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Find out how one Iowa resident lost 200 lbs while stuck inside at work.

Iowa resident loses 200 lbs by walking in an airport

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    Daksha Rangan
    Digital Reporter

    Saturday, October 25, 2014, 5:39 PM -

    Autumn is one of the best seasons for long walks and jogging outdoors-- but for one Iowa resident, staying indoors was the key to fitness.

    Jill Vento, an employee at Iowa's Des Moines international airport, shed 200 lbs just by walking around a terminal.

    Vento has worked at the airport for 10 years and at one point, she weighed 370 lbs. "I couldn't cross my legs," she recalls. In March 2012, she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

    "I've had three different specialists try to talk me into having the stomach surgery," Vento said. Despite medical pressure, she refused to opt for surgery to solve her health issues.

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    Instead, she decided to walk.

    Initially, Vento could only complete 10 or 15 minutes of walking per day, but soon she began walking two times per day. She now walks around the airport terminal three times per day, five days per week.

    Coleen Roberts, Vento's colleague at Des Moines airport, noticed the difference.

    "I kept saying to her, how do you do it?" Roberts asked. "How are you so committed and not eating anything you shouldn't be eating? And she's just been awesome with it," Roberts adds. Vento says her coworkers have been a strong support system during her weight-loss journey.

    "A lot of them still don't even know my name. They just knew I worked here and they just have been so wonderful and so supportive that I couldn't disappoint them."

    Even the passengers in transit have noticed her progress. "[W]hen they see me go around multiple times, will stop me and they'll say, are you exercising and have you lost weight?"

    Vento sees the experience as her "second chance at life." Since March of 2012, she has lost a cumulative total of 200 lbs and conquered her diabetes.

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