An attitude of gratitude

Time to fly

The doctor is in

New pants

It’s not you, it’s me

Knowledge is power

What motivates you

Paramedics and the gym

Weigh-In Day

Exercise and gym towels
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Dana Weston is a Novant Health employee who has taken our mission to help our communities get better and stay healthy to heart…and extended it to her own family. When Dana learned that her mom, Del, had been diagnosed with dangerously high glucose levels (indicating a potential diabetes diagnosis), she leapt into action, moving her mom from St. Louis  to Charlotte, N.C. so that they could tackle this condition together during a 30-day “boot camp” designed by Dana. And now she’s sharing their journey with all of us. Using the insights that she has gained as a Novant Health employee, along with the input and advice of our physicians, wellness coaches and diabetes navigators, Dana is helping her mom reclaim her health and her life.

New pants

Nov 21

Written by:
11/21/2013  RssIcon

It is hard to believe that we have finished three weeks of our boot camp. My mom’s focus, determination, and commitment to her goals have given her some impressive results!

Week 1: - 8.0 lbs (note: much of this was water due to the reduction in carbohydrates)
Week 2: - 3.2 lbs
Week 3: - 3.6 lbs (note: mom insisted on taking her hair rollers out prior to this weigh-in and that apparently made all the difference)

Total weight loss: 14.8 lbs!

This weekend, we took a trip to the mall to buy my mom a new pair of pants in a smaller size. We giggled like school girls as she had to hold her old pants up on her waist with one hand while we walked inside. If I could bottle that feeling up and deliver a dose of it every day to each of you working hard toward your goals, I would.

I feel like a broken record, but let me stress again that there is no magic bullet or secret sauce in our plan. It’s simply diet and exercise.

Diet: A few people have asked about our meal plan. Our diet is both low calorie and low carb and, as a rule, all meals are easy to make, affordable, edible, and on a schedule. We eat at 8 am, 11 am, 2 pm, and 7 pm daily. (“It’s just like prison,” my mom said. Not sure exactly how she knows this.) The key, for those of you who work outside the home like me, is pre-planning and packing your meals to take to work.

Here is our plate goal for every dinner (using a medium sized dinner plate):
  •  ½ of the plate or more = vegetables like spinach, green beans, carrots, and squash
  • ¼ of the plate or more = lean protein like chicken, fish, veggie burgers (no bun), and beans
  • ¼ of the plate or less (often none at all) = whole grains like brown rice or wheat pasta

Note: We aim to consume no more than 40g of carbs per meal and 150g of carbs per day. We use an app called “Lose It ” to help my mom keep track of both the calories and the carbs she is consuming.

Exercise: We continue to combine cardio workouts with strength training and her body is responding well. My mom has become unstoppable in the gym! I was beginning to think that maybe, just possibly, she secretly enjoys exercise. She pushes herself beyond the required time limit, even turning up the resistance or incline without being asked. She enters the gym with a pep in her step and even flashes a smile every now and again during the workout! Amazing, right? Then I realized that the increases in intensity and the bright smiles seem to correspond with whenever the new young fitness trainer walks by…which also seems to be more frequently than he needs to. Hmmm…

Today’s mantra: It’s hard to beat a person that never gives up.

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4 comment(s) so far...


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Re: New pants

Keep it up, Del! Amazing to see what a little bit of determination can do in such a short period of time. We are all so proud of you!

By Caryn on   11/21/2013
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Re: New pants

The new young trainer, huh? Slow down, mom!:) I've said it before, but it's worth saying again...I'm proud of you!!! I know things will be a bit harder without Dana around to prepare all the meals and take you to the gym, but it's nothing you can't handle. Just remember your break up with your old self and let that be your motivation. You don't want to go back to those unhealthy habits! Love ya!!

By Erica B on   11/21/2013
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Re: New pants

Ok so I am SOOOOO late {3 weeks to be exact} coming into this, however let me first say how surpised I am NOT at you two phenomenal women! Del and Dana, you both hold such a significant place in my heart and I must say that I am behind you both 110%!!! Heck, I am even joining you!
Del: 14.8 pounds in 3 weeks?!?! YOU GO GIRL!!! That is amazing! I am so proud of you.
Dana: Did you really have to add in the bit about her curlers? lol And, YES they made a huge difference, whoop whoop! New pants are great, but a healthier you is even better! I do believe that I have found my new favorite read. Keep the updates coming!
Love it and love you both dearly!
Georgia :-)

By Georgia on   11/22/2013
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Re: New pants

Keep up the good work! And remember, salad is the main meal. Don't let the food industry continue to fool you ie: The beef council, The dairy industry into thinking that you need to eat meat and dairy, which is the worst food you can eat, to stay healthy and get the 'protien' you need. Have you ever seen a skinny, weak hippopotamus or gorilla? They are vegatarians! The calcium in milk is mostly blocked by the fat so your body can't absorb it. Animal protien is a huge causative factor in arthritis. Anyway,good job and stay the course. Btw; Be careful about drugs as they are all toxic to some degree and doctors don't know what they should about them. Use food as a drug,preventative agent.

By Don Potter on   11/29/2013

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Re: It’s not you, it’s me
Extremely powerful letter with a lot of heart put into it! Amazing progress only a few short weeks and I'm sure this is only the beginning from the words from your letter. Congrats Del!

Re: Time to fly
Congratulations!! You are armed with information and resources and also have a success story worth sharing! What an inspiration! Keep flying high!

Re: New pants
Keep up the good work! And remember, salad is the main meal. Don't let the food industry continue to fool you ie: The beef council, The dairy industry into thinking that you need to eat meat and dairy, which is the worst food you can eat, to stay healthy and get the 'protien' you need. Have you ever seen a skinny, weak hippopotamus or gorilla? They are vegatarians! The calcium in milk is mostly blocked by the fat so your body can't absorb it. Animal protien is a huge causative factor in arthritis. Anyway,good job and stay the course. Btw; Be careful about drugs as they are all toxic to some degree and doctors don't know what they should about them. Use food as a drug,preventative agent.

Re: The doctor is in
Dana and Del - Congratulations to you both! What an accomplishment this boot camp has been, and it is incredible how much you've learned! Knowledge here is power, and it must be such a great feeling to know that you can do this! Keep it up, you are both so inspiring!

Re: A healthy kidnapping
Thank you so much for sharing. My husband found out he was diabetic last year when he ended up in ICU. His blood sugar was 1322. How he survived that I do not know. But he did and the last year has been an uphill battle all the way. I have gotten discouraged with his lack of concern (after the initial shock wore off). But you have given me hope and have lit a fire under me once again to try my best to encourage him once again that he can do this. Thank you so much.

Re: What motivates you
Thanks, I didn't cry until I read this one.... lol KEEP IT UP!

Re: It’s not you, it’s me
"Yes, I have already found someone else. Me." Says Del Weston. 2 words, LOVE IT!

Re: It’s not you, it’s me
60 minutes on the bike!? How fantastic! This letter seems like such a great exercise, and I see your sincerity in every word. You're in the home stretch on this boot camp journey, but I know this will be just the beginning for you. Congratulations!

Re: New pants
Ok so I am SOOOOO late {3 weeks to be exact} coming into this, however let me first say how surpised I am NOT at you two phenomenal women! Del and Dana, you both hold such a significant place in my heart and I must say that I am behind you both 110%!!! Heck, I am even joining you!
Del: 14.8 pounds in 3 weeks?!?! YOU GO GIRL!!! That is amazing! I am so proud of you.
Dana: Did you really have to add in the bit about her curlers? lol And, YES they made a huge difference, whoop whoop! New pants are great, but a healthier you is even better! I do believe that I have found my new favorite read. Keep the updates coming!
Love it and love you both dearly!
Georgia :-)

Re: It’s not you, it’s me
Way to go! What a bold stance you're taking, and we are all so proud of you! Keep it up!