Codi Wise has lost 160 pounds through walking. This photo is a recent photo of Wise. (DHI Media/Sherry Missler)
Codi Wise has lost 160 pounds through walking. This photo is a recent photo of Wise. (DHI Media/Sherry Missler)

VAN WERT — A decision to start walking has led to a healthier life for one local resident. Codi Wise, a 41-year-old Van Wert native, said she lost 160 pounds in four years and walking has been her secret weapon.

“At my heaviest I weighed 330 pounds, and I’ve lost 160,” Wise said.

She said she had always been overweight and struggled with her weight. Although she had been diagnosed with diabetes, she said health concerns did not play a role in her decision to make some changes in her life.

“One day, I just started walking, slowly. I began walking about one mile and then I increased it,” said Wise. “I was up to 5 1/2 miles twice a day during the spring and summer but then I went back down to 4 miles.”

Due to the cold she added that she now only walks once a day. She said she walks every day, unless there is lightning.

“I do the same route every day. I do it on a schedule. I start at 9:15 every morning,” Wise said. “I tried different routes, like the reservoir, and I didn’t like it. I walk by myself and as long as I have my music I’m good.”

She has been noticed and supported by many in the community.

“My grandmother had dementia and that’s one thing she always remembered, ‘did Codi get her walk in.’ I lost my mom in 2016 and it was hard, but I kept on walking because I would see different signs from her, like a butterfly,” said Wise. “When she was alive, she would always call me and guess where I was on my route.”

“Other people have noticed me. People will see me in a store and ask, ‘are you the girl I see walking all over.’ They will say something to my aunt, ‘is that your niece that’s walking?’ I’ve become known as the walking girl,” she continued.

Wise said she really hasn’t changed her eating habits that much.

“If I want Chinese, I’m still going to eat Chinese or if I want McDonald’s fries, I’m still going to eat McDonald’s fries,” Wise said. “But I did decrease the amount I eat. However, I lost weight mainly by walking.”

She said her success wasn’t overnight.

“It took me altogether four years to lose that weight,” said Wise. “I did it on my own, with no surgery.”

She added that she feels much better now than she did when she was heavier. Additional benefits to walking and weight loss have been that she is no longer as hungry as she was before and she can wear the kind of clothes she likes and they fit.

She said one of her secrets is her attitude to walking.

“I don’t consider it as exercise any more,” Wise commented. “I just consider it a daily routine.”

Like the postman, she hasn’t allowed ice or snow-covered sidewalks to deter her.

“I’ve already fallen once on black ice and Sunday when I was walking I nearly fell again but managed to catch myself,” Wise noted. “I had plantar fasciitis a couple of years ago and though I didn’t do my whole route, I still walked with my boot on. I wasn’t suppose to.”

Wise offered a few words of wisdom to others who might want to try her method of weight loss.

“Anyone can do this and you will reach your goal eventually,” she said.