In a first for the magazine, the June issue of Woman’s Day, now on newsstands nationwide, features two real women who walked their way to weight loss success. Both Vanessa Herron and Tallena Johnson lost a combined 200+ pounds with simple, inspiring changes in their daily lifestyles.
Says Thousand Oaks, CA resident Vanessa Herron (left): “A doctor’s visit in February 2014 was my wakeup call. I was 242 pounds, prediabetic, and my blood pressure was sky-high. I knew it was serious, and I had to focus on getting healthy. The problem: I’m a working mom of four kids ranging in age from 14 to 22, so I have limited time. I thought about ways to fit activity into my day. I realized my daughter’s middle school was one mile away. So, I started walking her there instead of driving. At the beginning, I wasn’t able to keep up. I’d wave Brenda on and go back home. Each day, I went a little farther and was eventually able to make the whole trip. After four months, I was down 40 pounds and could walk without huffing and puffing. Today, my health measures are in normal ranges and I’ve shaken the ‘victim’ mentality. In other words, I felt like life was running me instead of me running my life. I now believe that if I can work hard enough to change my health, then I can apply that discipline to other areas. It’s been going well—I devote time each day to my novel and other writing aspirations!”
Says Fremont, NE resident Tallena Johnson (right): “When I was really heavy, I felt like people were staring at me, so I didn’t go into stores or restaurants by myself. I’d walk with my head down and avoid eye contact. My mom had a heart attack at age 41, when I was 19, and that was never far from my mind. On my 39th birthday in 2012, I hit 250 pounds and thought, I’m going to die if I don’t do something. So I set a goal to get under 200 pounds by age 40. I joined the Anytime Fitness gym near my house, but at first I could barely walk on the treadmill for 10 minutes. I didn’t want to overdo it and get frustrated, so I decided to add just 1 minute of walking each day. After 20 days, I was up to 30 minutes of walking and the pounds were consistently coming off. If I couldn’t make it to the gym, I’d stroll around town with my then teenage daughters, Kayla and Kendra. Now, I feel like I am turning heads—in a good way. I hold my head up high with my shoulders back, I smile and make eye contact. I try to radiate positivity.”