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Local woman starts weight-loss journey

By Staff | May 19, 2011

Beth Nagy receives instruction on a machine from her trainer Justine Cline at Golds Gym in Charles Town on Friday, May 13. Nagy, who has been overweight most of her life, hopes that with a team of trainers and supporters behind her she will be able to lose the weight she wants to this time around. (Chronicle photo by Tricia Fulks)

Editor’s Note: The Shepherdstown Chronicle will follow Beth Nagy’s progress throughout her transformation. Future monthly updates will be available online at www.shepherdstownchronicle.com.

When Beth Nagy walked into Two Rivers Treads a few weeks ago, employee Tom Shantz knew he wanted to help her.

Nagy has been overweight most of her life. Describing herself as a round baby who started gaining weight when she hit puberty, Nagy was presented with an oppurtunity that one customer had already turned down. Two Rivers Treads would give her free shoes, and Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, area physician and owner of the store, would provide medical and nutrition attention to her at no charge. On top of that, Shantz contacted Janice Morris, manager of Gold’s Gym in Charles Town, to organize a sponsored membership and training sessions for Nagy.

“Something like this doesn’t get dropped in your lap everyday,” Nagy said.

“Beth was brave enough to take me up on it,” Shantz said. “It takes a lot of courage to do what she’s doing.”

Nagy has tried to lose weight before. Days before her 41st birthday, the Harpers Ferry resident said she’s done programs like Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem to no avail.

Now, with a team behind her, she hopes she can do it the right way.

“Intimidating’s the word for it,” Nagy said. “It scares me. I have no idea how long it’s going to take, but it’s going to be a lot of hard work.”

Part of her team includes trainers Justine Cline and Laura Bergman, who will help Nagy through her transformation.

Nagy, who weighed in on her first day of training at 323 lbs., said it is the little things about her size that get her down – not being able to wear certain things, plane rides, things people wouldn’t think of.

“It just sucks being this big,” she said. “It’s a whole other level of going through life and it’s a lot of work.”

Cline told Nagy part of getting healthier is starting out slow and being held accountable for her workout sessions and eating habits.

“A trainer really gets you in the door, gets you here,” Morris said.

She said the rest is up to the client.

And Bergman wants to go beyond the basic fitness when training Nagy.

“The biggest thing I’m going to get to is see what led her to this point,” she said.

Bergman believes it’s important to know what triggers Nagy’s habits, and, by rewiring them, will help Nagy make better, healthier decisions.

“That’s what will help her change long term,” Bergman said. “That’s what’s going to be the hard work for Beth.”

Everyone on the team said they are there for Nagy throughout this process, approximately a six-month journey.

“You’re not alone this time,” Cline told Nagy.

Shantz hopes Nagy’s story will help inspire others to do what she is doing. He said Two Rivers Treads is more than just a shop; it strives to instill in individuals the steps to leading a healthier life.

“It will be a privilege to provide any assistance to Beth and other local citizens who have a goal of achieving better health,” Cucuzzella said in an email interview. “Beth realizes it is up to her to accomplish this, but community partners with areas of expertise, such as Golds Gym and Two Rivers Treads, are critical to helping someone stay healthy and motivated in their exercise goals.”

Nagy knows now is her time to do this. She said she will do whatever it takes to reach the goals she and her team sets along the way. She has the support of her team, her co-workers and her husband, Greg.

“I’m getting older,” she said. “I’m getting closer to diabetes. I’m getting closer to health issues.”

She added, “If God is trying to get my attention, then to ignore this no is an unacceptable answer.”