Woman learns it's never to late to change - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

FOX Medical Team

Woman learns it's never to late to change

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ATLANTA -

Six years ago, Lisa Anderson finally got tired of feeling tired. Her clothes no longer fit. She felt sluggish. Some days, she'd drop the kids off at school and climb back into bed. But as Anderson approached her 49th birthday, something clicked and she's never looked back.

For nearly 50 years, Anderson felt like she was living her life on the sidelines.

"I totally am a woman who never did anything in their life before six years ago," said Anderson.

The now-fit Tucker mother of four is about turn 55 and trains at Stone Mountain Park.

But to really get Lisa, she says, you have to picture who she was just a few years back,  

"I was mentally defeated, physically drained, there was nothing, nowhere, anybody could say to me to make me feel better about myself,' said Anderson."When I found that 212 pounds at 49 years old, for some reason, thank goodness, that just resonated with me -- that it was definitely time to make a change and it was time to stop making excuses, and time to actually do something about it,"
 
So, Lisa started walking, and then slowly running.

"And then I had a friend that invited me to the gym and said, ‘Why don't you come to the gym with me, let's take a class, see what that's all about,' and oh my gosh. I walked in the door and it was like ‘lights, camera, action!' It was just people in the pool, and in classes," said Anderson.

Instead of feeling intimidated, Lisa felt inspired.
         
"I just really wanted to look good and feel good again, I knew there was another person in me trying to come out, I just didn't know what to do about it, how to get there. So, actually from August to June, I lost 75 pounds.  It was so amazing," said Anderson.

Lisa never got on the scale, focusing instead on the changes in her body.
 
"That's the really exciting part. I went in with a big sweat pants, and a big sweatshirt and t-shirts, and then before I knew it, all of this stuff was just weighing me down," said Lisa.

Once Lisa got moving, she said it was hard to stop. She liked the rush you get from exercise so much that she became a fitness instructor at a local gym.

"There's not a stranger I don't meet, there's not a person in my life that I don't talk to about it, because I want you to feel as good as I do, and I know you can," said Anderson.

Lisa has several 5K and 10K races -- even a half marathon.  Next month, at 55, she's taking on her biggest race yet.

"I mean, I'm going to run 26.2 miles, and I can do it! You can do it too. You find your plan, you find what works for you, and you start off slow and you build from that," said Anderson. "There's a great quote that I heard just two weeks ago.  ‘Yesterday, was the best day to start, today is the next best day.'  Take that and do it...And I simply want you to live your life, don't watch it go by, but live your life!"

All week we've been talking about our hearts, and our health, as we gear up for the 2012 Heart Walk on Saturday, September 21.

One heart specialist says focus on one thing you can change and do it. Maybe you start walking, or quit smoking, or cut back or find a way to get rid of some of the stress in your life.

If you can change one thing at a time, you're more likely to succeed at getting -- and staying -- healthy.

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