Finding confidence through weight loss

The turn of a New Year and the beginning of a new semester have students plunging into an assortment of new activities in hopes of easing the pain induced with re-entry into all-nighters and Ramen noodle diets.

For some, however, learning how to manage stress and maintain a healthy lifestyle isn’t a choice.

In June 2011, just a few months after transferring from McLennan Community College in Waco to UMHB, sophomore history major Erin Goolsby was unwittingly thrust into her transformation when a health issue threatened her future.

“When I found out about my issues with my gallbladder, I decided it was time to make a change. I was actually at my heaviest when I found out my gallbladder wasn’t working well and that I would have to have it removed,” she said.

At first all she did was remove the unhealthy foods from her diet to lose a substantial amount of weight, 30 pounds to be exact.

“It wasn’t a quick process, obviously. But the weight just started coming off as I dieted. It was exciting because I had never made that much progress in my entire life,” she said. “I plan to lose about another 30 pounds because I want to be at a healthy weight for my height.”

She and senior elementary education major Leah Hough attended their first Zumba class recently to kick-start their new regimen and plan to continue every Wednesday night.

Goolsby and Hough have been friends since sixth grade, and Hough describes their relationship as a good support system that has proved stronger than the obstacles 11 years of friendship have thrown at them.

“There have been days when I’m just not motivated,” Goolsby said. “I’ll get stressed, and all I want to do is sleep. I would say that’s my biggest obstacle.

Goolsby has a backup plan for sudden relapses.

“I have an emergency jar of Nutella in the pantry, but exercise is the best stress release for me,” she said.

Goolsby understands the amount of work she needs to do to reach her goal, but her new-found confidence and security have created room to encourage others.

“Just make yourself a goal and stick with it. Even if it’s thrust upon you like mine was, just keep going with it. I will get better with time and vigilance.”

Junior nursing major Kara Cornelio is learning to deal with stress in ways that will improve her health.

She also has exhaustive study demands as she enters the third semester in pursuit of her BSN 3,000 miles away from her boyfriend and her dachshund.

“I’m already so swamped with school that it’s hard to find the time to stay in shape when I’d rather be sleeping,”    Cornelio said.

She has figured out that exercising and eating healthy keep her body and mind happy so she can make it through the months of exams and clinicals ahead of her.

“My family encourages me to stay close in my relationship with God,” she said. “I know his love and my family’s prayers are keeping me sane through all of this.”

Author: Katie Maze

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