The last time Cathe Beebe bought a bathing suit it was a size 24. This time, she searched the racks in Dillard's department store until she found some in size 12.
Among her selections, a silver and blue two-piece tankini, a navy blue one-piece suit with sheer material at the neck, and another one piece that was strapless with a jungle print.
She discarded the high-cut tankini.
"My butt is German cut, not French cut," said the Weight Loss 2000 participant.
After trying on all the suits and putting on an impromptu fashion show for her children, Mrs. Beebe decided on the jungle-print suit.
"I have never in my life had a strapless suit," she said, examining herself in the dressing room mirror. "It's definitely a new look."
Mrs. Beebe decided to buy a new bathing suit to reward herself for her weight-loss success.
When Mrs. Beebe started the Medical Weight Loss Center program under the supervision of Dr. L. Brooks Green, she weighed 169 pounds. As of May 11, she has lost nine pounds and 16 inches.
The last nine pounds brings her total to a 50-pound loss.
Mrs. Beebe said she had lost 41 pounds on her own before her monthly meetings with Dr. Green. But she credits Dr. Green with helping her get beyond the plateau where some dieters get stuck.
"This doesn't sound like I have lost a lot," she said about her nine-pound loss, adding, "But I have broken the plateau. It's 50 and counting, and I'm not talking about years."
"She looks like a new mom, but she's not," said Carl, her 9-year-old son.
Perhaps the most notable difference isn't in Mrs. Beebe's physical appearance - but in her attitude and energy.
"I can't remember the last time I didn't want to take a nap during the day," she said. "I used to feel 95, but the last few weeks I have felt like I was 25."
Mrs. Beebe has increased her exercise regimen and has learned to treat herself to her favorite foods in moderation. However, her willpower was tested during the Easter holidays.
Mrs. Beebe said her children attended three Easter egg hunts and got lots of candy from relatives.
"I must have had 60 pounds of chocolate staring me in the face," she said. "I allowed myself one Peppermint Patty a day."
Mrs. Beebe has also modified her exercise schedule. She works out for 30 minutes, seven times a week.
She begins with 10 minutes on the treadmill, 10 minutes of floor exercises, then another 10 minutes on the treadmill.
"Just short of the house burning down, I take the time each day to exercise," she said.
Mrs. Beebe has also lowered her Body Mass Index.
During her first visit with Dr. Green, Mrs. Beebe's BMI was measured at 29.08. The range for overweight individuals is 25 to 29.9. A BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. At her last check-in with Dr. Green a couple of weeks ago, Mrs. Beebe's BMI had gone down to 27.5.
"The people over at Dr. Green's are so supportive," Mrs. Beebe said. "They are my cheering section."
The Augusta Chronicle is following four people who volunteered to go public with their battle of the bulge by participating in a weight-loss program. We'll offer an update on a participant's progress every Tuesday.
Today is our third follow-up with Cathe Beebe, a stay-at-home mom who has lost 9 pounds and 16 inches. She is working with Medical Weight Loss Center of Augusta.
As we follow our participants' progress each week, we'll provide information that you can use in your own battle to lose weight.
This week's health tip
The way to keep those unwanted pounds off is through eating healthy and exercising regularly. The tough part about exercising is getting out there and doing it. Here are five tips on how to start and stay exercising from a Web site dedicated to promoting fitness. The site is: http://www.women.com.
Prioritize. The beds may not get made, but making time to exercise each day is a must.
Find a passion. Find an aerobic activity that you enjoy, such as dancing, aerobics or kick boxing.
Keep an exercise log. Keeping a log makes you more accountable.
Set a goal. Sign up for fun runs and try to improve your time. As you improve, set your sights on higher goals, such as marathons.
Get pumped. In addition to cardiovascular exercise, make time for resistance training a few times a week.
Reach Barnini Chakraborty at (706) 823-3332 or firstname.lastname@example.org.