When Hollie Colbert could no longer bend over to tie her shoes, she knew it was time to seek help for her weight loss.
The COVID-19 pandemic suddenly caused the 30-year-old to spend all of her time at home, which led to a sedentary lifestyle of constant eating. She binged on unhealthy foods, such as pizza, burgers and soda, trying to find comfort during a time of uncertainty. Hollie noticed the weight gain and tried eliminating certain foods and restricting calories, but one cheat day turned into a cheat week and then a cheat month.
“I only wore Crocs because I could just slip them on without having to bend over. As I lost the weight, I was finally able to wear tennis shoes again. I still wear Crocs though; who doesn’t love Crocs?” Hollie joked.
In 2020, Hollie’s uncle died from unmanaged type 2 diabetes complications, motivating her even more to improve her health. With support from Andrew McDevitt, APRN, she jumped full force into an SBL weight loss program.
“I kept pushing it off and telling myself that I was fine and in control of my health. I don’t like asking for help, but I needed it. Beginning my weight loss journey was the most challenging thing I have ever done, but also the most rewarding,” Hollie explained.
Hollie met with an SBL nutritionist who gave her healthier alternatives to foods that she already consumed, such as sugar-free creamer for her coffee. Trips to the grocery store meant searching for more nutritious foods, rather than grabbing for the usual quick meals.
Hollie also added a daily appetite suppressant, which helped with portion control, and she began eating fruits and healthy fats to boost her metabolism. The biggest lifestyle change she made was completely eliminating soda.
“The appetite suppressant helped me learn that one plate is enough. And once I learned how much sugar Mountain Dew contained, I cut it out completely. I don’t even drink diet soda. I find better ways to satisfy a sweet craving,” Hollie shared.
Hollie felt supported through her monthly check-ins with McDevitt, biweekly personal training sessions at the Center for Healthy Living gym, and family group chats. During Christmas 2020, Hollie’s family passed on their tradition of making candy, and instead made Christmas cards. If she had a bad day of eating, Hollie shared it with family members, who reminded her of her goals. These big changes led to rapid weight loss.
“The program works very well. I was losing weight so fast that I had excess skin. Learning how to weightlift allowed me to tone up certain parts of my body that were loose. Gyms can be very intimidating, but the trainers at the Center for Healthy Living did a great job explaining how certain machines helped target muscles and how to lift properly,” Hollie remarked.
Hollie lost 55 pounds in four months, while gaining self-confidence and a belief that she could do anything that she put her mind to.
“I was ready to move and be myself again. And now I feel incredible. It’s the best decision I have ever made. It’s definitely not easy, but it’s so worth it. I have a long way to go, but I love how I’m feeling, and I know what to expect on this journey,” Hollie insisted.
Not one to shy away from hard work, Hollie works two jobs while studying to become an elementary and special education teacher. Before the pandemic, she volunteered at a food pantry and homeless shelter.
“I’m a giver at heart, so I love to help others,” Hollie said.
For more information about the SBL weight loss program, call the Medical Clinic at the Center for Healthy Living at 217-238-4961.