When a friend told Kathleen Rushlow she would make a perfect candidate for weight-loss surgery, she didn’t believe it.
It took going home and jumping on the scale for the Papillion woman to recognize that she was 100 pounds overweight, one of the requirements for surgery and for her to see the truth in her friend’s statement.
That was her wake up call, the eye opener informing her how she really needed to get focused and back on track to lose weight.
While she admits her friend was right and she was overweight, she said she did not want surgery to be the solution.
She said that the surgery would have restricted her, and she wanted to do something so she could still eat and do what she wanted.
So, at the age of 40, weighing 252 pounds, Rushlow started working on losing weight through a program called Take Off the Pounds Sensibly, or TOPS.
She started eating healthily by taking away the bad carbohydrates and replacing them with good ones, which she gets through fruits instead of white, starchy foods.
“A lot of Americans are eating empty calorie meals,” Rushlow said.
Many people may be eating enough, but they aren’t eating the right foods, she said.
She said it’s easy to feel full, but the foods many eat don’t keep them satisifed for very long — prompting additional caloric consumption.
For exercise, Rushlow does a variety of activities and always tries to change up her routine in accordance to her body.
“I always try to incorporate weight training, and it’s something that I suggest everyone try,” Rushlow said. “I would look into what you like, because you’re more likely to stick to something if you like it.”
Her favorite exercise is using the kettlebell, which simulates real-world activities with the added resistance of a weight with a flat bottom and thick handle.
Now, at the age of 48, Rushlow weighs 150 pounds and has been able to manage that weight.
She attributes her success to the people in her TOPS group, as well as to weekly weigh-ins, which she said keeps her accountable.
“Do what works with your body,” she said. “Because I made more of a lifestyle change, if I slip off the wagon, I am able to get back with it because I know what works for me.”