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With a little help from 5,000 online friends

“No meal was done until I was busting. Lunch was sandwich, chips and dessert washed down with a couple cans of soda.”

Take an eating plan like that, throw in a hysterectomy and hormone replacement therapy and Peg Bradford found herself overweight and unhappy.

“When I got up to 225 pounds,” Bradford told me this week. “I walked in the house and said to my husband, ‘I have to do something about this!’ ”

Here’s where Bradford’s story gets well, what some would call “boring.”

“I started eating healthy, I got a pedometer and started moving,” she shared. “And I started eating healthy sized portions, leaving the table feeling satisfied, not stuffed.”

“You know that’s not what people want to hear,” I said. “Seems most folks are looking for a magic bullet.”

“I know. And that’s not what they will find here,” she admitted.

What you will find with Peg Bradford is an inspiring success story.

“It took a year, but I lost 75 pounds!”

I could hear the excitement in her voice.

What she lost in pounds she gained in passion. Bradford loves to share her story, really share.

It’s possible some of the people around her had heard enough. There is that part of overcoming an obstacle you don’t hear a lot about is the loneliness. What happens when none of your close people understand what you’re going through?

“I think you should start a Facebook page,” one of her friends suggested.

And so she did.

“I called it Steps To Good Health, since I’m stepping to good health by moving and tracking my steps with a pedometer,” she said.

She’s up to 5,000 members.

Picture 5,000 people around the world sharing their journeys of losing weight and getting healthy. They share tips, goals, and challenges.

“It’s pretty simple,” Bradford explained. “All you need is a good attitude and a pedometer.”

As for the good attitude, “It’s not that you’re not allowed to have a bad day, it’s that you’re not allowed to bring others down or criticize,” Peg explained.

Bradford hears the success stories all the time. One woman lost 50 pounds, another more than 60.

When I checked the page the other day, I saw a woman named Dawn posted, “I lost 2 more lbs … that’s 24 total so far … going for 6 more and I just wanted to thank this group for all the motivation you’ve given me its helped more than you know.”

“It’s the most incredible thing,” Bradford marveled. “I’m not a doctor, a nutritionist or a dietician; just a 47-year-old woman who wanted some company sharing my successes and my challenges.”

Folks think she must be making a goldmine on this.

“I don’t make a dime,” she assured me.

But she does get paid in spades, through the thrill of meeting new friends and sharing their successes.

It’s also her answer when maintaining her weight loss gets hard.

“I go on the Facebook page and see some daily goal someone has posted for the day and borrow their that.”

“So much for spending too much time on Facebook,” I said, sharing one of my time-wasting sins.

“I’m just so thankful I don’t feel lonely anymore,” she said.

So are 5,000 of her new closest friends.

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