Losing Weight Requires Confidence, Persistence and Support
For Dawn Medley, the key to weight loss is more than just good nutrition and plenty of exercise. It also requires confidence, persistence and friendly encouragement.
“You’re going to have setbacks,” she said. “But even though you have a setback, you’ve got to keep going.”
Medley, a support clerk in Medical Imaging, has worked at Memorial Medical Center for more than 25 years. Her motivation to lose weight began when she stepped on the scale at a doctor’s visit several years ago and discovered she weighed 250 pounds.
“I knew I needed to do something,” she said.
Her doctor referred her to the nonsurgical weight-loss program at the Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center, where staff helped her calculate her calorie intake, in addition to providing inspiration and support.
She tried to lose weight in the past, but gave up when she suffered a setback. This time, the encouragement she received from friends, family and co-workers helped her persevere.
That included a friendly weight-loss competition she started with her two sisters and her niece, which helped motivate all four of them. This year, inspired by their success, Dawn’s nephew and two brothers-in-law also joined in.
She began walking at lunchtime with a co-worker and assembled a team to participate in an employee walking challenge. According to Dawn, having support is crucial to successful weight loss.
“You don’t feel like you’re on the journey by yourself,” she said.
Moving Past the Number
At first, Dawn was fixated on the number she saw on the scale—and why it wasn’t moving. But something the staff at MWLWC told her made a big impression.
“One of the providers there told me, ‘It’s not about the number on the scale,’” she said, noting that many people who are attempting to lose weight gain muscle mass at the same time, making it appear that they’re progressing more slowly than they really are.
She advises anyone seeking to lose weight to set small, incremental goals, because focusing on the entire journey can be discouraging. It’s the little milestones that have kept her going—from being able to mow her lawn in half the time to putting on clothes that hadn’t fit in some time. She also recently gave up drinking soda, which she said has made her feel healthier.
“Each little milestone that I’ve reached made it more exciting and made me feel better,” she said.
Being kind to yourself is also crucial.
“When you look at yourself in the mirror, think of yourself as a beautiful person,” she said. She admits that hasn’t always been easy for her. But the support of caring friends has helped her keep negative thoughts at bay.
Since beginning her weight-loss journey, Dawn has more energy, and she’s seen her cholesterol levels decrease. Now, she wants to use her experience to encourage others.
“Don’t think that you can’t lose weight,” she said, “because you can.”