Americans’ waistlines keep expanding and the Quad Cities is no exception.
After losing 185 lbs., Nancy Hampton is the picture of health.
"We choose our health,” said Hampton. “It's the one thing we can control. I could never go back to that lifestyle. I thought, I'm an emotional eater, but I was fine with that. I was alright being invisible."
She's anything but invisible now.
They see a lot of Nancy at Ultimate Fitness in Bettendorf.
She's sadly the exception to the rule.
A study released Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked Iowa 18th in obesity across all 50 states. Illinois came in at 29.
"It's sad,” she said. “It breaks my heart because I can help you, you can help yourself."
Teaching kids unhealthy eating habits early on is why Nancy thinks we have an obesity epidemic.
"When we get into adulthood and we're stressed, what we do when we don't feel good is we treat ourselves with food. Before you ever pick up a weight, before you do any exercise, it all starts here and if you're not ready here, then you're never going to follow through."
One of the keys to weight loss, she says, is drinking plenty of water and even adding flavor enhancers if you don't like to drink it and staying disciplined because as Nancy is living proof that it's worth it.
"I've tasted a lot of amazing foods, but nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels."
There are many ways besides checking yourself out in the mirror you can try and assess whether or not you're healthy.
Check your BMI or your total body fat index.