Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 18th 2016 Contents B2 life
guardian.co.tt Sunday, December 18, 2016
Jamaican woman 'biggest loser'
When Sandra Johnson went
back to her native Jamai-
ca in July to visit her three
children, they did not recognise
their own mother. Her son drove
past her four times at the airport.
She had lost 85 pounds in six
When Johnson, 43, joined the Nir-
vanha Weight Management Clinic in
Chaguanas in December, 2015, she
weighed 237 pounds. At the clinic's
22nd annual awards ceremony at the
Radisson Hotel in Port-of-Spain
on November 12, Johnson proudly
showed off her new, shapely figure
at 152 pounds.
Speaking to the T&T Sunday
Guardian and wearing her Jamaican
jersey top proudly at the home of her
charge in Grove Park, Dow Village,
South Oropouche, where she works
as an elderly care assistant, Johnson
said: "Before I started with the weight
loss programme my cousin and I went
to knock about in Port-of-Spain to
buy things which was like a home
away from home.
"I was always tired, my feet, knees
and joints were hurting me. I have to
be sitting down every minute after
"I couldn't take the pain any more,
when we went to Chaguanas and saw
Nirvanha's weight loss sign, I decided
go try it, the consultation was free and
I signed up the same time.
"Dr Dev Ramoutar told me if I
didn't lose the weight I would get a
heart attack or stroke."
She said several of her relatives
died from organ failure as a result of
diabetic complications, she made a
promise to herself and her children
to lose the weight and live to see their
Johnson said three days into the
programme her knee pain was gone,
she could climb stairs, and while fol-
lowing the eating plan she took off 15
pounds in 14 days.
She said there was "plenty food" in
the house to eat for Christmas such as
ham and pastelles but all she had was
some lettuce and tomato or four Crix
and cheese, vegetables and drank so
much club soda until it tasted sweet.
Johnson said Jamaicans did not eat
some of the vegetables in T&T such as
dasheen bush which was used to feed
pigs back home, but she tried it with
some Jamaican flavour adding okra
with no oil and butter and it worked.
She said she has no cravings or
temptations for fast food such as
fried chicken and chips, chocolate,
soft drinks, sweets, cake, ice cream,
alcohol, pizza and would just eat a
portion of a Jamaican patty or bulla
cake. Johnson said she had eliminated
sugar, flour, rice and meat from her
diet and ate peas, beans, fruits and
She said even off Nirvanha's diet
she may have a slice of bread with
a boiled or scrambled egg, no tuna,
eat peas, red and black beans, lentils,
bulgur wheat, coconut water, club
soda or tea.
Johnson said she had added exercise
and walking to her lifestyle as she did
not want to put on weight and was still
eating as if she was on the clinic's diet.
Johnson said she now had so much
extra energy even though it was not
her job, she cleans inside and outside
the house and can walk whole day.
She has also put her charge on the
diet and she too has lost weight.
Sandra Johnson today at a svelte 152 pounds. At right is Dr Dev Ramoutar.
OVER-INDULGENCE, EXCESS DURING CHRISTMAS
Eating right has to be a life-long
Speaking to the Sunday Guard-
ian, Ramoutar said eating right
had to be a life-long habit. He
said if a person wanted to eat
less to lose the weight quickly,
then go back to eating the same
junk food, he will put back on the
Ramoutar said T&T had a cul-
ture of over-indulgence and ex-
cess which was vividly displayed
at Christmas time from what he
saw people buying at the ware-
house club. He said many people
in T&T were overweight and
wanted to look and feel good.
Ramoutar said people knew
what to do, but they needed to
have the determination and what
he did was motivate them.
He said people had to cut back
on all the meats, fried food,
processed food, junk food, cake
and ice cream, and eat in small
Ramoutar said, however, the
junk food tasted so good when
they start eating that they can-
He said when they come by him
he converted them from a wor-
shipper of food to a worshipper
Ramoutar said his dietary
advice was not a big secret,
everyone knew when a person
overeats he puts on weight, and
when he under eats he takes off
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