Published on September 04, 2018

Local Woman Improving Her Life

WEST POINT, Miss.—When Wanda Doss of West Point tipped the scales at 315 pounds, she was unhealthy and unhappy.

Doss says she has always been heavy—gaining and losing a little at a time, then maintaining at 290 pounds for around 10 years. Along with the weight came high blood pressure and diabetes. In 2013 she suffered several mini-strokes and then a major stroke. After a hysterectomy in 2014, she lost down to 254 pounds.

“Then I went on and ate myself into depression,” Doss said. “By 2015 I was back up to 308 pounds. The doctor told me to lose weight and take care of myself. I had to do something.”

Shortly afterward, Doss moved in with her brother and sister-in-law in Scooba to help care for their newborn daughter. “She’s my girl. She was my inspiration (to lose weight),” Doss said. “When they put her in day care and I moved home, I didn’t want to lose my motivation.”

Two years ago Doss joined the NMMC-West Point Wellness Center where she exercises every day but Sunday. Her regimen starts with three miles on the outdoor track, followed by strength training on the facility’s weight equipment, then another mile on the track.

She is also learning to tweak her diet, the focus of a Precision Nutrition class offered by the Wellness Center recently. Between the workouts and watching what she eats, Doss has lost 100 pounds since 2016. Her blood pressure and blood sugar have been dropping along with the number on the scales.

“I have watched Wanda continue to make progress during the last couple of years. I’ve seen her dietary choices and her ability to exercise longer and stronger,” said Tracy Stebbins Arnett, an exercise physiologist and director of the NMMC-West Point Wellness Center.

“When I run into family and friends, a lot of times they don’t know who I am,” Doss said. “The weight loss is good, but I’m really in it for my health.”

After doing the same exercises for a while, Doss said she gets bored and turns to the Wellness Center staff for help developing a new routine. “All the trainers help me out. They encourage me,” she said.

Arnett said she could not be prouder of Doss. “Wanda is such an inspiration in that she never quits,” Arnett said. “The path to health is never straight… three steps forward, one step back.... but Wanda always stays positive and keeps her eye on the long term goals.”

Doss shares her story to encourage others. “I’m shining my light so everybody can see that God is the majority,” she said. “I’m the minority, and we work together.”

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