Published 12:00 am Monday, February 7, 2005



LAPLACE – To say that “Lisa” has had the conventional yo-yo lifestyle battling her weight problems would be quite an understatement.

Her childhood saw her slowly put on weight until weighing 260 pounds as a sophomore in high school.

By the time she graduated, she was down to 150.

Out of high school she went to college and started putting the weight back on again, eventually going up to 170 when she got married at age 20.

Getting pregnant saw her weight go up to 250. Then in the last 16 months, she has lost weight to drop to just below 200, now at 194.

With that kind of weight history, it was no wonder Lisa jumped at the opportunity L’Observateur put forth with their “Biggest Loser” competition, offering her some extra incentive and motivation to finally get down to her high school graduation weight-and hopefully to stay there.

“I am so tired of the struggle,” she said. “I want a lifestyle change, eating for nutrition and having a fitness goal of getting back to being a runner so I can get healthy.”

Lisa, age 22 and standing 5-9, has been a LaPlace resident since 1994 and comes from a family that has three brothers and one sister.

“My brothers are all athletes and tall, with thin builds. But my mother had a weight problem, and most of the women in my family had weight problems,” she said. “As a kid I ate too much and moved too little. There was really no physical activity.”

That led to an “obese childhood” as she calls it, as she ballooned to 260 pounds after her sophomore year.

But the amazing thing is that Lisa began to lose weight her two final years of high school, without really making any conscious effort to do so.

“I got a job and that changed my whole lifestyle,” she said. “I was more active and eating better. The weight just started coming off me.”

By the time she graduated she had lost 110 pounds.

“The amazing thing is that I did not even realize how big I was,” she recalled. “People kept telling me, ‘hey, you’re really losing weight.’ But I didn’t realize how big I had gotten until I saw some old pictures.”

Even though she said she had lots of friends in school, her weight kept her from getting much attention from boys.

“That was the only thing I noticed,” she said. “I never got asked out in high school and that really bothered me. But otherwise I was intelligent and had confidence in myself.”

She remembers little things that showed her how the problem had gotten before the weight began to come off.

“I had to fly to Texas once and couldn’t fit in the seat, and the same thing happened when I tried to get on a ride at the fair,” she said. “I was even terrified to eat in public since I felt like people were watching me.”

But after losing her weight to get down to 150 coming out of high school, she became more outgoing and began to get asked out on dates. She was attending Delgado College for nursing when she got married and had a baby.

“I began to put on the weight since I got pregnant, I quit my job bartending since that wasn’t the place to be with all the smoke, and I started traveling with my husband. I also quit smoking when I got pregnant, but the new lifestyle again made it easy to put weight on,” she remarked.

After having her baby, she lost down to 200, but has not been able to move much past that point.

Three weeks ago she went to a local health club and started eating better with the help of a trainer’s advice, and is now beginning a workout with weights three times a week, and cardio every day.

“I’m also trying to practice portion control with my eating,” she said. “I tried Jenny Craig, Adkins, Sugar BustersÅ you name it. But I know this has to be a life plan to work. I can’t keep Little Debbie Cakes and sit on the couch all the time.”

Her hope is that she can lose the weight, but this time, keep it off with a change in lifestyle.

“I’m certainly experienced with losing and gaining weight,” she said with a laugh. “So I’m pretty confident I can get the weight off again. This time though, I want to keep it off.”