Linda Williams was getting bored walking by herself. Christine Peterson needed a "kick in the butt" and someone to say "hey, lets go!"
So, it "had to be an omen" when the two met at a yard sale. They quickly realized they had a couple of things in common, they were overweight and they both needed the motivation to lose the pounds.
"We needed some help," said Williams of Poland. "A buddy system, . . . she (Peterson) needed the motivation and I needed a partner."
It's exactly what they each needed. "We are a team," Williams said. "It takes a team."
"You need to have that support," added Peterson, 47, of Mechanic Falls.
One year ago, Williams weighed 400 pounds. She was a diabetic, had high cholesterol, suffered from high blood pressure, battled sleep apnea and used a cane to walk. "Last year I felt like I was 70," the 52-year-old said.
The two began their friendship by walking a mile each day, regardless of the weather. "I don't use excuses," Williams said. "If it rains, I bring an umbrella — and three layers of clothing if it's cold. I am out here each morning with my three peanut butter crackers and my protein shake."
The four laps around the Poland Regional High School track stretch to five some days. "We get talking and forget how many laps we have done," Peterson said with a laugh. "We always talk about what we have been eating. If we have a good day or if we had a bad day, we still talk about it."
Since the two began losing weight, clothes are a frequent topic as well. "I was never a shopper before because I could not find clothes for me," Williams said. But now that their weight has come down, the selections have opened
up. "When I lost that first 80 pounds, I hit the sales and went a little wild," Williams said.
"Instead of rewarding ourselves with food, we are buying clothes," Peterson said.
Peterson and Williams found an added push when Williams stopped at "yet another yard sale." She saw a flier advertising a 3-mile walk for cancer. "This is what we need," thought Williams and she quickly called her walking partner.
"We now have a goal," Williams told Peterson. "That 1 mile walk now has to be a 3 mile walk."
"We worked real hard," Peterson said. "We worked our way from one to two and finally got to three and it wasn't really that bad."
With the new goal came a name for their team — Bodacious Broads. "We are full figured and really gung ho with everything" so the name fits, Peterson said laughing.
The two completed the benefit walk on Sept. 19 and have walked every day since. "It was a rush that we did it," Williams said with a big smile. "Three miles for two people that
weren't really active a year ago."
Three miles is now a typical day for Williams. She walks one mile at 6 a.m., one at 3 p.m. and one at 6 p.m. "Just getting active makes you want to be more active," Williams said.
"Now, I'm actually 166 pounds less," Williams said. "No more diabetes medicine. No
more sleep apnea. My blood pressure was awesome today. My cholesterol is very good. I can now walk. I can lug my own groceries in and out of the house. I don't need somebody to come out and lug those groceries for me."
"Being active makes you think about what you are putting in your mouth," said Peterson, who has lost almost 30 pounds. "I just
did a mile. Do I really want to put that cookie in my mouth and have to
go back out there for another mile to get rid of that cookie? I don't
"The funny part about this whole deal is that people don't even realize how
much you have changed until they take a walk with you and they are
trying to catch up with you," Williams said. "I used to be the slow one, and I
used to be the one that said 'hey, wait a minute.'"
"But now, it's 'can you catch