5 ways to shape up for good, break down walls

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - How do you get your weight loss goals back on track? Karan Summitt share some of her secrets after losing 65 pounds and keeping it off for 6 years.

These days, Karan is a health educator for St. Bernards Center for Weight Loss in Jonesboro.

"I love what I do," says Karan.

She's the first to admit she hasn't always been cut out for this job. She says her motivations to get to where she is were the death of her mother and getting in shape for her son's Hawaiian wedding.

"I was able to lose about 45 lbs. at that time," says Karan.

Number one on her list to getting and staying in shape is to "get active". She says this was the most difficult for her because she fought for a long time to find a calorie burning activity she liked.

"I kept struggling with it," says Karan.

Eventually she found walking, which evolved into running.

"Girl, at my age you have to stretch before and after," says Karan.

Her number two strategy is "eating healthy".

"Foods that are good for your body tend to be the lowest calorie foods," says Karan.

She says it's important to remember our American culture is very unsupportive of a healthy eating life-style. All you have to do is drive down Stadium Blvd., and look at the dozens of restaurants where you can order a meal full of more sodium and calories than any person needs in one sitting.

Her third tip is to "stay ahead of hunger".

She says good intentions fly out the window when we're hungry.

"That body is a machine," says Karan.

To feed that machine you need to do number four and that is "take time to plan" and that starts at the grocery store.

The number 5 goal is "get support".

Paul Holmes says Karan helped him lose and learn to keep off 40 pounds.

"Karan is a person who lives those behaviors, models them," says Paul.

Karan says much of the research she's looked at over the years shows most people who don't reach out don't ever lose the weight.

As for the walls Karan hit along her health journey, she suggests re-inspecting your caloric intake or trying a new exercise.

Now that Karan has arrived at this healthy weight, she tries to never grow complacent.

"I'm just a step away from that...anything in life that's important deserves attention," says Karan.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.