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Weight Loss Program Inspires Morbidly Obese Chicago Mom to Change Her Life

citizen | 5/2/2013, 1:16 p.m.
Recently, Weight Watchers received a letter from a young woman in Chicago about her mother's...
Lennie Jones Before.

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Lennie Jones After.

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Lennie Jones back on the horse.

Recently, Weight Watchers received a letter from a young woman in Chicago about her mother's triumphant battle with her weight. In this letter, Lennie M. Jones - daughter of Lennie B. Jones - recants how, as a child, she watched her mother constantly struggle with her weight. At the age of 63, the elder Lennie was given an ultimatum by her doctors which was to lose the weight or face serious and potentially deadly repercussions from it. She decided to embrace the Weight Watchers program and after 18 months on the program, Lennie lost over 100 pounds. This filled her daughter with so much admiration for her mother and she now saw her as her hero. Best of all, she watched as her mother was able to pursue her dream of riding horses again. Here's an excerpt from the letter:

On February 26, 2013, Weight Watchers produced an inspiration, my mother.

Eighteen months prior to this date, doctors diagnosed a 63 year old woman as morbidly obese and informed her that the serious health problems she was experiencing could leave her seriously ill or claim her life if she did not make some major changes immediately. This woman was my mother. And her list of potentially fatal medical issues - including a cholesterol level that was off the charts, high blood pressure, breathing complications, sleep apnea, fatigue, and the onset of chronic arthritis - took a deep emotional toll on our entire family. With her choice down to losing the weight or possibly losing her life, my mother made the decision to seriously embrace the Weight Watchers program.

Like millions of other working adults, who marry and raise children, while maintaining their careers, my mom juggled a hectic-paced full time job along with a family of four. A selfless individual, my mom always went above and beyond for the school children she nurtured, initially as a teacher, and later as a principal. After work, she cared for the young and elderly members of our community, and simply put her own nutritional needs last on an altruistic list of tasks. Understandably, over the course of many years, my mom fell into a devastating routine of quick but greasy take-out meals, and neglected physical exercise all together.

Growing up, I remember watching my mother struggle with diet after diet, desperately trying to lose weight, but falling prey to gimmicks and quick-fixes which only resulted in her weight steadily increasing and her health declining. I watched her give up on losing weight and restoring her health, conceding to the idea that she had been battling her obesity for so long that it was time to accept defeat. My mother reached the darkest and most dire point in the struggle with her weight, when she ballooned to just under 250 pounds. It was at this crucial point that doctors presented her with the dire ultimatum to take control of the situation or permanently lose the chance to regain her health. All of our family was devastated.