There was a time when 63-year-old Diane Naylor, from Fresno, CA, was scared to walk to the mailbox at the end of her driveway. She weighed over 400 pounds then. Living alone, she worried she’d fall and break a bone and no one would be there to help her.
Then she decided to move from Fresno to Oakhurst. There was all sorts of things for her to do in her new city, from hiking to biking to just spending time outdoors. There was just one problem. Because of her weight, Diane wasn’t able to live an active lifestyle. Then an episode of “Castle” changed everything.
Diane never expected a TV show to drastically change her life for the better. But that’s exactly what happened. The turning point came while watching an episode of “Castle” where a medical examiner on the show pointed to a row of refrigerated corpses to impart some wisdom to a detective in need of advice.
“She said, ‘All those people had dreams, and their time ran out. Don’t let your time run out before you reach your dream,’ ” Diane recalls. “It was like a light bulb went on.”
Diane started walking farther than the end of her driveway, gradually increasing the circle she made around her Oakhurst home. Then she met a TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) member, who invited her to the club’s weekly meetings. TOPS’ educational talks and fellowship made a huge difference.
She was feeling depressed because of her weight at the time and it gave her the push she needed to start completely anew the next day. Eventually she managed to lose 225 pounds even though she was 63 years old.
Diane says her Christian faith, “always having the Lord to rely on,” and retirement are also huge factors in her success. Diane now has more time to exercise than in years past, when she was a grocery store checker, foster parent and caretaker for her parents.
At her heaviest, she weighed over 400 pounds. Today, she’s 155. Her new healthy and energetic self has already crossed a number of things off her bucket list, such as ziplining, riding a motorcycle and learning to woodwork.
In June, 2015, Diane was crowned California Queen of TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Club in San Diego. Many more dreams await, including travel and becoming more active in her church.
Diane likes to say she’s “63 going on 45,” but really, she feels much younger. She sticks with 45, she admits happily, because she doesn’t think anyone would believe her if she said she feels 35.
She has a message for others struggling with their weight:
“Start changing your lifestyle now. Make small changes. Don’t try and do it alone, find people to support your journey and keep going with it. Don’t give up on your dream!
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