After a lifetime of being overweight, Seynab Baydoun had resigned herself to the medical issues and aches and pains of carrying so much extra weight.
"I had bad eating habits and wasn't active," says Baydoun. "Since my mother was overweight and still met and married my father, I thought things would be OK."
Through the years, she had tried Jenny Craig, NutriSystem and even doctor-prescribed diet pills. As the years progressed, the extra weight began to affect her more.
"As a registered nurse, you're on your feet all the time," Baydoun says. "My joints hurt. My blood pressure would go up, and I was out of breath much of the time. It finally connected in my head that my weight was a health issue. These things were a real wake-up call."
She turned to Weight Watchers -- her last-ditch weight-loss program before undergoing gastric bypass surgery.
"I had to accept that there is no magic bullet," says Baydoun, who attends meetings in Selden. "You just have to do the work and stick to it. When I did Weight Watchers in the 1960s, I wasn't ready to commit and didn't feel like it was for me. This time, I was ready."
Having reached her goal weight, Baydoun is happier, has more energy and doesn't have joint pain or shortness of breath.
"I take pride in taking care of myself now," Baydoun says. "I take the time to exercise -- and nourish my body."
After a lifetime of two breakfasts, high-calorie snacks, a large dinner and dessert, she finally has a sense of portion control and healthy eating.
She has her largest meal in the morning and her smallest at dinner.
Breakfast is a frittata with vegetables and fat-free cheese. She snacks on fruits and yogurt. Lunch is usually a lean protein with vegetables and a cup of tea. Dinner, her smallest meal, is a low-calorie protein and vegetables.
A longtime couch potato, she now exercises daily to "Classical Stretch," a DVD by Miranda Esmonde-White. It includes stretching, ballet, tai chi and yoga. She also incorporates activities like housework and walking to burn extra calories.
"You realize it is all about choices: what you eat, whether you exercise. My life is completely changed. I feel like I can accomplish anything."
58, Middle Island
Occupation: Registered nurse
252 Weight before January 2012
133 Weight after November 2014