An East Texan changes her lifestyle to inspire others

By Molly Reuter - bio - email

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

East Texas - The American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" luncheon took place at Pinecrest Country Club. The event focuses on educating women of all ages on lifestyle changes that can reduce the risk of heart disease through simple choices. Healthy eating, exercise and knowledge are major objectives of the event.

One East Texas woman wears "red" proudly after losing 170 pounds. A nurse, who works with cardiac patients, Deb Taylor of Tyler has turned her life around. She hopes her story encourages others to "go red."

From 320 pounds to a lot lighter, Taylor has quite a story to tell.

"I decided to change my lifestyle around, so that I would not have increased risk of heart disease," Taylor explained. "Using diet and exercise, I lost 170 pounds."

Taylor is a registered nurse and the divisional director of Trinity Mother Frances heart institute. She leads a cardiac rehabilitation program, and said she felt guilty not also leading by example.

"My patients were coming to me and asking me when I was going to start exercising with them, and here I was a 320 pound girl walking around and encouraging all of these cardiac patients to change their lifestyle," said Taylor.

She said it all started with food, and filling her desire to eat with something else. She chose exercise.

"I started out barely able to walk 20 minutes on the treadmill. Now, I run, cycle, I've done 100 mile cycle events. I've run up to 14 miles, and I'm going to start training for a marathon."

Most importantly, Taylor said her heart is healthy again. Making her feel good, and helping her live longer as well.

Deb Taylor has been recognized more than once for her accomplishments. The American Heart Association in Dallas recognized her with the lifestyle change award. In December, she also appeared on The Today Show.