Coloma Woman Shares Secret To Weight-loss Success: 'i Walk Every Day – No Excuses'

GRAND RAPIDS, MI When Jodi Davis recently shared the secrets to her 162-pound weight loss, it was clear that a fun, joyful attitude was a key to her success.

She loves walking. Loves trying new, healthy foods. And she loves encouraging others with her story.

Davis, of Coloma, shared her story and offered weight-loss tips recently in a live chat on MLive.com.[1] She was joined by Grace Derocha, a dietitian and fitness coach.

Both Davis and Derocha promote healthy lifestyles through A Healthier Michigan, [2]an initiative of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

When she weighed 300 pounds and started her weight-loss plan by walking every day, Davis ran into a lot of skepticism. A daily walk is not going to work, she was told.

Not only did she lose 162 pounds, she has maintained the weight loss for 12 years. And she is still walking.

Here is an excerpt from the chat:

Question: Jodi, your story is remarkable. What’s the question you hear the most?

Jodi Davis:

Thank you for the compliment. The question that I hear the most is: “Are you SURE that all you did was walk 1.5 miles a day?” When I answer “Yes” they are often surprised, feeling as though walking isn’t enough to create a significant weight loss.

I explain that I also consumed healthier foods than I did when I was morbidly obese, making sure to never skip meals. My attitude changed toward food, and I continuously reminded myself that “ONE BITE TASTES THE SAME AS TWENTY” when I wanted a treat. I still use that motto today, it works wonders! … and so does WALKING!

Question: As difficult as it is to lose weight, it seems even harder to maintain a weight loss. That’s what makes your story even more remarkable, Jodi. Grace or Jodi, do you have any tips for keeping the weight off?

Jodi Davis:

I hear that quite often, as many people feel that losing the weight is easier than actually keeping it off. I have a few suggestions for that:

1. Get RID of the “fat clothes” – don’t keep them ‘just in case’ because that allows you to feel that you’ll be using them again someday.

2. Make sure that you are enjoying your healthy lifestyle… but if you are not, figure out why and find some solutions.

3. Exercising daily is truly a key. I didn’t like to even use the word EXERCISE when I was 300 pounds, but I had to accept that I needed to incorporate it into my day. Walking was fun, free, and I could do it anywhere and anytime … with anyone, including my dogs. I walk everyday – NO EXCUSES – which has allowed me to maintain my weight.

4. Don’t try to be perfect, especially when it comes to eating. We all go overboard on eating now and then; it’s okay as long as you continue to strive for eating healthy. There are 21 meals in a week – if you do great for 18 of them, awesome!

Grace Derocha:

For weight loss and weight maintenance, consistency is key.

-Try to set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-framed goals). Set these as short-term and long-term goals. Find something that inspires you to live healthier or lose weight. For example, my mom has stated that she wants to live healthier because she wants to be around for my daughter (her granddaughter).

-Avoid what makes you “weak.” If you have certain foods that you cannot resist. Don’t have them in the house or around you.

-With weight loss, a lot of people are always thinking about cutting back or cutting out foods and then they start to feel deprived. Think about what you can or should add do your daily meal plan for more nutritionally dense foods. For example, if you don’t have at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, strive to add a rainbow of color into your day. Or if you are not taking in enough water, aim to do that daily.

Question: How do you energize yourself during the winter blues?

Jodi Davis:

I don’t seem to find myself encountering the “winter blues” so much, but if I find that I’m low on energy because of lack of sleep or the cold, dreary days, I turn to green tea! I love it and it seems to do the trick right away. I’ll often turn up ‘my favorite tunes’ and dance my heart out … hey, nobody is watching and it’s a blast!

Grace Derocha:

Exercise naturally helps you produce more endorphins which makes you happier and gives you more energy. Music is also a natural mood booster, so this all makes sense.

Question: How fast do you walk and how far do you walk?

Jodi Davis:

I walk pretty quickly and try to keep the same pace for the entire walk. It takes me 15 minutes to walk one mile. My normal routine is to walk 1.5 miles per day, which takes about 22 minutes, but I LOVE to strive for more! 5K walks are fun now, which are 3.1 miles, or about 6,200 steps.

If you enjoy your daily physical activity, you’ll be more apt to do it – walking was my thing, and still is! LOVE IT!

Question: Exercise –but it’s so hard to find the time to fit it in!! I commute to work four days a week and have two young kids who need play time, help with homework, in addition to shuffling back and forth to various activities. It seems so difficult to find the time to exercise. By the time they go to bed around 8 p.m. — I am often ready to go to bed with them, or have to prepare for the next morning (lunches, work, etc.). How do you fit in a quick exercise routine that will be beneficial?

Grace Derocha:

Great question! I feel the same way. Between work, kids and life it can get tricky to fit in a workout. Here are a few ideas: -Try to schedule your workouts. These don’t have to be extremely long, but make it work with your schedule. -That said, trying a workout at home is always a great way to fit it in. Recently, I have been using free workouts on demand through my cable provider and they have even 10 minute workouts. -Try to include the kids in some type of activity that could be like exercise. -Do small workouts – even three 10 minute walks a day, shows health benefits.

Yes, it is difficult to find time to work out, especially with young children … I totally understand.

Jodi Davis:

When my three children were young, I would find a designated time each day to dance with them or jog in place, aiming for 3,000 steps on my pedometer each time. Before long, they were looking forward to this “daily activity” and we had a great time working out as a family!

Question: Jodi, do you have any suggestions for avoiding “emotional eating”?

Jodi Davis:

As far as emotional eating, it surely was a major contributor to my obesity. Food was my friend, so I thought, and I went to it for comfort.

I learned that I could no longer turn to food for comfort, so I told myself whenever I needed “that comfort” I would walk instead. It may not be my normal walk, but it gets me out of the atmosphere and allows me to think about things.

I also learned not to purchase the comfort food items. If they are here, then I may eat them … so I don’t keep them in my home. Low-fat microwave popcorn works great for comfort food – low in calories, high fiber and it keeps the hand busy. Most of the time, comfort food is not ‘tasted’ anyways … it’s just something to do. I know. I’ve been there.

Please read many posts on this subject, they come from my heart: aHealthierMichigan.org

Davis and Derocha addressed a number of other topics, from walking routes to smart phone apps to the health benefits of endamame beans. Read the full discussion here.[3]

Email Sue Thoms at sthoms1@mlive.com and follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/suethoms[4][5]


  1. ^ a live chat on MLive.com. (www.mlive.com)
  2. ^ A Healthier Michigan, (www.ahealthiermichigan.org)
  3. ^ full discussion here. (www.mlive.com)
  4. ^ sthoms1@mlive.com (www.mlive.com)
  5. ^ twitter.com/suethoms (twitter.com)

Original Story Here


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  1. Reply

    I Am A Teenager What Are Some Weight Loss Tips And Ways To Appear Thinner? I am a teenager and I need help so please help me… I’m desperate. I want a higher self esteem.
    Please, can someone give me some weight loss tips like high calorie burning excersices, health food, some sort of plan and also tips to appear thinner. Thanks!

      • HealthNut
      • January 24, 2013

      Some easy weight loss tips :

      Eliminate Eating Junk Food.
      Drink a Lot of Water
      Reduce the Size of Your Portions
      Lower Your Calorie Consumption Without Deprivation
      You Want to Start Exercising Regularly
      Sleep Well- Practice a Good Night Sleep

    • Jazz
    • January 24, 2013

    What Are Some Weight Loss Tips And Ways To Appear Thinner? I am a teenager with a problem and I need help so please help me… I’m  desperate. I have Lupus and when it flares up I have to take prednisone which causes weight gain. I want a higher self esteem. Please, can someone give me some weight loss tips like high calorie burning excersices, health food, some sort of plan and also tips to appear thinner. Thanks!

      • HealthNut
      • January 24, 2013

      There are some good tips listed in the answers, here are a few more. Recent studies have shown that having eggs for breakfast will increase energy during the day and act as a natural weight suppressant. Have listed an article on using eggs as a weight loss food. Tracking your daily food intake and daily exercise will help a lot in determining how much you are really eating and working off each day. Have also noted a article that list a few easy ways to work exercise into your routine.

  2. Reply

    Where To Find Weight Loss Tips, Programs And Detox Programs For Dummies? Where to find weight loss tips, programs and detox programs for dummies?

      • HealthNut
      • January 24, 2013

      You can try http://detox-programs.net for many weight loss tips and detox programs

  3. Reply

    Weight Loss Tips And Help On Loosing Weight Ready For Prom? Im 15 and hopefully going to prom in the first week of July, as im British we only get 1 prom so its really important to me that i look nice 🙂
    Im very overweight at the moment, last week i weighed 12stone 9lbs (177 pounds) and now i weigh 12 stone 5lbs (173 pounds) but i know it won’t be like this every week.
    Are there any weight loss tips that can help me? I currently only eat 3 meals a day and 1200 cals as recommened on my app.
    Also what weight roughly should i be in July by your weight loss ideas?
    BQ- Im tanned, fat (hopefully not soon) and has long brown hair any ideas on what the dress could be?

    Thank you so much!

      • HealthNut
      • January 24, 2013

      First off, have a great time at the prom! Secondly, you want to get to that lower weight doing it healthy. 1200 is a reasonable amount of calories, but I’m pretty sure those calories are not coming from all the nutrients your body needs. You don’t want your weight loss coming to a crashing halt! I know all about the crazy diets out there. You don’t have to spend ANY money on a quick fix or gimmick that may not work or work only for a few weeks. I have been on a natural eating plan and I lost 50 pounds in about 5 months. You’re younger, it may be faster. I also incorporated lots of exercise to burn more fat. This way of eating is called Paleo, or the Cave Diet. Eat everything your ancestors ate! If mother nature made it, eat it, if man made it, don’t touch it! It’s as simple as that. Go to the Cave Diet link below. You will lose weight, feel happier, glow from the inside out. Good luck!

  4. Reply

    Can Someone Give Me Some Weight Loss Tips? I do gymnastics and dance. I am a female, 13 yrs, 5’4 and about 130 lbs. I feel gross. I at least want to be 100. I am planning on running in the morning along with an excersize video, at school we run for 5 minutes every day, in the evenings I will take my dogs for a walk, and doing gymnastics/dance stuff downstairs. Can anybody give me any weight loss tips.

      • HealthNut
      • January 24, 2013

      Drink more and more water and don’t eat oily and junk food . Walking, gymnastic and dancing are good way to reduce weight. You will achieve your desired weight in some days.. Keep going..

  5. Reply

    What Are Some Good Work Out Routines And Weight Loss Tips For A 16 Year Old Male? I’m a 16 year old male and I am about 6foot 2 and weight around 185-190lbs. I was wondering what a good work out routine I can start and any good weight loss tips?

      • HealthNut
      • January 24, 2013

      Just get into the habit of swimming every day or two and stick to it.

      Also for a normal (non drastic) diet that works you might want to see:

  6. Reply

    I Am 5foot 11 Inches Tall And Weight 230lb. Can Any Body Give Me Some Weight Loss Tips Or Diets? Hi. I am a 15 year old kid, who is 5’11, 230lb. And I need some weight loss tips before school starts. I work out alot. I play high school football, and competitive baseball in the summer. During football I lose all of my weight, but after that I gain all of my weight for baseball season. Please HELP!!! What can I do?

      • HealthNut
      • January 24, 2013

      No fats , no sugars and no junk food plus all the exercise you can manage ,

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