One year ago Clinton Terrell weighed nearly 500 pounds and would not have considered walking over any part of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge. Today, at 237 pounds, Clinton is literally half the size he was just 9 months ago. He’s also pumped and ready to take on the Cooper River Bridge along with co-workers that have supported him through his life-transforming quest to lose weight and get healthy. Take a quick look at Clinton’s story:
One day last June I had a moment of truth. I took the short walk from my car to the door of the credit union branch and was out of breath. At that moment I knew I had to make a change or life really had nothing for me. I contacted a friend at MUSC, and signed up at the MUSC Weight Management Center . Their program includes diet, exercise, nutrition training, group meetings, and medical assessments. One of the first things they did was to weigh me. I had been terrified of scales for years, knowing my weight was out of control. But I was committed to doing this – determined to make a change and have a better, healthier life – so I got on the scales: They read 491 pounds. I had a little work to do!
I made two phone calls as I left MUSC, one to my mom and one to my supervisor. I could hear the catch in mom’s voice as she gave me her support. By the time I got home she had cleared the refrigerator of everything but a gallon of water, and completely emptied the pantry so I would have no temptations there! My supervisor, Leesa, said that she would fully support me and we’d make the schedule work so I could attend the required Wednesday evening group meetings at MUSC.
Instead of setting a weight goal, I had different ones:
- To have better quality of life
- To be able to shop in regular stores, without having to visit “Big & Tall” sections or specialty stores for my clothes. Even my work clothes, my “brandwear” had to be special ordered.
My 30-week program required a 12-week fast eating the required protein bars, shakes, and drinking water, followed by 18 weeks of transition and stabilization, gradually adding in moderately sized portions of fruits, veggies, and meat. In the first week I lost 21 ½ pounds and decided the shakes and bars weren’t all that bad! By the next week I’d lost another 10 and knew I could DO THIS!
My co-workers have encouraged me the whole way. They even helped keep tempting foods away from the branch! My friends and I now do social things differently, like going bowling or to a movie instead of out to eat. Last Fall I walked in the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure and this month I will walk the Cooper River Bridge – things I never would have dreamed of doing.
Clinton’s story has certainly inspired me. How about you?