Diana Hayward has lost nearly 50 pounds on her journey toward a healthier life. Although she has far to go, the Great Bend woman said she’s already noticing she has more stamina and is breathing better as a result of her weight loss.
Talking about her weight isn’t easy, and Hayward asked the Tribune not to print her starting weight. Her goal is to lose enough weight that she can under surgery for a back injury she received during an auto accident back on March 28, 2011.
Hayward’s health problems didn’t start in 2011, and neither did her struggle with her weight. She’s lost pounds before, only to put them back on. But this time, Hayward found herself on a downward spiral of weight gain and depression. She was no longer able to work. At age 50, Hayward wasn’t sure she’d live to see her grandchild born last summer.
“You get to the point where you think there’s nothing you can do,” she said. “I just cried out to God, ‘Please don’t let me die.’” The answer to her prayer came in the form of encouragement.
Her friend Martha Cline works at Club 1 Fitness and introduced Hayward to the owner of the health club, Caron Zager. Hayward explained that she couldn’t handle most of the exercises because of problems with her back and knees.
“Caron said, ‘we can work around those things,’” Hayward said. She talked to her doctor, explaining her plan to work with a personal trainer who understood her health issues. He doctor told her to go ahead.
At first, Hayward could only spend about 5 minutes on a stationary bicycle. Success came in increments. Just being able to put her shoes on without help was a victory.
Over several weeks, Hayward saw her mobility increase, and her breathing improve. She no longer wakes up in the middle of the night, gasping for air.
Hayward said there’s no secret to how she’s lost 49 pounds since last November. “Diet and exercise.”
Her diet is fairly simple. She said she watches what she eats, avoiding too much bread, pasta and other foods high in carbohydrates. “I try to eat a lot of fruit and veggies,” she said.
And she’s at the health club about five times a week, usually for an hour at a time.
“I was really blessed and I’m so grateful to Caron,” Hayward said. “God found a way to make it possible that I could see my grand-kids grow up.”
Hayward’s daughters are encouraged by their mother’s success.
“She’s doing a great job,” daughter Danielle Grubb said. “I’m looking forward to getting a (health club) membership so we can work out together.”