75 Pounds Lost, 25 More to Go

75 Pounds Lost, 25 More to Go

Rochelle Ford is confident she can lose that last 25 pounds with the help of Pound for Pound, an 8-week weight loss program that starts Monday, Jan. 16.

By Sarah Nep

People are doing a double take when they see Rochelle Ford at work in the hallways of the Vallejo Medical Center. Ford has lost almost 75 pounds since last May — and is confident she will reach her weight loss goal of 100 pounds.

So how did she do it? Ford credits a supportive family, an active team at work, and small steps. She had been “wanting and wishing” to lose weight for years. Now she wonders why she struggled for so long.

With 25 pounds to go, she is excited for the new Go KP Pound for Pound Challenge to provide additional support to help her reach her goal this year.

The Pound for Pound Challenge offers KP employees online weight loss support with tips, tracking, and resources, and encourages peer-to-peer support. This year’s challenge begins on Monday, Jan. 16. Kaiser Permanente will donate a pound of fresh produce to the national food bank network Feeding America for each pound lost, or 5 pounds of produce for weight maintained during the challenge.

Last year, more than 57,000 pounds of produce were donated to families in need.

A Defining Moment

In September 2012, Ford was hit by a car. After the accident, she couldn’t walk and future mobility was uncertain. The senior staff assistant in the Rehabilitation Department was stuck at home, in pain, and feeling discouraged about her weight.

“I told myself, ‘You had opportunities to walk and run and you didn’t take advantage of it or the weight loss resources and programs at work. Enough is enough,’” Ford said.

Determined to tackle the problem head-on, she vowed to make some changes when she recovered.

Influenced by Her Co-workers

When Ford took a new job as a podiatry residency program coordinator in the Quality Department in March 2016, she quickly noticed her team’s level of activity.

“They would be lacing up their shoes for a walk at lunch time or heading out for a class or other activity. So I brought my shoes in, too.”

Ford started with short walks and “little bits” of exercise ― such as walking to a restroom on a different floor ― to add in more steps.

Now she joins the team on outside activities, including quarterly 5K runs. And she is a big fan of an early morning workout to get her clear-headed and ready for another busy day at work.

Small Changes

More activity led to better eating habits. First cutting out unneeded carbs, Ford found ways to make healthier food choices.

“Carbs were my vice, my comfort food,” she said. “So I got creative and developed better alternatives — such as cucumber or jicama with lemon and sea salt, roasted nuts, or baking a low-carb tortilla to dip into healthy guacamole. I don’t feel deprived.”

She acknowledges each 5-pound milestone along the way with a little celebration. It might be a pedicure, a new workout outfit, or trying a new recipe.

What’s Next?

“I’m excited for the Pound for Pound Challenge this year,” Ford said. “I think it will help me be more accountable and help me achieve my weight loss goal.”

Ford is also looking forward to pulling in some friends to add “strength, courage, and support” to their efforts, saying, “You don’t have to do this alone.”

“Don’t quit — you’re already winning,” she added. “Keep your eye on the goal — you don’t have to be perfect. Make small changes and if you slip, pick yourself up and start again. You are worth it.”