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Wednesday, Nov 22, 2017
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I Lost it: 'Little successes keep you motivated'

Samantha Lindsay, M.D., 51, Clearwater HEIGHT: 5-foot-3 STARTING WEIGHT: 235 CURRENT WEIGHT: 188
WHY I DID IT: I was tired of being overweight and wanted to improve my health. As a medical professional, it is important for me to be a healthy role model to my patients. After years of preaching about taking good care of their health, I took my own advice and began looking into a diet and exercise plan that would fit my lifestyle. After being diagnosed with Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, which caused severe COPD, I was often short of breath and unable to exercise, which is when I found myself overweight. In September 2010, I decided to become a healthier person who isn't tethered to an oxygen tank. HOW I DID IT: I started on Weight Watchers, where I was strongly encouraged to watch the amount and types of food I consumed. I also began exercising on a stationary bike and with my Xbox Kinect. Working out with my gaming system changed my mind about exercise being boring and monotonous, and turned it into something fun that I looked forward too. Plus, I could work out in the comfort of my own home, so I could take breaks and catch my breath as needed. Of course, because of my lung disorder I had to start slowly, but now I am able to exercise up to six days per week! HURDLES: Obviously my lung disorder was a major hurdle, as it hindered the activities that I could participate in as exercise. The more I gradually increased the amount of activity that I participated in, the less and less I was dependent on my portable oxygen tank. Another hurdle was finding time to fit in a decent amount of quality exercise. As a physician, it's sometimes difficult to find downtime. However, no matter how difficult it may be, I now make it a point to fit in at least 30 minutes of exercise at some point in the day. On days when I am unable to exercise, I even kind of miss the aerobic benefits and the activity level! I've overcome my hurdles and am proud to say that healthy eating and exercise are now a permanent part of my lifestyle. GOING THE DISTANCE: I am still eating healthy and watching my diet with Weight Watchers. I exercise almost every day and am surrounded by friends and family who encourage me to keep on my healthy path. Losing over 47 pounds and four dress sizes has been a huge motivator for me to keep going on my journey to better health. BEST ADVICE: Develop strategies that are sustainable every day for the long run. Don't make unrealistic goals; instead have little successes that keep you motivated.

I Lost It is a regular feature highlighting individual weight loss success stories and does not reflect the opinions of 4you, which encourages you to work with a physician or a nutritionist before embarking on a diet. To share your story, visit TBO.com, search Lost It; or email 4you@tampatrib.com; or mail to 4you, The Tampa Tribune, 200 S. Parker St., Tampa FL 33606.
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