A central Iowa woman who weighed more than 500 pounds says her life was saved by a local fitness program. Radio Iowa’s Matt Kelley reports: Audio :47
Fifty-year-old Cherubim Hurdle of Pleasant Hill was injured a few years ago and put on so much weight, she could hardly walk. “I was actually afraid to do anything because I was afraid I’d hurt myself,” Hurdle says. “All of that time, I was just dieting. I wasn’t exercising.” She says a bad situation got worse over the months.
“I injured my leg, went to the doctor, she had a scale that said 420,” Hurdle says. “I topped the scale and went over and she told me I weighed about 500. It really scared the life out of me, but you can be afraid and still not be able to fix the problem.” Hurdle and her younger sister joined Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping in Des Moines together and dove into the FIT Start program.
It involves kickboxing and “bands of strength” six days a week for ten weeks. “Because of how heavy I am, my ankles and my feet would hurt so I found walking impossible,” Hurdle says. “I was so surprised I could actually go to class and work out for 45 minutes and do kickboxing, we have these bags that you kick and you do it at your own pace.”
She’s under 400 pounds now but her goal is to get under 200. Still, she says it’s not just the pounds that are relevant. “I used to be weak and sick and because of my leg, I couldn’t get out,” Hurdle says. “I’m slowly getting stronger and I’m losing dress sizes and getting into smaller pants.”
Hurdle was one of the first participants to successfully complete the FIT Start program. The program is being rolled out by one of Iowa’s largest medical providers, Iowa Health, as a way to cut the number of morbidly obese patients who seek gastric bypass surgery, which can be risky and expensive.
The goal is for Iowa Health patients to drop their plans for bypass surgery and instead, improve their health the natural way.