Looking for Big Hearts
The importance of supporting the American Heart Association during the annual spring fundraising event: The Heart Walk
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Love Yourself First
The Weight Loss Will Follow
For Lori Quinters, all she had ever known was what it was like to be overweight.
A self-described “chunky kindergartener,” she says she steadily gained weight throughout the years until she weighed nearly 350 pounds at her heaviest. She couldn’t fit comfortably in small cars, restaurant booths, or bathroom stalls. Even just a short walk left her out of breath, her joints ached, she lost hair, she had acid reflux, she retained water.
In 1996 she had a baby, Simon. When Simon—“an awesome son”—was 9 years old, Lori married Shane, the love of her life (and—in the process—acquired three amazing stepkids). The Coon Rapids resident had a good job, an excellent family life, and still she ate destructively and rarely exercised.
“I liked to eat and eat big,” Lori says. “If I was alone, it almost felt ‘cozy’ to eat and watch TV until I would practically pass out I was so full.”
In 2003, she made the life-changing decision to undergo gastric bypass surgery. She lost 150 pounds, but was still a heavy smoker.
In 2009, she successfully kicked the nicotine habit, but hit a roadblock with her weight. She gained back 50 pounds “practically overnight.”
Tired of the emotional weight gain/loss rollercoaster, she had a revelation on a sunny spring morning in 2011.
“I thought to myself, ‘I’m tired of being fat,’” she says. “I started walking that day and everything clicked.”
She replaced her addiction to unhealthy food and cigarettes with a healthy addiction to walking, researching “good for you” food options, and learning about natural remedies. She enrolled at the Meta Institute, where she’s one test away from being a therapeutic life coach.
She was an American Heart Association Lifestyle Change Award finalist last year, honored for her healthy lifestyle changes at the 2012 Twin Cities Heart Walk at Target Field.
Her advice to others who are frustrated with their weight is to find out why they eat. “To keep the weight off and not abuse your body, you need to find out the why.” She also says it’s important to schedule time for you. Don’t feel guilty. You deserve it. Weight loss is an ongoing journey, stick with it, even if you face setbacks.
Lori, who recently celebrated her 46th birthday, says it’s a great feeling—to finally be healthy, and happy, and at peace with her body.
She comments, “Today I feel loved—by me.”
Nominate yourself or a loved one for the 2013 Lifestyle Change Award to be honored at the Heart Walk on May 4 at Target Field. The award is sponsored by Medica. Apply online today at heart.org/TwinCitiesLifestyleChangeAward