EDMOND — A.J. Legere, a nutrition supervisor for Edmond Public Schools, took charge of her own food intake last year. The result was a weight loss of 115 pounds that has dramatically changed and empowered her.
Legere, 53, had been locked in a nearly 30-year struggle with her weight. When she was 23, her eating habits changed. Food was her comfort.
“I don't blame anything or anybody for it,” she said. “I was the one putting food in my mouth.”
Standing 5-foot-5, she swelled to well more than 200 pounds and stayed there most of her adult life.
“It was too much eating and not enough moving around,” she said.
The extra pounds took a toll. There were health ramifications and none of them good. There were Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. She laments the lack of energy — and some of the missed opportunities, particularly activities with her three children.
“I didn't attend some of my children's events because of my size,” she said. “Although, I know I can't do anything about the past now.”
There were other challenges, as well.
“I'd look at a chair and wonder if it was sturdy enough to handle my size without breaking,” she said.
It wasn't until last year when the “lightbulb went on,” she said, and she realized something needed to be done.
“I had been turned down for long-term care insurance,” she said. “I also realized I needed to set a better example.”
Realizing there was no magic formula for weight loss, Legere said, she attacked the problem in the summer of 2011 with a three-prong offensive. First there was prayer. Second there was exercise. That included signing up for a gym membership and walking three to four miles a day. Finally, she joined Weight Watchers for the support, as well as the group meetings and weigh-ins.
“Some people can do it alone. I can't,” she said.