Natasha Cummings is a 38 year-old mother of three, including twin girls Nia and Mia, and son Izayah. She works full-time as a Workforce Organizer for Making Connections Network, while also pursuing a PhD in Human Resources at the University of Louisville. To describe her as busy would be an understatement. When she decided losing weight was not only something she needed to do for herself, but also for her family, she turned to the Today’s Woman magazine “Ready to Change Your Life?” challenge. Today’s Woman paired her with the Baptist Health Floyd Weight Management Center HMR (Health Management Resources) Program and the Floyd County YMCAto help ensure her success. Here is Natasha’s story.
“As a busy working mom of three children and a graduate student, I had fallen victim to putting my family and other responsibilities before myself. The result was that over the years my weight had slowly accumulated to the point that I knew something had to be done. I had tried other programs in the past without success, but I found that HMR offered the perfect combination of support and ease-of-use. I couldn’t be happier with the results.”
Today’s Woman “Ready to Change Your Life?” Challenge Winner
I always thought that putting my family’s needs before my own was part of being a good mother and wife. My children and husband were always my first priority, and my own needs came in at a distant second. Add on the hectic schedule of a full-time job and pursuing a graduate degree, and it was a recipe for disaster. Over the years the weight slowly snowballed. I knew I needed to do something to ensure that I’d always be around for my kids and my husband, Andra, and tried several diet programs, but never had long-term success. At 5 feet 8 inches tall and 221 pounds, I was technically obese according to my body mass index (BMI). That’s when I decided to apply for the “Ready to Change Your Life?” challenge. I was thrilled when Today’s Woman selected me as one of four candidates and assigned me to work with the wonderful staff at the Baptist Health Floyd Weight Management Center HMR Program.
“It’s Impossible to Fail”
The challenge was three months long, beginning in November. You know a program is good when it can get you through the three biggest eating holidays of the year, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, and you still lose weight and stay on track. That’s exactly what HMR did for me. I found that once you make your mind up that you’re willing to commit yourself to losing weight, it’s impossible to fail on HMR. The Program provides you with constant support, food that’s not only great tasting but easy to prepare, and regular monitoring to keep you on track.
The HMR foods were easy to stick with and delicious. They worked well for me because they’re pre-packaged and don’t require refrigeration, so I could keep them with me wherever I went and always have healthy options at hand. I even took my HMR dinners to restaurants and events so I could avoid temptation, but still participate in the outings.
I worked with my educator, Whitney, who I reported to each week. She gave me advice, recipe ideas, made sure that I was staying on track with my meal and exercise plans, and was just my all-around cheerleader. It forced me to be accountable for my actions. My personal trainer at the YMCA-New Albany, Merchelle, was also a huge help. You don’t realize how critical a good support system is until you’re lucky enough to work with one.
Success at Last
By the end of the three months, I was a changed woman. I lost 35 pounds and 13 inches-the most weight loss of all four candidates in the challenge! I’ve learned how to avoid temptation, control my portion sizes, commit to exercise and be accountable through regular weigh-ins. I’ve even kept my old HMR food trays to use as measuring guides for appropriate portion sizes. HMR truly taught me how to fit weight loss into my busy lifestyle in a way that I could continue longterm. And now, with the extra pounds gone, I’ve got the confidence to do anything!
The Baptist Health Floyd Weight Management Center offers surgical and non-surgical weight loss options to fit a wide variety of needs. To find out more or sign up for a free seminar, call 812-949-7151 or visit us online at www.baptisthealthfloyd.com/weightloss