“The ‘old’ me would have sat on the side-lines and watched,” Phillips reflected. But since losing 74 pounds in the last year, the Bon Secours Hampton Roads’ vice president of mission for Bon Secours DePaul said she’s a “completely different person.” “I used to have trouble going up a flight of stairs, and now I’m sprinting up them. In fact, now I look for the stairs,” she said.
Phillips undertook this fitness journey after discovering she was pre-diabetic in July 2010. Featured in Tidewater Women magazine for her success story, she shared how she got help through a new program at the Bon Secours Weight Loss Center, Phillips saw a physician once a week, went to classes and followed a careful diet.
Today she continues to pursue her fitness goals with an athletic trainer and nutritionist. “Working with a trainer has helped more than I imagined,” she said, explaining that she now incorporates strength training as well as cardio workouts.
“I never had any upper-body strength. I can tell a tremendous difference in how I feel. My back used to hurt, my knees used to hurt. That’s gone away.” She’s also whittled down the number of medications she takes to just two.
Her “aha” moment came when she was checking bags at the airport and realized that her 50-pound luggage equaled the weight she had lost up to that point. “I got to a point where I had given up hope. I had been on every diet. I had lost the weight several times. The thing that’s different… is it’s a lifestyle change,” she said. “If you want it, you can do it.”