Life-Changing with LifeVest: One Woman’s Mission to Lose 100 PoundsPosted: September 19, 2014
Her goal: To lose 100 pounds by her 50th birthday next year
Four years ago, Rene Worthey experienced a wake-up call. Her mother, who had suffered from heart disease and obesity, passed away, which left Rene thinking about her own health, especially in relation to her two children.
“Those last few months with my mom, they were very difficult,” she says. “I didn’t want to put my kids through that. There were a lot of things that I had to do for my mom that no mother wants their kid to have to do for them.”
At the time, Rene was dealing with weight issues of her own as she slowly watched the scale go up and her energy go down. Rene contributes much of this to her diet, which prior to LifeVest, Rene says was 90% composed of meals from fast food restaurants. Like many busy individuals, she loathed cooking and so she let her stove sit idle and placed her health on its back burner.
“It’s very easy, quick and cheap to get stuff you don’t need, and because of that you really have to plan ahead,” says Rene, who now prepares most of her meals at home. Down 30 pounds in just eight months, she’s on a mission to turn her health around, and with it, she’s turning her life around, too.
Since starting the LifeVest program, Rene set out with a goal to lose 100 pounds, and is driven to hit that target by her 50th birthday next year. She plans to celebrate with what became a challenging activity in recent years, amusement park rides, and says with a smile, “My hope is that when I hit 50, there’s going to be a whole new me. I’m really looking forward to being a super fine, good-looking, healthy 50-year-old.”
With her positive attitude and healthy enthusiasm for spinach, here at LifeVest, we have no doubt she’ll be able to achieve that goal.
Former Lifestyle: Less than a year ago, Rene was on a cycle she knew she had to break. She ate fast food two to three times per day, often skipping or limiting breakfast, and consuming a substantial amount of her calories late at night. “Eating that heavy, heavy food and then not having any breakfast in the morning, it’s just not good,” she says.
The Change: “The more planning that goes into your eating and the more stuff you prepare yourself, the more successful you’re going to be,” says Rene. “And that was a big, big, big step for me because I absolutely hate to cook.” Although still not an avid fan of simmering and slicing in the kitchen, Rene knows preparing meals from home is important. She utilizes weekends to make meals that she can pull out from the fridge all week, and is also always on the lookout for healthy choices that require no cooking at all, such as sandwiches with whole grain bread and leafy spinach. “It’s really been slow and step-by-step – talking to different people about what they like and eat, and trying new vegetables and foods, like quinoa,” says Rene, giving way to a laugh. “I’m still not sure I really like quinoa.”
Best Part about Getting Healthier with LV: “You feel better about yourself when you see the weight coming off,” she says. Rene says she now has more energy and less pain than ever before, but her absolute favorite part of the whole process has been simply the satisfaction of watching her numbers go down. “That’s one of the things I like most about LifeVest – watching the graphs go down, down, down,” she explains. “I always want to keep the downward movement, so it’s a reminder to refer to those charts so I eat what I’m supposed to eat.”
On Overcoming Those “Struggle Days”: For Rene, getting people involved has been an invaluable part of the experience. “The more people who know what you’re trying to do when you want to fall off track – and likely you still will sometimes – will be there to say, ‘Hey, I know it’s hard but you can do it’.” Rene says that even when you know you shouldn’t eat this or that, it’s good to have somebody else to say it to you. She also explains, “With weight issues, it’s especially helpful to have people involved because of the shame and depression that comes with it.” The initial challenge to come out of your comfort zone and share your story, she says, is worth it and will make the whole experience significantly easier. “Between my family and coworkers, I don’t think I would’ve been able to do as well without allowing others to come in. Once you get past that uneasy feeling, it’s really isn’t as hard as you thought.”
Go-to Healthy Foods: “I love spinach and I probably didn’t before,” she says. “Anytime I can add it to anything, I try to do so.” You’ll find Rene tossing it into her fruit smoothies, morning scramble, and lunchtime salads. “It’s is a great alternative to your plain old lettuce since it feels like you’re eating something different and bigger with the leafy greens,” she says. Rene also loves nuts, using them as an alternative to potato chips and also adding them to dishes like oatmeal. “You have to be careful how much you eat, but they offer that crunch you’d get from other snack foods,” she says.
Advice for Others Who Dislike Cooking: Always keep a handful of nutritious ingredients and options on hand so you don’t end up grabbing something unhealthy. Also, reach out to friends. “I found that I have a lot of friends who like to cook, and that they’re also on a healthy journey,” says Rene. “They’ll make something I hadn’t ever thought of, and I’ll think it looks really good, and want to recreate it. And if your friends love to cook, let them cook for you!
Tips to Stay Fit: “I love to dance. It doesn’t feel like a chore,” says Rene, who frequently engages in line dancing with a group of other women. “It’s helpful to find an activity that you love to do and do it a lot,” she advises.
“A-ha” Moments During LV Journey: “For me, there were a lot of things I felt really uncomfortable with at first or thought were going to be hard, such as walking ten minutes or taking the stairs,” says Rene. “Once you just do it though, you realize most things really aren’t that big of a deal, don’t take that much time, and aren’t even all that difficult.” Rene’s other major ‘a-ha’ moment? “When I realized, life is not about trying to do everything on your own.”
Top Words of Advice: “Learn to open up, and get over the shame, the fear, the embarrassment, and you see a lot of people are having the same issues as you, and they can relate to you, and they have ways they can help you. So often, those people want to help. I don’t care how scary it is, when it comes to your weight and your health, just do it. It’ll be painful for a minute but the joy will be long-lasting.”
Wise words of advice. From the bottom of our LifeVest heart, thank you Rene for allowing us into your life, and also for sharing your story with us. You are a huge inspiration to us all. We can’t wait to see your journey towards health continue to progress!