“I have been fat all my life,” Patricia Keeling said Tuesday. But not anymore.
The 57-year-old assistant accountant at CAMC General decided 12 weeks ago to lose that extra weight by participating in the Biggest Loser Weight Loss Challenge sponsored by CAMC and West Virginia University’s Charleston Division Health Sciences Center.
On February 19 Keeling weighed in at 181lbs. Today she’s at a slimmed down 141. That’s a loss of 21.1 percent of her total weight. And she’s not even done yet.
Keeling received a cash prize of $1,275 for losing the biggest percentage of weight in the whole competition.
“A group of us in the office decided that we were going to try and win this money. But our basic goal was to try and get healthier and eat healthier,” explained Keeling.
She and her team did that by portion control and changing to a high protein diet. She says it wasn’t always easy to stay on track but she had a lot of people rooting her on.
“[I had] support from family, support at work, the support of being responsible to somebody every week. It was like, ‘Oh I can’t eat that because I have to weigh in in two days,’” Keeling said.
By taking off so much weight Keeling says she’s now able to do things that were impossible in the past.
“I can tie my own shoes. I can walk up steps without gasping for breath. I can go to the store and buy something off the rack that isn’t a 3X,” she said.
In fact, Keeling has gone from a size 18 to a size 10. Her weight loss has inspired family members and co-workers to start a weigh loss program of their own.
Keelings’ next goal is to start exercising and lose another 40lbs from her 4’11 frame.
“It’s not just a biggest loser but a forever loser!”
More than 200 employees participated in this year’s Biggest Loser Weight Loss Challenge. All total, they lost 2,073lbs. That’s the equivalent of a small car.