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Trinity Clinic - Manhattan nurses lose 235 pounds together

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TYLER (KYTX) - A group of nurses decided to take their teamwork beyond just helping each other at work. They joined the Lighten Up East Texas Challenge last year and have been motivating each other to lose weight ever since.

The women decided to put their health first, in large part, because they are all moms. The nurses decided they wanted to be around for the long haul for their children and to be a good example to their patients.

They call themselves the Manhatton Mommas. The women all take care of others at the Manhatton Trinity Clinic for a living and for the past year now, they're making time to do the same for themselves.

"We knew they needed to see, that we as nurses and lab technicians and there were several of us needed to lose weight, set a good example. How can we tell them to be healthy when we are not," says Donna Brooks, lost 36 pounds. 

The motivation to drop pounds was even more personal for Donna Brooks.

"In 2010, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, that was my first mammogram and so last year they came out with statistics that reoccurrence is more common in patients who have had breast cancer if they were obese. So that was my motivation," says Donna. "I wanted to live longer."

Donna started walking 30 minutes on her lunch hour. She and her Manhatton Mommas also met with a nutritionist.

"It's more fresh food, veggies, fruit," says Jennifer Cowart, who has lost 49 pounds. 

The ladies started bringing their lunches opting for healthier, less processed meals. 

"Not everyone is eating cookies, candies and stuff like that when other people are eating fruits and veggies, it's easier," says Jennifer. 

Jennifer Cowart is also a mom on a mission.

"I have a 10 year old autistic son and I am going to have to be around for him and so I decided I need to take better care of myself and make better decisions-- eating," says Jennifer. 

Jennifer's accomplished that dropping almost 50 pounds and reaching her goal weight.

"I had to have all of my clothes taken in and I had to buy different uniforms from size large to small in pants and I have never been a size small in pants in my entire lifetime," says Jennifer.

"You see others losing weight and you're like -- 'Oh, how many pounds did you lose this week?' We just help each other," says Donna.

Dr. Bryan Lowery has watched the staff transform themselves losing 235 pounds together.

"I am proud of my staff losing so much weight. They are very dedicated to it. It's about working hard and watching what you eat," says Dr. Bryan Lowery, Trinity Clinic - Manhatton. 

Dr. Lowery's advice to his staff and patients-- portion control combined with a cardio program that works for you. The nurses say it's a lifestyle change that's worth it.

Dr. Lowery says make a conscious effort to look at the labels of the food you're eating, so you can see what you're putting in your body. He says you may be surprised.

Also, use those apps on your phone to track what you're eating and how much. He says that can help you stay on track.

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