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Fat to Fit Winner Julia Cheatham-Kimble

After a doctor's warning, Julia got serious about her weight and health. She also brought her husband along, and together they have an inspiring story.

Name: Julia Cheatham-Kimble

Home: Indianapolis

Occupation: Adjunct Faculty, Indiana Wesleyan University School of Nursing

My husband and I have the same physician, and in March 2009 he told us both that we needed to lose weight ASAP. Soon afterward, we started on the South Beach diet. But what really helped was joining the first Fat to Fit challenge in April 2009, through which we began modifying our eating habits and ideas about food. Today, we continue making lifestyle changes to support our goal of leading healthier lives, working as a team of two, and as part of our wonderful, virtual Fat to Fit team.

In the past year and a half, our health has improved drastically! My husband's Type 2 diabetes is now under control. In July, the tests he took for diabetes markers came back within the "normal" range. His weight has dropped from 253 pounds to 212 pounds. He can now walk easily, and he even planted a garden this summer to help make sure he got exercise every day.

I've lost almost 50 pounds since we started the first Fat to Fit challenge. I no longer need my medications for acid reflux. And for the first time in five years, I can walk and stand without my knees and feet hurting, which means I can wear high heels out in public again! My exercise routine — 20 to 30 minutes on the treadmill six mornings a week — is key maintaining my health, along with portion control, drinking lots of water, and being careful about the kinds of food I eat.

I teach at the Indiana Wesleyan University School of Nursing, so maintaining health is important to me. I'm glad we found Fat to Fit. I feel so energized and optimistic about the future of my health.

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