MANSFIELD -- Slow and steady wins the race — that’s the way Condrea Webber, 44, views her weight loss journey.
The Mansfield woman, who used to weigh 420 pounds, started making changes in her life over a decade ago. Her doctor encouraged her to lose some weight, which she gradually started doing year after year.
“I would show up for my yearly physical 5, 10, 15 pounds lighter. I did that for about 10 years and was like, ‘Oh my goodness, I’ve lost 90 pounds,’” she said.
Last September, she kicked her weight loss into high gear when her workplace, the Richland School of Academic Arts, held a weight loss competition.
With a $200 grand prize on the line, Webber was determined to give it her all. Her hard work paid off — she won the contest. Moreover, she’s shed 79 pounds since September, losing a combined total of over 180 pounds since the start of her weight loss journey.
She achieved her recent weight loss with the help of the keto diet and fasting. She prescribes to the 16:8 diet, meaning mealtimes are restricted to an 8-hour window each day, with the other 16 hours spent fasting.
“That’s really what’s been working for me,” she said. “I pretty much eat whatever I want to eat now at this point, as long as I stay within my fasting window.”
She’s also incorporated exercise into her weekly regimen. A friend suggested she participate in the weekly parkrun at North Lake Park, which she’s done six times so far, she said. She also walks a 5K around her neighborhood three times a week.
“I always say a 5K a day keeps the pounds away,” she said laughing.
Another change she’s made is the elimination of pop from her diet, which she previously never thought possible. She used to drink almost two liters of pop daily. Now she drinks three liters of water a day.
As one of the most positive people you’ll meet, Webber rejects any negativity that comes her way, including discouraging comments from others.
“I look at things as a challenge and I take them head on,” she said. “I like to be able to say ‘I can’ instead of 'I can’t.'”
The Madison Comprehensive High School graduate of 1993 said she’s slimmer now than she was as a high school senior.
“I feel like I’ve turned back the hands of time with my body, my mind,” she said. “I feel like I’m 28.”
Webber was approved to receive gastric bypass surgery, but decided to forgo moving forward with the surgery at the encouragement of her son, Terence.
“He had a long talk with me and kept saying, 'Mom you can do this by yourself, you don’t need to do that,’” she said.
While Webber sometimes strays from her healthy habits, she doesn't stay that way for long.
“I used to fall off the wagon and just stay off the wagon, but now if I fall off the wagon I get right back on,” she said. “Instead of continuing to eat bad for a week and put 10 pounds on, I just get back on track.”
She hopes to continue losing weight, aiming to lose about 20 pounds by the end of September and another 50 pounds after that. She likes to break her weight loss goals into increments, that way it doesn’t feel so overwhelming, she said.
“I know people say you shouldn’t weigh yourself every day, but for me that’s what’s working,” she said. “It’s holding me accountable.”
Ultimately her goal is to be healthy. She used to have high blood pressure and was a pre-diabetic.
“I don’t have any of that now,” she said.