Mayor Sharon Weston Broome shares her weight-loss journey
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — They’re hanging in every woman’s closet — that perfect pair of jeans or that to-die-for little black dress. They fit just right. They boost her confidence.
But when the waistband gets a little snug or those buttons start to pull, a woman’s got to do what a woman’s got to do: buy bigger clothes or lose a few pounds.
For Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, it was time to lose the weight, which she started doing last March. Now, she’s starting the new year 35 pounds lighter.
“I was tired of the way my clothes were fitting,” Broome said. “That, and for health reasons, I just decided it was time to do something.
“There’s a family history of high blood pressure, and my doctor had me on a very low dose of medication to treat that,” she added. “But after my weight loss, she was able to lower it even more, and she’s hopeful that I can stop taking it entirely. That’s a huge plus.”
For someone with a schedule as busy as the mayor’s, finding a weight-loss plan she could follow was key.
“I had to find what worked for me, and I encourage everybody on their own weight-loss journey to do what works for them,” said Broome, who, after lots of research, settled on Weight Watchers, now known as WW International.
Broome said she doesn’t go to meetings, instead relying on the program’s app.
“It was a good path for me because Weight Watchers is pretty liberal about what you can eat, and their recipes are creative,” she said.
Basically, the plan is based on a point system. Each food is assigned a point and those on the plan can eat so many points per day.
Now that Broome is eating better and exercising more, she’s encouraging others to do the same through the HealthyBR initiative, part of a national push by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The initiative includes the recently launched “Move with Mayor Broome,” which promotes more active lifestyles through various community-led walking and biking events.
Partners in the initiative include the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Knock Knock Children’s Museum and other organizations that seek to promote a culture of improving health throughout the Capital Area. Broome’s also reaching out to Weight Watchers to see if there’s any way it can partner with HealthyBR.
“It’s a little extra enthusiasm for me when people tell me they are inspired by my weight loss,” said Broome. “If my story can motivate … encourage others then I’m willing to put it out there.”
After almost a year in, Broome is still committed to the Weight Watchers program and said counting points has become second nature.
For many years, Broome said her diet has been mostly vegetarian, along with fish and seafood. She said she loves that fish and fruits have no points on the Weight Watchers plan, but the same can’t be said for what used to be her favorite snack: french fries.
“I’ve only eaten fish and seafood for a long time but, at night, on my way home, McDonald’s french fries were my comfort food,” she said with a laugh. “They were my reward at the end of a busy day. I was never a big sweets person but potatoes, bread, pasta, carbs . . . “
The mayor said she gets her exercise by riding bikes and rock-wall climbing. But her go-to exercise is walking. She and her security detail climb the stairs to her office on the third floor of the Governmental Building everyday and take them down at the day’s end.
“And, I love walking to events downtown or to lunch at Christina’s — they have a wonderful vegetable plate,” said Broome.
The mayor said her weight loss has not only benefited her health and her clothing budget. She said she just feels better, more energized.
“It’s just all become part of the fabric of my life,” said Broome, who has a FitBit to help track her steps. “I want eating healthy and exercising to be my lifestyle.”
Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com