BEFORE MY TRANSFORMATION
Obesity made me feel tired and uncomfortable and put stress on my body. Because I carried the extra weight, I especially felt the added stress on my bones and joints. My weight placed so much strain on my musculoskeletal system that I developed low back pain and pain in my hips that would alter my plans greatly. I often had to stop and rest while I was out with my family because of back, hip and knee pain. At times, I’d have to be let out at the door of the place I was visiting to avoid walking. I required epidural injections with steroids in my spine from time to time to alleviate that discomfort. Because of the osteo arthritis that developed in my knees, I had three arthroplasties in my knees and was told I needed bilateral total knee replacements.
I developed bunions in both feet and later plantar fasciitis in my left foot. My physician said it was the worst case he’d ever treated. All of this resulted largely from my weight problem.
I was so uncomfortable with my belly fat. It was a source of shame and emotional stress. It was embarrassing and limited the type of clothing I could wear — not to mention its effects on marital intimacy.
I had blood pressure problems that started with the onset of my weight gain and was treated with a high dose of anti-hypertensive medication. I also suffered from hot flashes, mood swings and insomnia.
I have a very demanding job and traveled 80 percent of the month, living in hotels and airports primarily. However, it was my physician’s report that my lipid levels were slightly elevated that really got my attention. I never thought that I ate that badly, but I also learned in the conversation that my blood sugar was also marginally high.
The doctor wasn’t going to put me on any medicine and only told me to go on a low-carbohydrate diet. With lipids and blood sugar even minimally elevated, I knew this could mean the early onset of diabetes.
WHAT WAS YOUR GOAL?
I thought that I would try to lose 20-30 pounds. At least this would be a start. I had been doing some reading and knew from the literature that the problems I was having were all related to being overweight.
It was my hope to avoid becoming diabetic and/or pre-diabetic. I was hopeful that I could improve my hypertension, and if I was fortunate enough, come off the medication totally. I wanted to get my hormones under control. I desired to be able to wear nice clothes and feel good about myself. I wanted to shed my belly apron.
I always blamed my fatigue on my travel, but I also wanted to have more energy, take the pressure off my knees and be able to get on the floor and play with my grandchildren. I wanted my husband to look at me as he once did.
WHAT I DID
I was skeptical about a wellness program at first due to the amount of travel I did. Would I be able to eat like the program required? How could I weigh in each day while being a “road warrior” at my job?
With a supervised eating plan and a wellness coach who told me “you can do this,” weight loss started to happen. My coach walked me through the steps. We discussed the obstacles in my everyday life, then she customized the program so I could succeed. The coaching held me accountable and answered questions about how to change my lifestyle step by step.
The wellness program is about weight loss, eating real foods, dealing with stress and determining what foods work for my body. It was an education and discipline I needed to lose the weight and keep it off for good. I followed the wellness program, listened to my coach and saw results.
HOW IT WORKED
The weight came off, and it was magical. The way my body transformed was amazing, and I saw improvement in areas I never thought would look like they used to. The toning and reshaping were amazing. But. beyond that, I had so much energy. I slept, and my mood changed.
I went from a size 16-18 to a size 8. I lost half of my body! At the end of the program and when I exited the program, I had lost 85 pounds. I never thought it was possible.
THE HARDEST PART
The worst part for me was that my husband does not eat like the program requires. He is a meat-and-potatoes guy, so I had to let that go and let him prepare a lot of his own food while I prepared mine. He was very supportive, just the total opposite of how I eat, and is still this way today.
HOW I FEEL TODAY
I am happy. I feel healthy and energized and am more satisfied with the way I eat and more confident in how I look. I have invested in my health, and now it’s a lifestyle.