After shedding 80 pounds at 50, NKC woman says it’s not too late to turn your health around

PARKVILLE, Mo. -- It’s only fitting that with February being "American Heart Month," a local woman is sharing her message that it’s never too late to make radical changes with your health and well-being.

“I just knew that I didn’t want to be the person I was becoming,” Karen Bailey said.

Karen Bailey

Six years ago, not long after she turned 50, Bailey shattered her knee cap after slipping on wet pavement. Ironically, that serious injury served as the alarm Bailey used as a springboard to a whole new life.

“I couldn’t make it up a flight of stairs without sucking air and being winded,” she said.

Bailey began light exercise to rehab her knee, and she said that’s when she began to scrutinize her overall physical fitness.

“I realized in physical therapy that it wasn’t just my knee that was the problem. It was my overall extra weight and health,” Bailey said.

Fast forward six years and Bailey has now shed 80 pounds and said she feels better than ever.

Karen Bailey, before and after

“It was time to do that and focus on nutrition and live an active lifestyle,” she said.

Bailey said, these days, she occasionally has to do a double-take when she catches her reflection in a storefront window.

“Oh that’s me!” Bailey laughed. “You know, so I understood that if I didn’t even recognize myself sometimes, maybe other people didn’t either.”

Bailey also had a Cardioscan test performed at St. Luke’s Hospital to make sure she wasn’t at risk for heart disease.

It’s a short, inexpensive scan that Bailey recommends for anyone over 40.

“Thankfully, in my Cardioscan, I had zero calcification,” Bailey said. “It’s only $50 to get that screening test done, and I recommend that everybody do it.”

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