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What will losing 35 pounds do for you? Ask Barbara Jackson

Barbara Jackson has struggled with her weight for a very long time to the point where she had to do something about it or face the inevitable. She had no energy and the weight had weakened her knees.

Barbara Jackson has struggled with her weight for a very long time to the point where she had to do something about it or face the inevitable. She had no energy and the weight had weakened her knees. Thoughts that came to her in February after the death of her mother convinced her to choose living over just surviving.

“I’d been my mother’s caretaker since she suffered a stroke. So I wasn’t eating right. I had bad eating habits and a bad schedule. So when my mother passed, I went back to work,” said Jackson, who immediately joined a weight-loss challenge on her job at Memphis and Shelby County Juvenile Court called “The Biggest Losers.”

Then after hearing an advertisement on Hallelujah 95.7 FM promoting The Healthy Church Challenge 100-day weight-loss program, presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, she decided to give the church challenge her best shot.

“When I started with The Biggest Losers, I was 334 lbs. During my first weigh-in with The Healthy Church Challenge on March 10, I weighed 324 lbs.,” said Jackson, a member of One Way Church of God in Christ in the Frayser community.

“They had to get me a manual scale,” added Jackson, who felt bad that the digital scale wouldn’t support her weight. “I had the same problem at the second weigh-in on April 7. The scale said 307 lbs. I was so tickled. So this past Friday (April 13), the scale said 299 lbs.”

The 35-pound weight loss has motivated Jackson to continue an exercise regimen of brisk walking along the tree-lined, meandering walking trail at the Ed Rice Community Center in Frayser.

“This has been very motivating,” said Jackson, 52, the oldest of her parents’ 20 children. “I do two miles (one lap around the park) on most evenings. I generally do four miles, about 10,000 recommended steps per day.”  

Because of problems with her knees, Jackson has some difficulty walking the incline along the trail without losing her breath. “I’m fair-skinned,” she said. “If I have limitations in my breathing, I change colors. But I feel a whole lot better than I used to.”  

The potential to lapse into ill health concerns Jackson, because her mother was obese. Her 31-year-old daughter has gained a significant amount of weight as well, due to the effects of rheumatoid arthritis.

“Her illness has caused her to gain weight. She wants to get her weight down too. But she told me to keep up the good work.”

Jackson has set a weight-loss goal for herself. “I don’t want to look skinny. I used to be a size 8. Then I was a size 24 and 26. My goal is to look good and healthy. I got a long way to go. But it’s a start in the right direction.”

Jackson is among hundreds of men and women working to shed those unwanted pounds. She is determined to stay the course and looks forward to The Obesity Summit on Saturday, June 16, 2012, at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis, 3700 Central Ave.

The finale is June 17 at the Juneteenth Freedom and Heritage Festival in Douglass Park. Both events are free and open to the public.

Along with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, the Challenge is sponsored by Baptist Memorial Health Care, News Channel 3, Hallelujah 95.7 FM, Tri-State Defender, and the Juneteenth Freedom and Heritage Festival.

(For more information, call 901-278-0881 or visit Facebook.com/The Healthy Church Challenge.)

 

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