"I was big my whole life," Hansel said. "I was raised on a small farm and we had cow's milk, chickens and hogs, and, of course, mom cooked with lard. So we had lots of fat. And we ate too much."
Hansel dieted in the past and succeeded in losing some weight, but she never really cared about keeping it off. She credits her success in getting healthy with the local Weight Watchers program, working as a custodian at the Harlan Baptist Church and making a commitment to herself.
"I've not missed a meeting since I started going," she said of Weight Watchers. "It is just like when I was four years old and made a commitment to not miss Sunday school, and I haven't. You have to be committed."
Her first meeting was Sept. 20, 2004, and she weighed in at 208 pounds. Her doctor had set a target goal of 165 pounds for her using the high end of the standard height and weight chart.
"When I weighed in, I thought,