie still eats her favorite foods, including chocolate.
But now she eats smaller portions. She has found that she doesn’t have to have
a large serving to feel satisfied. “Just to have a bite of dark chocolate makes
Loralie has also learned to pay more attention to
portion sizes when she goes out to eat. In the past, she would finish
everything she ordered. But now, “I always take home at least half of my meal.”
Having support makes a difference
motivation and support in watching her son and several of her coworkers change
their eating habits. She says that seeing other people succeed helped convince
her that she could do it too. “It does help to have partners and buddies that
are going through this.”
She encourages others to keep trying,
even if they’ve struggled before. “I think that it’s never too late.”
Loralie’s story reflects her experiences as told in an interview. The photograph is not of Loralie, to protect her privacy.