Three years ago, Peg Bradford weighed 221 pounds and was a size 18. “I had a hysterectomy and gained 30 pounds in a year,” she says.
Peg, 47, realized something had to change: “I walked into my house and said to my husband, ‘This is something I’m going to have to do on my own. It’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle change.’”
The first thing she did was buy a pedometer. Keeping close tabs on her steps helped her to see that she wasn’t moving around nearly enough. Since it wasn’t in her budget to join a gym, Peg created a simple exercise program she could do in her house—jogging in place, lifting weights while watching TV, walking around while talking on the phone. Combined with smarter eating (watching portions, cutting out soda and candy), her efforts paid off: Peg lost 75 pounds in a year—and she’s kept it off now for two years.
“You’re supposed to aim for 10,000 steps a day. I do between 20,000 and 30,000,” she says. It amounts to between five and six miles of walking each day—steps she gets in while working at home as an administrative assistant. “I try to get up every 20 minutes,” she says.
Peg’s friends and family, of course, were amazed by the transformation. One day someone suggested she start a Facebook group to share her story and tips for how she’s kept the weight off. Soon, Steps to Good Health was born, a group that now has over 3,700 members from all over the world. It’s a place for people striving for better health to find encouragement and inspiration. Peg posts a tip and inspirational quote each day, and other members chime in. She also runs fitness challenges, usually centering around a steps-per-day goal. (Peg encourages users to get a pedometer.)
“Everyone is welcome,” she says. “There are so may people I’ve connected with. It’s a community of friends. I’m an everyday woman who’s trying to share her story.”