Battling Diabetes and WINNING

Linda Swinson before and Linda as she continues working toward her goal

Linda Swinson knew she needed to do something about her health the day her eyes started not to focus properly.
“I had a scare with my eyes because my diabetes was messing with them,” she said. “I was determined not to be a statistic.”
At more than 270 pounds and a breast cancer survivor, Swinson, of Roanoke Rapids, decided she needed a lifestyle change for weight loss and to help control her diabetes.
“Breast cancer scared me, but it wasn’t as bad as the diabetes,” she said.
So when she heard about a five-week boot camp being held at New Day Fitness in March, Swinson signed up.
Now five months and 50 pounds later, she is considered a fitness miracle by her doctors.
“After the boot camp, I did so well that I was taken off of my diabetes and cholesterol medication,” Swinson said. “I need to lose 40 more pounds to reach my goal.”
The only medicine she takes now is for pain with the arthritis in her back.
At 51, Swinson has always had issues with her weight being up and down. She was diagnosed with cancer and had back surgery in her 30s.
Swinson has been cancer-free for 12 years.
Her goal at the time was to be able to see her, now college age, son grew up.
“I thank God that I will see my son graduate from college,” she said.
In 2010, she was diagnosed with diabetes.
“I didn’t take it serious,” she said. “I thought I could make do with the pills.”
With the boot camp, led by Tammy Crowley-Deloatch, owner of New Day Fitness, there was not only a fitness component, but also a meal plan.
“It is a lifestyle change, not a diet,” Swinson said.
It was her first time ever participating in a boot camp.
Swinson ate six small meals a day and drank plenty of water along with exercising three times a week.
It is a lifestyle she plans to continue for the rest of her life.
“It works if you do it and are determined to do it right,” Swinson said.
She eats fish, chicken and turkey. Swinson no longer eats fast food or anything that is fried.
Looking back at her food choices, she realized she was not eating the right kinds of food.
As a long-time volunteer in Weldon City Schools, Swinson would eat a pack of crackers or a bag of chips during the day or nothing at all.
“I wasn’t eating enough to carry me through,” she said.
Now for her, a typical day starts with egg whites and some fruit. For a snack later, she will eat some more fruit.
For lunch, she may have a baked chicken salad with vingarette dressing.
Dinner could be baked fish with homemade coleslaw.
She drinks about 64 ounces of water a day and has snacks, such as nuts or almonds.
But Swinson no longer drinks sodas or eats sweets and ice cream.
Crowley-Deloatch said she is pleased with Swinson’s progress.
“I am very pleased as a trainer to see her health improve and see her reach her fitness goals,” Crowley-Deloatch said.
Since completing the boot camp, Swinson volunteers at New Day Fitness. She is a certified personal trainer for the Silver Sneakers.
Her major piece of advice to others is to be more proactive with their health.
Diabetes and high blood pressure run in her family. And with her father’s health problems, he ended up on dialysis.
“I didn’t want to go down that road,” she said.
She cautions her son, Jerel, to get a physical each year.
With her success in changing her life, her supportive family is interested in joining her.
“It shows what can happen if you change your lifestyle,” Swinson said.

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