Denise Lawrence

For Denise Lawrence, all it took was a small shift in focus to get big weight-loss results

For Denise Lawrence, all it took was a small shift in focus to get big weight-loss results. The 32-year-old home care worker and customer service representative from Malton, Ont. has lost 35 pounds since last May by focusing less on the amount of weight she wants to lose, and more on how happy exercise makes her feel.

Denise used to start every new year with a resolution to lose a certain amount of weight. She kept her eye on the scale and when she didn’t immediately see results, she would give up. 2004 was no different, but in May, she decided to try exercising: no pressure to lose weight this time, just a pledge to fit a daily walk into her schedule.

“I discovered that [when I exercise] I have more energy and I find myself getting friendlier with people,” she says. “What keeps me motivated – no matter what the weather is like – is thinking about how I’m going to feel the next day.” And in case that’s not motivation enough, Denise loads up her portable CD player with her favourite reggae and R&B tunes. “Because the music is so good, I will end up walking for an hour or two,” she says.

To remind herself of all the good work she’s doing, Denise tracks her walks on the Chatelaine Walking Club. Seeing the distance she has already covered pushes her to keep challenging herself. And Denise’s positive attitude isn’t just changing her body – it’s changing the people she works with as well. One colleague was so impressed with Denise’s improved energy and attitude that she increased her own 10-minute walking routine to 45 minutes a day. “I tell them about how good I feel and say, just try it,” says Denise.

Her advice to you: just keep on doing it – you’ll see the difference down the road.

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