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Apr 17, 201406:56 AMOpen Mic

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DWD consultant gets working on weight loss

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Ten professionals and 10 teams are competing in the 2014 Get Fit Challenge, a spinoff of IB’s popular Fittest Executive Challenge. Who will earn the healthiest marks? Follow along on Facebook and then find out at the In Business Expo & Conference on Oct. 22. This week, IB checks in with LaShana Miller, a business service consultant with the Department of Workforce Development, who is competing in the individual challenge.

Greetings to all.

My name is LaShana Miller. I am one of the five female contestants chosen to participate in this year’s Get Fit individual challenge. I would like to thank the organizers of this competition for selecting me. The In Business Get Fit Challenge IS AN AWESOME OPPORTUNITY! With the help given during the competition, I am on my way to achieving my weight-loss goal. For a very long time I have wanted to lose weight. I have thought about it, dreamed about it, thought about it some more, and continued to dream about it. However, I have never followed through on making it a reality.

Here is my story:

I have always weighed more than I should for my height. I am 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weigh 232 pounds, with a body mass index (BMI) of 44. I started gaining weight after I began having children. With the first two children, I kept 10 pounds after each pregnancy. After giving birth to my last two children, I gained 30 pounds each time. I have no clue why I gained so much weight after pregnancy. My eating habits remained the same as they were before I became pregnant.

For a while, my weight did not bother me so much. Although I was carrying extra weight, it was in the right places and solid, and it did not seem to interrupt my daily activities. As the years passed, the extra weight began to take a toll on my body. My knees, back, and ankles started to hurt, and what used to be solid turned to flab. I began to hate the changes that I saw and felt my body going through. So 12 years ago I decided to do something about it.

For the past 12 years, I have been the proud owner of a gym membership, so one would think I would be in great shape. Nope. I have visited the gym maybe 60 times over a 12-year period — such a waste of money. I have purchased numerous weight-loss products. I modified my diet, only eating fruits and vegetables. It worked a little, and I lost 20 pounds in 30 days and kept it off. However, that was not realistic, sustainable, or healthy.

Now I’m tackling my weight issue once again, but this time I aim to win. I want to live, and as I reflect on my family history, I realize that obesity is a disease that has plagued my family for a long time. My aunt recently died as a result of obesity-related health problems. She was not the first. High blood pressure, arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease have decreased the quality of life for the young and old in my family, and I want to break the cycle.

My youngest child is 12 and overweight. I am afraid that he will develop obesity-related health issues if I do not find a way to motivate him to eat less and move more. Oftentimes when I talk with my son about his weight, he replies, “Momma you cannot talk, you are overweight too.” He is right.

I joined this challenge for several reasons:

  • I want to inspire my family and friends to fight obesity.
  • I want to live a long, healthy life.
  • I want to learn exercise techniques that I can continue to use after the challenge.
  • I have a chance to work with a personal trainer.
  • I want to condition my body to working out on a regular basis.
  • Last but not least, I want to wear a red, fitted wrap dress.

My fitness goals are:

  • To reduce my BMI to a healthy level.
  • To lose 75 to 80 pounds over time and keep it off.
  • To incorporate fitness into my daily routine.
  • To gain strength.

(Continued)

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