For three years, Kelli Brown, a bus driver in the Canyons District Transportation Department, has steadfastly pressed forward in her journey toward a healthy state.
Through diet and exercise, Brown has been able to shed a whopping 220 pounds Â and she recently shared her story with the country on a recent episode of “The Dr. Oz Show,” a syndicated TV program that focuses on weight-loss and wellness.
Brown’s quest to drop weight and improve her physical fitness started when she looked at some photos of a family gathering. While she knew she’d put on some weight, she didn’t realize just how much until she saw the photographs. When she stepped on a scale, she was so shocked at the number 353 pounds that she fell to her knees “and just started sobbing,” she says.
Her next move a phone call to her doctor may have saved her life. After an examination, the physician told her in blunt terms that if she didn’t change her sugar-filled diet and sedentary lifestyle she would likely suffer a heart attack. With her family foremost in her mind, she accepted the challenge to become healthy. First, she stopped drinking Dr. Pepper and started chugging gallons of water. Next, she tossed her cookies and candy in favor of fruits and vegetables. And she started moving Â just a little at first, then more as her body became used to the exercise.
At the beginning, Brown walked around the block and took the stairs instead of the elevator. She slowly added more strenuous exercises as she lost weight and gained strength. “You just move in any way you can,” she says. “You just move how your body allows until you can do more and more.”
There have been times, however, thatÂ she’s “tripped” in her drive to become healthier. Once, while nursing an injury, she fell back into old eating habits and gained back 50 pounds. “When I went back to my doctor, he just said to me, ‘You have to commit to your commitment,'” she said. “That clicked for me. You just have to do it.”Â
A Facebook page she’d started as a weight-loss support group then caught the eye of an official from “The Dr. Oz Show.” A producer of the program contacted her through the social-media site, conducted some pre-interviews, and then arranged for an all-expenses-paid to New York for a televised appearance.
“I told them, ‘I am just a woman who was in a desperate situation and needed to lose weight,'” Brown said. When asked on the show what advice she would have for those attempting to lose weight, she replied, “Take it one step at a time.”Â
Brown also advocated totally eschewing soft drinks. On the program, she told Dr. Mehmet Oz that soda was herÂ “go-to addiction,”Â and that at one time she was drinking more than six cans a day.Â Brown said she dropped 10 pounds the first week she stopped consuming soda. She continues to eat a lot of fruit, vegetables, and lean proteins. Daily exercise helps, too.Â
At the end of the segment, Dr. Oz who is “just as awesome in real life as he is on TV,” says Brown embraced the CSD bus driver and called her aÂ “health star.” Â
“It was a moment when I felt like all the hard work I’d done and all that I’d gone through was worth it that it was the most beneficial thing I had done in my life,” she said. “And if I could touch one person through my story, then it definitely was worth it.”Â