Diabetes Forecast

Linda Grimsley

By Benjamin Hubbert , ,

Linda is participating in the Norma Jean Family Challenge. Here is her progress so far.

Name: Linda Grimsley

Age: 61

Location: Mauk, Ga.

SMART Goals: Lose 15 pounds and strengthen body; exercise 5 days a week for 30 minutes (walk 1 mile a day during lunch or after work and exercise at home the rest of the week)

By the end of June, Linda Grimsley had lost 9 more pounds, but then she felt like she’d reached a plateau. “It was a little disappointing because I thought I’d be in double digits,” she said, “but I realized I have to start watching what I eat.” In order to improve her diet, Linda cut out sweets entirely for a month. “For the month of July I’m not going to eat any, and afterwards I’m not going to eat a lot,” she says. “I’ve already lost a pound.”

Linda has also added weight lifting to her exercise regimen, and hopes to lower her blood pressure so she won’t have to take blood pressure medication. Making time for exercise has been a challenge for her, however. “Sometimes I have to walk when I get home and it’s late,” she says.

Linda does feel like her exercise regimen and diet have gradually made her more fit, and is excited to keep going. “Before I started the program in January, I could not walk or stand that long, but the more I do the more I realize that I can do more,” she says. Her family has also motivated her to succeed in the challenge. “The whole family is doing it, especially Cynthia, she’s so encouraging. Even when we slip up, like in June when I ate a little too much, she just encourages you to keep going,” Linda says. “That helps tremendously, because I don’t think that without doing something like this I could have kept it up.”

Linda Grimsley’s job and daily commute are both fairly sedentary, and she saw the Norma Jean Family Challenge as an opportunity to start a regular exercise routine, lose weight, and strengthen her body. “I feel more obligated since I’ve said that I joined this group,” she says. The extra strength and endurance would let her keep up with her grandchildren, too.

Linda’s exercise plan is simple: “at work, during lunch, I walk for 30 minutes,” she says. She also does a few exercises when she gets home, totaling a bit over 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week. The hardest part, she says, has been finding ways to work exercise into her routine when her schedule is disrupted: “I used to work through lunch, so now I’ve really had to dedicate myself to making sure I do that 30 minutes a day.” Now, if she has to work through lunch, Linda stays after hours to get in her daily walk. If it’s raining, she’ll walk indoors.

Linda has already seen some changes in her health. “I’m able to walk better,” she says. “I started out really slow.” She’s also lost about four pounds, and hopes to lose a total of 25 pounds by the end of the year.

Linda believes that the accountability provided by the family challenge has helped her stick to her exercise plan. “Without the challenge, I probably wouldn’t have kept it up,” she says. “You hear from others who are struggling to get things done, and from others who are doing better than you are, and that motivates you to do a little bit better yourself.”



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