Last updated: January 15. 2014 8:09AM - 815 Views

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Losing weight isn’t easy.

It requires making the choice to overhaul one’s daily lifestyle and a commitment to achieve the goals set and possible by that overhaul. Most recipes that work generally include a healthy mix of a modified diet and exercise.

More than that, though, losing weight requires the mental strength to make such a goal and stick with it. Anyone who is familiar with the process knows the weight of such a commitment; those who are not, simply put, cannot and do not.

Lisa Rushing joined the newsroom staff at The Daily Journal in mid-November as a general assignment reporter. Right away, she seemed to have a way with people and helped ferret out story ideas, especially those in the religious and nonprofit sectors.

It was no surprise, then, that when given the chance to write a column on a personal year-in-review to end 2013 for the newspaper, she was the same in print as in person: nice — some might a little too nice — honest and open. Some might say a little too honest and open as well, but therein lies Lisa’s strength: she’s no longer worried about what others think of her. This time, she’s taking steps to change her appearance and improve her health and fitness for no one but herself.

Fifty-five people arrived at last Thursday’s initial weigh-in with Sarah Mammarella, a registered dietician with the N.C. Cooperative Extension in Rockingham. Lisa was No. 49, thus forced to wait her turn much like the tributes in The Hunger Games had to wait to impress games makers with their skills.

Fifty-four people chose to keep the number reflected on the scale private. Lisa, on the other hand, chose to share her number with the entire readership of The Richmond County Daily Journal. She shared her goal, too, of losing 16 pounds — 2 pounds each week — between now and her birthday on Feb. 26.

Shortly after her Jan. 11 column was published, Lisa accepted a three-month membership to Rockingham Fitness Center. Normally, it’s the policy of journalists to refuse gifts from business owners but we made an exception in this case as the owner of Rockingham Fitness Center, Judy Cagle, doubles as the business development manager for The Daily Journal. So Judy and Lisa already are on the same team, though we hope this newest partnership makes it easier for Lisa to achieve her goals through February and beyond.

It takes a single step, and Lisa has taken that. By sharing her story, we’re hopeful that others might be courageous enough to take that first step, too.

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