My Story, My Journey – How I Improved My Health


Patricia Ebaire Feeling Fit. Photo: Patricia Ebaire

The following article is excerpted from Healthy Aging® Magazine. To continue reading this article and more like it, subscribe to Healthy Aging® Magazine, the lifestyle magazine that is all about following your passion and what you can do rather than what you can’t.

By Patricia A. Ebaire

I am 66 years young and female. I stand 5’4” with a slim-to-average body type. I grew up in a Catholic Creole family in the Deep South of New Orleans. My family consisted of parents, four brothers, a sister, and a host of relatives who lived nearby. Everyone enjoyed cooking and eating. Thus began my introduction to healthy and unhealthy food choices.

Food and drink are as much a tradition in New Orleans as gumbo, crawfish etouffee, and beignets. New Orleans is a festival of foods and drinks in celebration of every imaginable joy in life. Food is a large part of the culture, and as I neared high school graduation, weighing 117 pounds, I became aware of childhood friends becoming less active and gaining weight.

Nutritious, healthy, and balanced meals are not the norm for New Orleans, but delicious is.

Wake Up Health Call

A few years later, I married, and at nine months pregnant, I weighed 145 pounds. At age 26, I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, and my weight dropped down to 100 pounds. After completing the treatments, my weight was 121 pounds. The day before my 32nd birthday, now divorced and a single parent, I moved to Fort Worth, Texas, with my daughter, and we embraced the culture.

In Fort Worth, people appeared to be more health conscience, and numerous venues for activity and exercise existed in every part of the city. I joined a gym and took aerobics classes. At 37, I began teaching exercise classes at local gyms and at the YMCA, and I maintained my weight between 121 and 124 pounds.

In my early 40s, I began to experience the joy of menopause and, like most women, gained a few extra pounds, ranging from 125 to 128 pounds. At 48, a five-time rollover automobile accident abruptly discontinued all my physical activity. My comeback was slow, but at 56, I began teaching yoga. My weight ranged from 128 to 130 pounds, but over the next 10 years, I gained almost 50 pounds. I started exercising less on my own and considered my yoga instructions as exercise. Ten years only equals just under 5 pounds per year—not bad, right? Big mistake! My weight was at 169 pounds.

Three years ago, in 2016, I had full panel labs of blood work done.

Patricia Ebaire before and after

Patricia Ebaire, Before and After. Photo: Patricia Ebaire

Changes That Made a Difference

My lab work revealed dehydration, insulin resistance, inflammation, and other manageable issues. I added more foods that are high in fiber and increased my servings of fruits and vegetables. I lowered my carbohydrates intake to less than 100 grams per day. I also learned the art of balancing meals, which involves food preparation.

I try to exercise 40 minutes every day, a work in progress, and the result is…

As of today, I weigh 121 pounds, but I am still working on balancing meals—the key still being preparation, preparation, and more preparation.

I still teach yoga, now only twice a week, but I’ve added a strength and toning class once a week. I power walk for at least an hour whenever the weather is good. I play pickleball at least twice a week. We just had our first pickleball tournament, and I won third place doubles in beginner/advanced beginner. It was a random draw, so I’d never played with my partner before. We were overjoyed. I am also teaching 30-minute mini yoga sessions and personal training for a few private clients.

The Big Pay Off

Overall, I feel amazing, and my friends all ask how I’m doing it. Now you know my secret! Exercise daily and eat healthy, nutritious balanced meals and snacks.

Surround yourself with all the activities you can imagine. Do something different or something you’ve always wanted to do and get outside of your comfort zone. You will find yourself having so much fun.

I am once again dancing and singing around the kitchen with my 12-year-old granddaughter, and sometimes it is just me. Whenever we race, I always win, and she says it’s because I’m in better shape. Imagine that.

I have a lot more strength and energy and a lot more younger men are flirting with me. I recently had a colonoscopy and had been diagnosed in the past with diverticulosis and hemorrhoids. Following a diet low in carbohydrates and high in fruits and vegetables, along with exercising daily, my colon is once again very healthy—no diverticulosis and no hemorrhoids.

Yes, at 66, I am living my best life!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Subscribe to Healthy Aging® Magazine

The Premier Lifestyle Magazine for All Ages

Receive four digital issues delivered to your inbox. Just $24.95