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Wellness Journey: Vivian Andrews gets on TOP of weight issue

by on November 19, 2015

AEP cares about the safety, health and well-being of its employees. All employees and retirees are invited to share their stories about the changes they are making to live healthier lives. This “Wellness Journey” is from Vivian Andrews, a retiree from Southwestern Electric Power Company.

Vivian Andrews struggled with her weight for many, many years.

Vivian Andrews struggled with her weight for many years.

Where I was

I have been overweight most of my life. I have tried every fad diet and commercial weight-loss program available through the years. What I found that works is eating right, in moderation and getting plenty of exercise. I have lost hundreds of pounds, but would gain most of them back.

My turning point

When I retired from AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company in August 2010 after over 36 years of service, I had already begun my journey of losing weight for the last time! Through the efforts of a member of my church, a TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) chapter was organized and I began attending the meetings. The weekly weigh-ins — the accountability — helped me continue to lose the weight.

After joining the TOPS group, Vivian has lost 107 pounds and is feeling better than ever before!

After joining the TOPS group, Vivian has lost 107 pounds and is feeling better than ever before!

In April 2011, I became the leader of the group. So as leader, the pressure was on! It was my responsibility that all weekly programs, support, caring and information presented would foster healthy eating habits and exercise. And as leader, I needed to ‘walk the talk.’

It’s been more than five years and it is a slow process. Eating three meals a day and snacks, exercise — including going to the gym three days a week and drinking plenty of water each day has not only help me lose the weight, but has made me feel better than I have ever felt in my life! I walk on an average of 10,000 steps a day.

Paying it forward

Currently I have lost 107 pounds from my top weight and will continue this wonderful journey until I reach my goal. Another goal is to continue to spread the story of TOPS to everyone that I meet so they can enjoy the camaraderie, support, fellowship and the love that TOPS affords to its members.

Do you have a Wellness Journey you’d like to share? Your story can be about weight loss, overcoming an illness, maintaining good health habits or some other health-related topic. If you have a story you would like to share, please send an email to dpwaitkus@aep.com.

From → Wellness

3 Comments
  1. Looking good Vivian inside and out. Vivian also continues to support our ArkLaTex WiNUP Chapter and is an inspiration to all.

    Love you girl.

    Velda

  2. Good for you Vivian. It is great to see you looking so good.
    Dave

  3. Looking good Vivian. Keep up the good work. I am gaining what you are loosing! Ann B.

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