Where do you go for healthy inspiration? Magazines? Pinterest? Facebook?
Now you don’t have to look further than South Plains native Joyce Hicks.
At 77, Joyce models determination and grace. Seven years ago she lost her husband of 50 years to cancer, but she kept living life.
“He was a very fine man, but I don’t dwell on what I lost, because I feel like I had it as good as you can get,” she said. “I still keep my own house, work in the yard, put up decorations, cut my own hair—I have for 40 years—and give myself manicures. One friend calls me Miss Independent.”
Then she whipped her own cancer–breast cancer–two-and-a-half years ago. The weight loss seemed like a positive at first, but it didn’t stay that way.
“It seemed like I could eat anything and not put weight on, so I did that to the max,” she admitted with a chuckle. “Then it seemed like all of a sudden—it’s shocking how fast my pants wouldn’t button!”
“I had been complaining about my weight,” she explained, “but I didn’t know what to expect with the program. I just know that how we eat is important to keep our body healthy. I’m trying to make it a way of life, at home and when I go out. At 77, I don’t have time to keep yo-yoing.”
The practical program uses a doctor’s prescription, nutrition, simple exercise, and one-on-one coaching and emotional support to lose weight and to provide the nutrients your body needs. In the first six weeks, Joyce lost 16 pounds.
“At first it was harder, but now it’s easier than I thought it would be,” she said. “When you feed your body what it needs, you’re not hungry. When you eat sugar, you want more snacks and sugar. Now I look at the pie and it doesn’t look good, because I know what it’s going to do to me. I think sugar and flour are about the worst things we can do to ourselves.
“Now I have enough energy—this week I cleaned my house from top to bottom: ladders, lifting, moving. It’s a good feeling. I’d been walking one-and-half miles three times a week, but I was lax before the program. This week I’ve been working so hard I haven’t had time to walk!”
Keren Weaver, the lifestyle educator and nutritionist for the program, isn’t surprised by Joyce’s success.
“Joyce was already health-oriented, and she was ready to change,” Keren said in admiration. “She’s just a delight. She has a fabulous attitude, which has so much to do with it. She did get bored with eating greens, but I taught her how to cook them and put them in smoothies, not just eat them raw.”
Joyce didn’t set out to be an inspiration, but she’s a natural.
“I feel I’ve gotten a lot out of it by seeing what you really need to eat and how easy it is,” she said. “I’m making progress, and that’s what it’s all about. Plus the staff is very nice. When you go in you get the royal treatment. I’m very glad I’m doing this.”