By Ashli Findley

Nancy Bailey is a wife and mother of two teenagers. She runs her own company: Bailey Safety, a consulting and training firm for construction companies. She is also an avid lover of the outdoors. You’ll find her doing anything from tending to her chickens and dogs on the family’s 52-acre property to wakeboarding and surfing.

Photos by Patti Hartog 

All the while, Nancy struggles with obesity. “It is exhausting,” she says. “Trying. Painful.”

More than one-third of all U.S. adults are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). After the birth of her second child Hayden, who is now 16, Nancy saw herself become less active and less motivated. That was the beginning of her battle. She admits that she copes with her emotions by eating, and as her business has grown, she has gotten off-track with weight loss.

“I have spent less time thinking about me, and more about continuing to grow the business. I need to figure out the balance.”

Yet, if there’s one thing Nancy has learned while struggling with her weight, it’s that her support system is crucial for her success. “I seem to do better [with] watching what I’m eating and watching what I’m doing when I talk about it,” she says.

Nancy discusses her struggle with a select group of people she trusts. “There are probably three people who know my weight,” she continues. “That seems to help a lot, just talking to people who may have obesity or struggled with it.”

For years, Nancy has participated in the Louisville Triple Crown of Running and the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon. She credits her walking partner Ayron Corbitt for helping her along the journey. The two would walk for about an hour, three to four times per week.

“We just walked. We’d just go out and socialize.”

Two years ago, Nancy tried human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) shots. These injections appear in the body as the medical form of the HCG hormone, and according to proponents, works to reduce hunger and weight in certain areas.

Nancy lost 46 pounds after three rounds of the shots. However, she didn’t complete the final phase of treatment. Coupled with life’s happenings, the weight slowly came back on.

It’s a fight that continues.

But again, she attests that having a great social and physical support system has helped her the most. “The more I’m out with people, the better I do. The more I’m social with people, the better I do.”

When asked what she would tell others struggling with obesity, Nancy replies, “Make it a habit to exercise every day. Find a partner who’s also struggling with the same thing. And talk about it with the people you’re closest to. Confide in other people.”

Have you struggled with losing weight and are you still dealing with it? What has helped you deal with the frustration? We would love for you to share your experiences with us.