Q: Describe your typical day.
A: I work from 9 to 5. I come home and help my daughter with her homework. We play on the swing set and with her friends. Then, we have dinner. It's different from my past: I never left home, and I certainly never made dinner.
Q: What kind of exercise or activity do you engage in to work toward your goals?
A: My daughter, Hannah, and I walk every day. I also get in smaller amounts of activity by parking far away from anywhere we go so that I'm forced to walk more.
Q: Who or what is your motivation for keeping the course of your weight-loss journey?
A: My daughter's face when I do things with her. She'll ask, "What are we going to do today?" and we make plans for activities. We don't really talk about how we look. She's asked me to do more things with her and to be involved at school.
Q: What is your biggest obstacle in staying on track with weight loss?
A: To be honest, my biggest obstacle is stress. Stress really throws a wrench in my day. If I have unhealthy food or don't sleep well, it's because I'm stressed. To combat that now, I have to physically push myself to get out of the house. The more I stay in the house, the more I feel lethargic. Running errands and doing anything to keep myself busy makes me happy.
Q: How have friends and family reacted to your weight loss?
A: A lot of my friends have seen me on a daily basis, but my best friend Bonnie is working more, so I probably see her every two weeks. A lot of my co-workers are brand-new to me. [Zsalynn previously worked in an office for 25 years but left that position to focus on her health. She has a new job now.]
Q: In five years from now, how do you envision your life -- and your body?
A: I'm a loyal employee. As far as my job goes, I plan to develop some tenure. In the last several years, my family has avoided taking vacations, but I hope that we can travel and reconnect. I really think that we should have more family time. After surgery, the very first step is absolutely the hardest. The next 15 steps set you up for good, healthy habits. You have to put yourself first and realize you are worth more than a number on a scale. There is so much I want to do in my life. In the next five years, I want to fit into a size 18 or less. When I get to that goal, I'll resize and get other goals. This journey will be a lifelong process.