When Maria Kennard’s doctor recommended a colonoscopy, she did what a lot of people do—she put it off. Though she’d been battling daily nausea and aversion to food for nearly a year, she didn’t want to subject herself to the test. Then one day, she landed in the hospital.
“I was deadly sick—my colon was infected and inflamed,” she says. The diagnosis: ulcerative colitis.
After a 12-day stay in the hospital, the Englewood, Ohio resident was released with strict instructions to avoid junk food and preservatives. “To this day, I only eat fresh or frozen veggies, fruit and lean protein,” she says.
On her new diet plan, Maria lost 20 pounds. Feeling well again for the first time in years, she began to exercise four times a week, doing spinning or grooving in Zumba. “I’m no spring chicken—I’m 61 years old!” she says. “But I have so much energy since I changed my habits.”
Now Maria, who works in a senior community, teaches her residents how important it is to take care of their bodies and live a healthy lifestyle. “I feel like a new person!” she says.