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Monday, May 2, 2016

The 100-lb. Resolution

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Suzanne Juarez 100 pounds ago.
Many people make the resolution each Jan. 1 to lose weight and many break that resolution long before the year is up.

But not Suzanne Juarez of Schaller.

A member of the Storm Lake TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) group, she set a hefty goal last January to lose not just a few pounds but 100 pounds of body fat.

Suzanne Juarez today, a resolute one-year transformation.
She reached that goal and is an inspiration to not only the rest of the group but to everyone who hears her story.

In fact, she has met and achieved that goal twice.

Previous to becoming a part of TOPS she had joined Weight Watchers and lost 107 pounds on that plan, and she continued to lose several more pounds on her own prior to her latest resolution.

At one time, Suzanne weighed over 400 pounds. She carries around a photo of herself at her largest and vows to never be heavy again.

"I look like I'm happy in that picture...but I'm not," she said, laughing that she looks like a fire truck.

She is dedicated to not only keeping the weight off but also to being healthy.

At 69 years old she feels the best she has ever felt. She wants everyone to know that at any age, it is possible to change eating habits.

"I didn't use lap bands or pills to do it either," she said, joking, "My dad always said the best way to lose weight was to put duct tape over your mouth."

She didn't take that measure, either, but worked hard to get the job done.

Suzanne has been a dieter for over 55 years, spending a great deal of money on a variety of diets that guaranteed her she would lose weight. Many worked, but weight was gained once the diets ended. What really shook her to make changes in her life was when her doctor told her that her diabetes had escalated to the point that she would need to take insulin and she was certain she would not be able to give herself injections.

Diabetes runs in the family as does heart disease; she lost several family members to these diseases.

At her heaviest, she had trouble breathing and walking and saddest of all, "I didn't have a lap for my grandchildren to sit on."

Suzanne grew up on a farm in the 1950s, she shared.

"We ate very well. It was unusual but we had six fat kids in the family when most kids in a big family were thin. When we grew up I remember our mom sitting with us at the table saying, 'I'm sorry I built all your fat cells up. None of you have a prayer in the world to be thin.'"

At the time, she may not have, but she puts her faith above everything today and prays everyday that God will keep her "on the straight and narrow."

She has learned she no longer needs cookies or four pieces of toast with her coffee or fried food or foods smothered in gravy or cream. Her faith has helped her in quest so she consumes only foods on the "Maker's Diet" (unprocessed, natural state - see more about this by going online to the makers diet.)

Exercising, something she never dreamed of doing during her heavier days, or could have even done at the time, now consumes her.

"I don't sit and watch TV and eat any more," she said. "I have to keep moving."

She has her exercise bike and a mini trampoline right there in the living room. When the weather is good, she exercises outside, too, walking an up hill and down hill route in Schaller where she resides, while hoisting an 8-pound weight belt, or riding her pink bike - complete with a pink helmet.

She enjoys being a member of the TOPS group. Meetings are each Tuesday morning and it is there she gets the support she needs to keep moving the scale back.

"I need a support group," she said. "I like this bunch of women."

She still feels vulnerable.

"I want to be thin and I want it in the worst way. I know I have to give away the lifestyle I once had and I can't go back or I'll do it all over again. When I look in the mirror I still see a fat person. It blows my mind that I can fit into a size 10." When she began with TOPS last year, she was wearing a 24 and at her heaviest, she wore a size 32.

Her goal is to lose 10 more pounds and then work towards maintenance.

For more information on TOPS, contact Deb Demers at 732-4230.

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