By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — When Peg Bradford of Sewell, NJ had a hysterectomy a few years ago, she didn’t feel like herself. Menopause and hormone therapy caused her to pack on the pounds, and by 2009 she had hit her limit.
“I was 225 pounds and I was a mess,” says Bradford, 47. “I cried and went to my husband, I said, ‘The only person that’s going to do something about this is me.’ ”
Bradford says she started wearing a pedometer and monitoring her food intake. Progress was slow at first and there were tough days, but within a year she was down 75 pounds.
“I needed to do it, not only physically and emotionally, but because I felt terrible,” recalls Bradford, who says she no longer needs hormone therapy or other medicines. “I’ve been able to manage my menopause through diet and exercise. I used to get, like, 20 hot flashes a day. Now I get about seven.”
In fact, it worked so well that Bradford decided to share her story and offer free support to other women, through a Facebook group called “Steps to Good Health.”
It started with just 100 members. In just a few years the community has grown to 5,200 people.
“It’s a place they can go to, 24-7, and share how they’re feeling and what they’re going through,” says Bradford. “It’s our group, and my only rule is that people give positive support.”
Bradford says it’s not a place of judgment — instead, it’s one of love and understanding.
She gets no money for sharing her story and encouraging others, but what she does get is worth so much more:
“It’s so rewarding to me, to show that you can do this as an everyday, ordinary person.”
For more info on Steps to Good Health, go to facebook.com/groups/STGH1 (Facebook login required).
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