Smart Heart: Fitness for Life

We've all said it before:

We've all said it before: "This year is the year I'm going to get in shape!" And then dinnertime hits. Here's the story of one woman who actually stuck to her goal and completely changed her life around. (WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, Feb. 18, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Carla Ward doesn't like exercising.

But the 47-year-old loves her nieces and wants to be there for them, so once the scale hit 317, she knew fitness needed to become a big part of the future.

"When you're 5'5" and you are carrying 317 pounds, your legs hurt, your back hurts, your everything hurts," she said.

Now there's a new Ward, a heart-conscious Ward, and it's all thanks to her nieces who convinced her to take an ultrasound.

"I found out that I had a small blockage on the carotid artery on the left side. So I had that 317 pounds along with 25 percent blockage," she said.

No surgery, no diet pills. Just sweat, tears and hours at the gym.

"Cardio is an everyday thing -- 30 minutes can make the biggest difference," Ward said. "There's no magical pill. It's not a magical wish. It's just hard work and focus and support."

As a Type 2 diabetic, she realized if she wanted to be there for her nieces, she was going to have to drop some weight. So that's exactly what she did -- 52 pounds to be exact.

It hasn't been easy for Ward, who says when she first started, she could only do cardio for 10 minutes.

And getting rid of all junk food?

"I had a cookie yesterday," she said. "It's not that I'm starving myself, it's control."

She says her nieces help her stay focused, especially Abigail, who was just diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

"Thank you, Abigail," Ward said. "You are truly our blessing and I'm going to be there. I'm going to be healthy for you."

Advice from Ward on losing weight:

  • Eat protein and lots of fiber
  • Join Weight Watchers Online. If you don't want to go to the classes, following the program online works just as well!
  • Participate in classes like Zumba
  • Park as far away from possible in your parking lot at work
  • Surround yourself by supportive people. Get a partner so you can both motivate each other.

Ward says she wants to be down 65 pounds by July, with an end goal of 140 to 160 pounds.

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