Four years ago, Diane Naylor moved from Fresno to Oakhurst, California and was looking forward to discovering a new area. Now, now 63-year-old woman recalls that moving wasn’t an easy experience for her, as she didn’t want to go outside at all.
Even though she always wanted to enjoy the warmer climate and beautiful landscapes, the woman weighed more than 400 pounds and she lost all will to be active and do the things she wanted to try.
“I felt miserable and depressed because of my weight,” Diane said to TODAY. “I wasn’t active at all and I couldn’t do all of the things I wanted to.”
Before, she tried all kinds of diet, but, unfortunately none of them seemed to work out for her. One day, she was watching an episode of one of her favorite television shows, “Castle.” While watching the show, a certain dialogue from the crime series inspired her to change her life for the better.
“One of the medical examiners was telling the lead actress she should follow her dreams,” she recalls. “He pointed to the corpses and said, ‘All those people had dreams, but their time ran out, so don’t let that happen to you.’ It was like a light bulb went off — I had a lot of dreams, too, and I wanted to accomplish them.”
Immediately, the very next day, Diane started her new journey to a healthier lifestyle. She managed to lose a whopping 225 pounds, which is more than half her weight before she started. Diane now reveals the seven simple tricks that helped her achieve this amazing result.
Don’t procrastinate, do it now!
There’s really no point in procrastinating, just start living your healthier lifestyle right now.
“Don’t put it off,” she said. “No one gets any younger, and the younger you are, the easier it is. I started at 59, which proves anyone can do it. Why start six months from now? Start today!”
Find some support and join a community
On her own, she had already lost around 50 pounds, but she also wanted to have some moral support. She joined Taking Off Pounds Sensibly, TOPS. There are weekly meetings and tons of encouragement from others which greatly helped her to stay motivated.
“The Monday meetings help me keep myself in check during the weekends, when I’d be most likely to cheat,” she says. “If you don’t have access to a similar group — start one yourself! Find similar-minded people who will understand and support you.”
One meal at a time
Living a healthy lifestyle is a constant process, and consistency is key in order to see results.
“Candy, popcorn and ice cream are all still temptations for me. Staying healthy is a constant, everyday decision,” Diane said. Sure, that can feel overwhelming, but she suggests looking at it as just one decision, one meal at a time, and stresses that you need to be consistent.
Try new food
It certainly can’t hurt to try out new dishes and add a little variety to your nutrition. Besides, you might even discover a new favorite dish!
“I learned how to eat fish. I didn’t care for it before, but I bought an air fryer which helped me cook it without the grease and I actually like the way it tastes,” she told.
Small changes matter too
It certainly can’t hurt to start with making smaller changes, which will gradually evolve. Diane recalls that walking to her mailbox proved to be a challenge for her, but she persevered and walked up and down her driveway. She also mentions that she would often lose her balance, but that didn’t stop her from continuing to exercise.
She gradually started to exercise a bit more, after she lost a bit of weight. She started taking long walks in the neighborhood and started riding her bicycle. Initially, it was just baby steps, but now Diane always hits her 10,000 steps per day. Long bicycle trips also aren’t an issue anymore for Diane. The small changes can be the most important ones.
Don’t go on a “diet”
Diane has negative experiences with diets, stating that she’d always regain the weight that she lost. She has tried everything, including programs from Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. She didn’t see it as just another “diet”, she approached her weight loss plans as a gradual change of her lifestyle. Instead of sticking to a specific plan, figuring out what works for you usually is the best option.
Never give up
Weight loss journeys are always met with ups and downs, and it wasn’t any different for Diane. It’s important to stick with it and never give up.
“It might take six or eight weeks for the scale to move, but during that time, you’ll see the inches coming off of your body,” she assured.