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From yo-yo diets to Dance Dance Revolution

By 18, Erica Kennett had already had her share of "yoyo" diets and watched her mother gain and lose weight again and again. But in her early twenties, with a BMI over 40, hypertension and Type II Diabetes, she was ready for a permanent solution. Now, at age 30, she's down 153 pounds, is off her diabetes medicine and is embracing an active lifestyle.

Kennett moved here from Ohio where she had considered bariatric surgery, but had insurance that would not cover the procedure. But after moving to Oregon, with help from Legacy Health's insurance, she and her husband (also an employee) both had the surgery two weeks apart after completing the required two-year wait. 

For seven months before the May 2015 surgery, she learned healthy habits and got into the "best shape of her life" as she prepared for the operation with the help of Legacy's Weight and Diabetes Institute.

In those months while she waited for the surgery, she says counselors helped her learn to eat vegetables for the first time in her life. She bought a bike to take advantage of the Marine Drive multi-use trail near her home and she started playing Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) again, a video game she once played in college.

Kennett says she chose the gastric bypass surgery because she wanted a long-term solution to weight loss. "Statistics don't lie," she said. "The fact of the matter is that other programs have a 5 percent success rate," Kennett explained. But she says the surgery is just a tool and that you can "fail surgery" too, so she's worked hard to make lifestyle changes necessary to make her weight loss last.

In July, Kennett rode her bike on Legacy's team in the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure fundraising ride. She hopes to participate in that ride again and perhaps others. In the summer and fall, she also did some bicycle commuting to the Legacy Good Samaritan Sleep Disorders Center where she works as a clinical supervisor. Because Legacy has a discount with LA Fitness for employees, Kennett has a personal trainer who is helping her find indoor activities she can enjoy during wetter weather.

"Good health to me means being able to enjoy life in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest without being hindered by the limitations that I can control," -- Erica Kennett

"Good health to me means being able to enjoy life in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest without being hindered by the limitations that I can control, that is, being in the best position to live and enjoy life to the fullest," she said.

Kennett says there's another family member that's happy about the new lifestyle she and her husband now enjoy.

It is her dog Asher, who comes with them on hikes and walks.

He's down a couple pounds too, she said.


Would you like to share your healthy habits in social media with us? Try these hash tags: #HealthySelfie and #LivingMyLegacy.