HEALTHY LIVNG: A karate kid inspires weight lossRobin McKay of South Range, Wis., believes she has gained and lost her entire body weight during her lifelong struggle to get to a healthy weight.
Robin McKay of South Range, Wis., believes she has gained and lost her entire body weight during her lifelong struggle to get to a healthy weight.
She reached an all-time high last summer at about the time she watched her 12-year-old niece test for her black belt in karate, sparring against grown men.
“Watching her set and accomplish such a huge goal inspired me like nothing ever had,” McKay says. “I wanted to be physically fit and strong like she is.”
In July 2009, McKay, 43, started a program of diet and exercise to lose 80 pounds. She has lost 47 so far. Although she has used the Jenny Craig program – which includes a weekly weigh-in, counseling, exercise
seven days a week and eating Jenny Craig meals and snacks six times a day – there are other ways that work, too.
McKay is not resting on her laurels, though. She is determined to take off another 33 pounds.
“Motivation is the key to success,” says Dr. James Donovan, director of St. Luke’s Medical Weight Loss Program. “It’s got to come from within.”
People who successfully lose weight go through several stages, he said, beginning with thinking about it and saying they can’t do it – but then saying they might. Then they prepare, and when they’re ready,
they take action.
The final step is maintaining new habits, and that may be most difficult of all. “To have it become permanent, it takes one or two years,” Donovan says. If you’re able to keep the weight off for two years, you have an 85 percent chance of long-term success, he says.
Weight loss has only one formula: burn more calories than you take in. That can be done in two ways, Donovan says. The difficult way is to exercise more, but it takes 90 minutes a day with an increased heart
rate before most people can start losing. The other way is to take in fewer (but nutritious) calories than you expend.
It can be done alone, on a weight-loss program or by weight-loss surgery. “They all work,” Donovan says.
Watch for more on McKay’s weight-loss journey
in the March-April issue of Living North.