Bookmark and Share


over gates on the farm to feed the cows and calves, she attributed it to getting older. She now recognizes that it was so difficult because she was carrying 80 pounds of extra weight. “My plan in the beginning was to live long enough to see grandchildren and be able to play with them and that’s still what keeps me going,” she states. She not only keeps herself motivated but has motivated and inspired others through her leadership as a Weight Watchers mentor since 2011. Aside from being able to play with her grandchildren, she noticed other benefits of getting the extra weight off. A previous bad knee that she was certain would require surgery healed on its own. Though she still has aches and pains, the disappearance of knee problems allows her to bike and walk often. She feels fortunate not to rely on medication for any ailments. From the beginning of her goal, she made it a priority to attend the support group meetings and to always leave the house prepared. To this day, she still leaves the house every day with a bag full of healthy, delicious foods that she could eat. If something wasn’t in her bag, she didn’t eat it. She’s worn out her first bag and has moved on to a new one. She knew that to reach her goal she had to skip eating out at lunch, and even two days being on the road didn’t set her back. “I never, ever, since 2004, said ‘I’m not going to do this,’” she recalls. She explains that no matter how far she got off track, she still made herself accountable for her decisions. She remembers her class reunion in 2005, after she had surpassed her goal and was at her lightest weight. She met up with two highschool friends on the night before the class reunion. When they saw her, one of the them said, “I knew I should have lost weight before I came to this class reunion.” She laughs as she remembers the event, explaining that she didn’t lose the weight on purpose for the class reunion, but the compliments she received felt great. Still faced with obstacles, she still loves to bake, but doesn’t do it as often or bakes only for special events. Her biggest challenge is her love for eating. “I will never, ever, ever not want to eat instead of doing something else. I like to eat. It’s my favorite thing to do. I enjoy it.” She explains her tendency to over-eat and to eat for something to do, when she’s not truly hungry. She eats out much less, using the dining out experience as a fun, special event and not as a habit. Though now retired from the State of SD as a Drivers’ License examiner for more than 20 years, she still has a couple of jobs for fun. Along with being a Weight Watchers leader, she also handles the billing for Pump & Stuff ’s headquarters and is the Treasurer for the Turner County Fair, the largest free-gate fair in South Dakota. She explains how there is always food around her at work, often donuts and cookies readily available for various celebrations. Though it’s challenging to be around the tempting foods without giving in, she will eat something if she really wants it. “If you don’t have it, you can’t eat it,” was a statement she once heard. Her spin on this statement was that she had to have healthy food available at home to eat. Her husband saw it from a different angle: if you don’t have junk food around at home, you can’t eat it. She follows both practices when buying groceries and explains how one bad decision in the store could trump fifty more decisions during the week at home. The fun and energetic, yet humble Larsen is a great mentor to others on this journey, serving as an excellent teacher, supporter and motivator. She thinks of some advice for others in their weight loss aspirations, and smiles, “You have to realize that you’re worth doing this.” n We’re H“EAR” for you! May is Better Hearing and Speech Month and our Audiologists are proud to recognize the month by reminding you that that we are “hear” to help with your hearing difficulties. We will perform a thorough audiological evaluation and if needed, will create a personalized, customized rehabilitation plan for you, including choosing the most appropriate hearing aids and assistive listening devices from a variety of products. We’re H“ear” For You! EAR, NOSE & THROAT ASSOCIATES, P.C. Beth J. Beeman Au. D, CCC-A Todd A. Farnham Au. D, CCC-A 2525 Fox Run Parkway, Suite 101, Yankton • 605-665-0062 • 1-866-665-0062 • www.entyankton.com HERVOICEvMAY/JUNE 2018v11

© Copyright 2015 Her Voice Online