In 20 months, she’s shed 210 pounds.
Her story is about many kinds of loss. But she’s gained a healthy new life.
She was surprised that as she lost weight, she also lost friends — but found new ones. “All my old friendships were totally based on food and eating,” says the UNTHSC School of Public Health student.
But now she has new friends in Team Lose It, a program offered by the Office of Health Promotion. It combines exercise, nutrition and accountability to ensure weight-loss success. Osawemwenze is among 15 women who have used the program.
Now, Team Lose It for Men is gearing up. Application deadline is July 5 for the group that starts July 12.
In fall 2011, suffering obesity-induced heart problems and sleep apnea, Osawemwenze had weight-loss surgery called duodenal switch. (“Before” photo: Ashley with her sister.) Nearly a year later when she started SPH classes, she had stalled at 226 pounds.
She saw Team Lose It in the Daily News and completed her application minutes before the deadline. She says it’s one of the best things she’s ever done. Chelsea Barron, Strength & Fitness Manager at the Founders Activity Center, “has introduced me to great workouts, nutrition strategies, a whole world of fitness.”
Osawemwenze works out twice a day, and also runs 8 to 10 miles weekly. “I’m a new person,” she says.
And not just physically. “I used to be timid, not saying much, but now I’m outgoing and I have a lot of energy.”
She also has a new career in mind. “I’ve always known I wanted to work with children, but now my goal is the UNTHSC graduate certificate in public health plus personal trainer credentials and a master’s in nutrition. I’m going to help obese children.”