Tulsa’s Biggest Losers
Meet 13 people who prove losing can be winning.
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Emotional eating. Stress from work. Lack of exercise due to an injury.
The reasons for weight gain and obesity are as numerous as the extra pounds many of us carry around our middles, leading Oklahoma to rank as one of the fattest states in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But the Tulsans featured in the following pages have lost the pounds and transformed their lives to become what we’ve dubbed “Tulsa’s Biggest Losers.” Here, they share their stories and tips.
Christy Harris went from being an outgoing person who loved meeting new people to never wanting to leave her house — all because of her weight. Harris, who reached her heaviest of 280 pounds in 2009, had lost weight in the past through a structured exercise program, only to get bored and discouraged, quit and gain it all back.
Pounds lost: More than 100
How she did it: Regular cardio workouts and she kept a journal detailing her 1,200-calories-a-day diet.
Length of time the weight has stayed off: She still wants to lose 9 pounds.
Current diet: Breakfast is usually some sort of turkey sandwich with fruit; lunch is a Lean Cuisine meal with fruit, vegetables or a salad; and dinner is sweet tea with fruit or a fiber bar. Harris, 37, also makes sure to drink several glasses of water a day.
Current exercise routine: A strength-training class, spin class or Zumba class four days per week and cardio on the treadmill or elliptical machine one day per week.
Advice: “Start telling yourself, I can do this and I do have will power,” says Harris, who works at Hillcrest Medical Center. “You have to find out what works for you and your body with trial and error.”
Heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes all run in Roy Reed’s family. A smoker for 10 years, he knew he needed to change his lifestyle when he watched his father undergo quintuple bypass surgery in 2009. But when Reed, 34, stopped smoking, the pounds quickly started piling on.
Pounds lost: 40
How he did it: Joined Fitness Together, a personal training studio, and learned how to change his exercise and eating habits. “They make sure I do the exercise correctly, efficiently and that I stick to the program,” says Reed, owner of a local Western Sizzlin.
Length of time the weight has stayed off: Started in May 2010 and continues to lose.
Current diet: Meals consist of fruits, vegetables, complex carbs and lean protein. Reed follows a weight-loss mantra: “I’ve learned the key here is, in order to lose weight, I have to burn more calories than I consume,” he says.
Current exercise routine: Three mornings per week, Reed heads to Fitness Together for an hour of training. He also does high-intensity interval runs two nights a week.
Advice: Exercise with someone. “It’s easier when you have someone to help push you or support you,” he says. “I show up and work harder than I would on my own.”