This is part of a series to share stories about members of Team U-Haul who have committed to make healthy lifestyle choices. Here, April Sarges, senior office clerk of U-Haul Company of Cleveland, talks about her weight-loss journey.
CLEVELAND–I’ve been with U-Haul since 2006, but I started my weight loss journey in January 2011 at a family birthday party. My mother whispered to me that she had joined Weight Watchers and was starting it the following week. I put down my chocolate cake and told her I would go with her.
She said I should think about it, but I told her, “I’ve made up my mind. I’m going!”
I had tried to lose weight off and on my whole life, but had finally just given up and started to accept that I was going to be overweight. I looked into bariatric surgery, but the risks scared me and I decided that wasn’t the answer either. I don’t know why this time was different, but I decided I would try for a month and see what happened.
One month later, I was down 25 pounds!
My co-workers started noticing the difference and that encouraged me to keep going. They were very supportive and helpful, but there were times when it was a struggle to stay on my eating plan because of the extra food that always seemed to be in the office. I have really strong willpower, but I’m so happy that they are starting to eat healthier now. Fruit and healthier snacks are becoming normal in the office!
It’s been five years, and I have lost a total of 149 pounds.
I have learned that portion control and consistency are the keys to long-term weight loss. I also track how much I eat, and stay within my daily limits. I eat a lot of fruits, vegetables and lean meat to fill up. I admit I still love Milky Way bars and Rice Krispy Treats, but I save room in my eating plan for them and I eat much smaller portions. I don’t think that I could have stuck to this for so long without finding a way to still treat myself now and then.
I have also added exercises to help keep the weight off. I now like to bike, walk, do yoga and dance. Instead of just sitting at my desk all day long, I now make sure I get up and walk around a few times a day. I got a Fitbit this past Christmas, which keeps me motivated to go for 10,000 steps a day.
I am much happier now with life and at work. I think that losing weight has helped me open up at work and become a better team member.
Of course, I will always recommend Weight Watchers, but I also believe that whatever eating plan you follow, you have to find one that works for you and that you’ll be able to stick with.
I really think that becoming healthier is a long term commitment. Never give up! Realize that you’ll have a bad day here and there and slip up, but it’s okay. Tomorrow is another day. Remember: “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
What are your go-to options for eating healthy or losing weight? Tell us about them in the comments section.