My health outlook
My genetics have made me more
susceptible to weight gain and the health
problems that go with it. I never had a
hard time with my weight until after
I had my four children. I was so busy
working and looking after them, that
when it came time to look after myself, I
just couldn’t find the energy.
I did get my weight back under control
after my last child, but slowly gained it
back. I can’t say why—I think I just put
myself on the backburner and the weight
accumulated. Suddenly, 10 years had gone
by and I was 100 pounds heavier and on
high blood pressure medication.
At that point, I had no real desire to
change because I had grown comfortable
with my lifestyle.
The tipping point was about three years
ago, when I couldn’t get on my quad. I
was having so much difficulty I finally
just said to myself: “Okay Gwen, do you
want to live or die?” So my weight loss
I started at a Christian weight loss
retreat, but then came upon the Living Well
Program through Alberta Health Services.
The program enhanced my knowledge
about nutrition, physical activity, symptom
management, medication management,
dealing with difficult emotions and
planning for the future.
It took me two years to lose all of the
extra weight, but my journey has inspired
others lose weight too. I joined the Living
Well Program as a volunteer facilitator
and it’s been a blessing to pass on what I
have learned to help others.
Today, I feel energized because I’m
active and healthy. I’ve maintained
my weight loss and, more importantly,
I’ve inspired others in my family and
community to lose weight and take
control of their health too.
My journey to live better has allowed
me to take control of my health. I will
always need to keep an eye on my weight
and the problems associated with it, but
treating my body well will ensure I live
the healthiest life I can.
— As told to Keri lee
nearing 50 years old, Gwen Taralson knew she could do
better and live better. She started by taking control of her
weight and finding time for herself.