When Art and Betty Halcomb look at each other they still have a hard time believing how much weight they have lost. Enduring a long struggle with weight, together they have lost 347 pounds.
In April 2010, a decision was made between the Halcombs to begin a weight loss schedule. Art weighed in at 384 pounds and Betty was at 308 pounds. Both were 40 years of age at that time.
“We began with a three-month challenge to ourselves,” said Betty. “We decided we were going to do everything we could do in a three-month period to see how much weight we could actually lose. This included counting calories and intentional exercise every day, which at first was only about one-half mile of walking because of our weight.”
Betty said within two weeks they had built up strength to walk one mile. She said they set small goals and once they reached those, they would set some more.
“We did portion control with our meals, actually measuring out serving sizes,” said Betty. “I was eating 1,200 calories per day and Art was eating 1,500 calories per day. We didn’t limit ourselves to any certain foods. We wanted it to be a lifestyle change not just another diet.”
Betty said in today’s society everything is out of control — everything is super-sized.
“God was our main strength,” said Art. “We were fortunate to have each other to encourage one another. It was hard in the beginning, I didn’t even know what a portion was. It got easier as time went on. We did consult our doctors and had checkups before we got started. We didn’t want to have a heart attack by doing something our body wouldn’t let us do.”
Betty said another inspiration for their desire to lose weight was their daughter who is a two-time cancer survivor.
“To watch our daughter, Kristen Swanner, go through chemotherapy, radiation and stem-cell transplant, and see her literally fight for her life and we were just throwing ours away, we felt so guilty,” said Betty. “We felt ashamed as we watched her battle as to whether she would live or die. Here we were healthy, but overweight, knowing eventually our health would take a turn for the worse. It’s a deception overweight people have. You may be healthy for awhile, but it will turn worse over time.”
Betty said even more motivation was the fact their daughter, after going through all her cancer treatments, was told she could never have a child became pregnant. She said knowing they were going to be grandparents inspired them even more to lose weight and have a longer healthier life.
“Jesus says he wants us to have an abundant life,” said Betty. “If we can do this, anyone can do it. Make that decision today to lose weight and live a more happier life. Don’t give up — keep trying.”
The Halcombs reside in Baxter. They have two children and one grandson. Art is pastor of the Sunny Acres First Church of God and an X-ray technician at Harlan ARH Hospital. Betty is secretary at the First Baptist Church in Loyall.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at email@example.com