A 59-year-old Des Moines woman who has lost a significant amount of weight says the loss of a close friend spurred her to action.
Karla Hoover says a woman she had been friends with since they were both 10 years old died a few years ago after undergoing surgery.
"It really shocked me and it made me decide…I really needed to do something for my own health," she says. "So I thought, ‘I’m just too young and she was just too young to go,’ so that was a real eye-opener for me."
Hoover joined a diet group to, in her words, take the weight off in a "healthy way."
"I was pretty heavy a while back and I’ve lost about 160 pounds now," she says. "It’s taken about three years and I just keep plugging away at it."
Hoover has taken up running.
"I go get in all the races I can," she says. "I did a half-marathon last year — the Des Moines Half-Marathon and then I went out-of-state and did the Lincoln Half-Marathon and then last week I did the Dam to Dam (10K in Des Moines), so it’s just a different lifestyle for me. I’ve really enjoyed it all."
Hoover works in the Iowa Department of Public Health.