72-year-old Jean Ivey, PhD, PNP-PC, FAANP, has accomplished what many people dream about: She has maintained a healthy weight for over 15 years.
Her motivation came from carrying her grandchildren, who were babies at the time, up a few flights of stairs to her home. She could barely do it without becoming exhausted.
“I thought, ‘If this makes me tired — carrying one little baby up the stairs, I’ve got to do something to get going,’” says Jean.
It’s taken a steadfast dedication to an active lifestyle, plus major success from the well-known Weight Watchers® program, to get where she is today. Jean says she owes her 30-pound weight loss, her ability to maintain the new weight, and her current healthy lifestyle to structure.
“Having the structure of being able to log food, re-evaluate, and notice when I’ve done well and could do better is what made Weight Watchers successful for me,” says Jean.
Weight Watchers’ online component was perfect for Jean because of her busy nursing profession. It was convenient for her lifestyle and kept her on track.
An Ideal Balance Between Diet and Exercise
Have you heard of the 80/20 rule when it comes to weight loss? Experts say 80% of weight loss comes from a healthy diet, and the other 20% is from exercise. While this exact ratio may vary from person to person, a healthy balance between the two is essential.
That balance works — Jean’s healthy weight loss and lifestyle are proof. Not only did changing her diet through Weight Watchers aid in her 30-pound weight loss, but exercise helped, too. Jean dedicated herself to exercising at least two to three times per week, and continues that cadence 15 years later.
Her favorite exercises include swimming/water aerobics, cycling, walking on the treadmill, or lifting weights.
Even though Jean has maintained a healthy weight and lifestyle all of these years, that doesn’t mean she hasn’t faced challenges.
“Long hours working as a nurse is a huge challenge because it leaves very little time for anything else, like fixing healthy meals or hitting the gym,” says Jean.
Jean offers some advice to nurses facing this issue:
- Find a support group, whether it’s a Weight Watchers group at your place of work, or another friend who can cheer you on.
- Talk about it with your loved ones. It helps to be honest with yourself and other people about your lifestyle changes.
- Value yourself enough to pay attention to what you’re eating and the way you’re spending your time. Have a sense of “I’m important and what I need is important.”
Jean Ivey, PhD, PNP-PC, FAANP, is an adjunct nursing professor at the University of Texas at Arlington.
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