Winston keeps weight off
July 23, 2012
by Megan Huckaby
Lose weight or die. That is the choice a lot of people are given today, especially in Mississippi.
Mississippi has more obese residents than any other state in the nation, according to a report released by the Trust for America's Health in 2011.
Thirty percent of adults in the state are obese, the report said.
Henrine Winston of McComb was one of those people in 2000.
Her doctor told her she had an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. She weighed 215 pounds and was a size 22 at her heaviest.
“If I wanted to live, I needed to learn how to eat for each of those conditions,” she said.
Now, at 72, she is 1341/2 pounds and has been a size eight for as many years.
Her struggle began in 1993, when she first tried to lose weight, but none of the conventional diet tools helped her.
“You really have to learn to fix your own food,” Winston said.
She taught herself everything she needed to know about eating healthy. She read books that explained her medical conditions and used any literature pertaining to healthy living to develop a new lifestyle for herself.
“You have to study, learn,” she said. “It is like going to school.”
She learned to cut the traditional Southern comfort foods — anything that is fried and anything made with meat fats or lard.
Eating whole wheat instead of white flour also helped her lose weight and get healthy, she said.
“I learned to like things,” Winston said, adding that reading the ingredients in foods was important, too.
Winston even won an award for her new style of cooking.
She won first place for her pie in the Light and Healthy category of the Enterprise-Journal’s 2002 Recipe Edition.
The most important part is that the lifestyle she developed was hers.
“It’s not somebody else’s, it has to be yours,” she said.
Winston hits the track at Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center every morning at 5, and walks four miles. Before she reached her goal she might have walked more than six miles a day, she said.
She has won two medals from the Southwest Mississippi Community College for placing first in her age group in the school’s annual 5K walk.
She walked her best 5K in 38 minutes at age 71.
When asked if she would walk the 5K this year she said, “Oh, yes!”
She has walked a total of 8,871.83 miles, according to a chart she has kept. The chart gives distances between different cities in the U.S., and Winston is only more than 1,000 miles away from completing her list.
She has always kept a calendar of her progress. When she gains weight she writes it in red ink and when she loses or maintains, it goes down in green ink.
There is an entire month written in green ink, which is one of her greatest moments, she said.
“Lose weight or die” is many miles away from Winston’s mind as she continues her healthy living.
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