Iowa woman walks off 200 pounds at the airport

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) — An employee at the Des Moines Airport has shed an incredible amount of weight — just by walking.

At a place known for its constant movement, one woman was hardly moving at all.

“I couldn’t cross my legs,” Jill Vento said.

Vento has worked for the Des Moines Airport for 10 years. Her weight seemed like just a nuisance until a year ago March, when her doctor diagnosed her with type 2 diabetes.

Three different specialists tried to talk Vento into having stomach surgery, but she refused to rely on an operation to solve her problem, so she started walking instead.

“I could only do maybe 10 or 15 minutes a day walking, and then I worked up to twice a day and now I have gone to three times a day.”

Three times a day, fives days a week, she walks around the airport terminal. Her coworkers noticed.

“I kept saying to her, how do you do it? How are you so committed and not eating anything you shouldn’t be eating? And she’s just been awesome with it,” Coleen Roberts, an airport employee, said.

“A lot of them still don’t even know my name. They just knew I worked here and they have been so wonderful and so supportive that I couldn’t disappoint them,” Vento said.

Everyone noticed her circling the baggage claim.

“The passengers, when they see me go around multiple times, will stop me and they’ll say, are you exercising and have you lost weight?”

The answer is yes. Since March of last year, Vento has lost more than 200 pounds and because of it, her diabetes is gone. Even she can’t believe it.

“I just remember as a little girl just struggling with weight, and all of the sudden she just decided to walk. And I’ve been so proud of her ever since. She looks so good after losing all that weight.”

Vento calls it her second chance at life, and this time, she isn’t letting anyone slow her down.

“I didn’t want people looking at me. Now, you know, it’s like, I’m here!”


Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.