Saying goodbye to 100 pounds
A healthy Camille Tirzah wants to share her success with others
This is the time of year where a good percentage of Americans pack on the pounds in anticipation of their inevitable resolution to lose weight come January.
Lake Oswego resident Camille Tirzah tried for years to get healthier, reading every book she could find and trying multiple diets. As an educator in the Portland School District, Tirzah's life was hectic and she found it difficult to find a consistent time to exercise.
There was also a great deal of uncertainty around her job status, which only added to her stress level.
'I was an educator during a time when the district was making cuts. I had some seniority but only to a point,' she said.
As a result, Tirzah was unhappy and overweight and she knew that she would need to make a complete lifestyle change to achieve her goals.
'When you're a teacher and putting in 12-hour days and working on weekends, it doesn't give you much free time,' Tirzah said.
Tirzah's turning point occurred when she was at a friend's house and met Victoria Johnson, a world-famous health and fitness activist and motivational speaker.
'It was really kind of a miracle. I had been praying for help,' Tirzah said.
Johnson mentored Tirzah and she began to see results. It was not an easy process, however. Not only did Tirzah make changes to her diet and increase the intensity of her exercise regime, she also started to look at her personal relationships and truly made living healthy a top priority in her life.
Tirzah began to add more nutritional foods, eliminating junk food from her diet, made exercising a main concern in her life and changed her entire outlook. She attributes much of her success to the fact that she actively sought to surround herself with nothing but a positive atmosphere.
'I had to eliminate anything that was a negative influence in my life because so much of becoming healthy is in your self-esteem,' she said.
In three years, Tirzah, now 47 years old, lost 100 pounds and now feels better than she has since she was a teen-ager.
'I feel 10 years younger. I can run and jump. I feel like the Energizer Bunny,' Tirzah said.
Not only has Tirzah kept the weight off, but she has also felt led to share her story and to help other individuals out who are facing struggles similar to hers.
Tirzah has taken a sabbatical from teaching after 15 years in the education system. She became a certified personal trainer and is now a mentor to others in the Portland-metro area.
Through her experience as a teacher, Tirzah has witnessed firsthand the growing problem of obesity in the United States.
'It's a crisis but I don't think people view it like that. More and more kids are being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and that's dangerous,' Tirzah said.
She works privately with clients of all ages who are committed to pursuing healthier lifestyles. Tirzah is now a mentor herself and is slowly building up a client base.
It hasn't been easy for Tirzah but now that she has her feet wet in her new venture, she knows that it is what she wants to do.
'It was hard leaving teaching. I think if I go back it would be as a consultant for a school district to come up with ways to help kids and their health,' Tirzah said.
She teaches body-sculpting classes and is able to come to clients' houses. Even in just one year of her new venture, Tirzah has seen some remarkable changes in people she has worked with.
'Everyone I've seen who has committed to becoming healthier has had their life change for the better. When you're healthy, you're more focused and it just seems like better opportunities come your way,' she said.