BRISTOL, Tenn. - Just in time to help motivate you to keep your New Year's resolutions, a local woman is sharing her weight loss success story.
"'I've been overweight and obese my whole life," said Sara Guinn. At about 300 pounds and wearing a size 28, Guinn had a wake up call. "My lifestyle before: eating fast food all the time, I wasn't active. And I paid for it. I was miserable." In her early 20's she started having health problems. "It really hit me then and there that I needed to make a change."
She says at first she tried the quick-fix fad diets, pills and shakes. "I would lose a few pounds here and there, but then I would end up gaining it back and then some," Guinn said.
She realized you don't put on weight overnight, which means its not going to drop overnight either. She knew she had to lose the weight with hard work, one step at a time. "I just started out by walking a local track, a mile before work. Once I started building up that endurance, I would walk another mile after work," she said.
In addition to exercise, she started controlling her portion sizes and eating more fruits and vegetables. "I had so much more energy and confidence. Looking back, I was so depressed all the time," Guinn said. But remembering that time can be hard now for the 28-year old who has lost more than 140 pounds. "I'm very proud of myself," she said.
With a new attitude on life, Guinn also got a new job. She's now a personal trainer at the YWCA in Bristol, Tennessee. "If you would have told me five years ago that I'd be a personal trainer, I would have told you that you were crazy because fitness was the last thing on my mind," she said laughing.
Now she's preaching what she practices in hopes of helping others. "For a lot of women, especially heavy women, are intimidated walking into a gym if you've never worked out before," she explained, saying especially this time of year. "Usually the new year is a big time for any gym. We have a lot of new members and old members, that haven't been here in awhile, coming in."
Guinn is hoping to to turn those resolutions into lifestyle changes.
As part of her weight loss milestones, Guinn has ran a 5K, 8K, 10K and half marathon since 2010.