Thanks to the support of those around her and a health scare, Nancy McKean of Rusk has finally lost weight and kept it off.
For years her doctor warned her to lose weight. “But dieting and exercise were two words not in my vocabulary,” says Mrs. McKean, an executive vice president and 35-year employee at Citizens 1st Bank.
She joined WeightWatchers three years ago. “By some miracle I actually listened to the leader at our meetings and started taking off pounds.”
Her family and colleagues encouraged her to stick with it.
“My husband, Hugh, and Mr. Perkins (James Perkins, her boss at Citizens 1st Bank) were my cheerleading team and our bank’s cashier, Glenda Long, helped me stay in line as we attended meetings together.”
In November 2008, Mrs. McKean celebrated her goal of losing 50 pounds.
“Boy, that felt great!”
And it just might have saved her life.
Weeks after reaching the milestone, Mrs. McKean learned she immediately needed open-heart surgery to replace a defective aortic valve.
“Because I had lost weight, I was a much better candidate for successful surgery.”
After the surgery, she started cardiac rehabilitation at the ETMC Olympic Center in Rusk. While in the rehabilitation program she learned the value of exercise.
“My therapist, Shirley Counahan, is very positive lady who challenged me to keep working. The therapy was conditioning my heart as well as helping the healing process.”
After completing the prescribed therapy and feeling better than she had in years, Mrs. McKean continued to work out three days a week at ETMC Rusk.
“What a great place,” she says of the facility.
Mrs. McKean is keeping the weight off by making smart choices. And she remains in a supportive environment.
She says that at Citizens 1st Bank employees are encouraged to practice healthy living. Company coffee bars are stocked with fruit and other healthy snacks; employees are offered discounts at exercise facilities.
“The moral of this story is even though you haven’t succeeded (in losing weight) in the past or you think you are too old or in such bad shape that there is no hope, I’m an example that it’s never too late.”