January 29, 2009; News 12 at 6 o'clock
Every day, we here at news 12 tell your stories, but we have our own story to share.
We know it's getting harder and harder for you to keep your new year's resolution of losing weight and getting in shape. Now is the time a lot of people give up, but two people in our very building will probably inspire you to hang on.
His name is Keith Rush, but to all of us at News 12, he's Krusher. You'll have to give him a minute to get used to all this. He's used to shooting the story -- not being the story, but today he is because "I lost 162 pounds. That's a whole person. Wow."
Krusher is the Chief Photojournalist at News 12. At 6'8" he can be intimidating, but he's a big teddy bear with an even bigger heart. His whole weight loss journey began for someone else. He got a call from his pregnant sister. She said "Krusher, oooh. Just started crying. So, she was like, my baby's getting big, my belly's getting big. I said, girl hush. I'll lose 20 pounds for you by the time the baby comes."
So, he hit the gym and quit eating fast food. Then something his preacher said hit him at the right time. "He was like, drop the dead weight in '08. That was the sermon on New Year's Eve, and I was like, he's talking to me!"
Just down the hall at News 12, the woman behind wrdw.dot.com was also getting a message but from a different person. Heather Meadows remembers, "My doctor said to me, you are going to need an implanted defibrillator in your chest, kind of like a pacemaker, so that any time your heart stops working right, it will shock you."
Heather was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. She went on medication for six months, but her heart didn't recover enough to avoid the defibrillator. She asked her doctor for more time before the surgery.
"She said okay," Heather says. "So I went home and changed my life."
Heather joined Weight Watchers and started exercising. She also came up with her own secret. This is how she keeps her calories low and never feels hungry. She takes steamed veggies and mixes them in with another meal. It makes the meal bigger, so you can eat more, but it doesn't really add calories.
Heather also has another secret: video games. She uses her Wii Fit to help drop the pounds. She also rides her bike as often as she can. It's fun, but it's not always easy. Still, she keeps going.
"Sometimes when I'm thinking, 'Oh, I can't do this. I have so much more weight left to lose,' I just have to think, 'I lost 50 pounds.'"
And after three months of healthier living added to her heart medication, Heather's heart had recovered enough that she didn't need that defibrillator after all.
All of us at News 12 are so proud of Heather and Krusher's success!