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My transformation story: Edwina Sumrall


Before my transformation, I was very unhappy with myself when I looked in the mirror. I didn’t like going clothes shopping because I had to settle for “cover-up” clothes to hide what I didn’t like about myself. I dreaded doctor visits, too, because the first thing I had to do was weigh in — then the lab work would confirm just how much my health was declining. 

I could not stand to wash dishes or dress myself for more than five to 10 minutes without having to bend over to take the pressure off my back because it hurt so badly. By the time I finished taking a shower, I would have to rest a few minutes before I had enough energy and strength to dry off. My energy level, strength, health, spirit, self-esteem, eating habits, and life outlook were a total wreck. 

My daughter told me she’d met someone who’d told her about a program she believed would be good for me. As I asked her questions, she suggested that I call a health coach who could answer all my questions. I made that call, and my whole outlook on life started to change. 


My goal was, and is, to learn how to eat to live rather than live to eat. Although I wasn’t happy with my weight and health, I would use “going out to eat” as a way to feel better. I began reading about a health habits program, and I quickly realized this was not a diet, but a lifestyle change for my spirit, soul and body. I set my goal to allow my body, not the scales, be the top priority in determining my progress and success. 


I prayed to God for the discipline, willpower and financial means to be successful on this health journey. After that, I called my coach and placed my first order for a starter kit, which contained “Habits of Health” books, a 30-day journal and enough fuel for the first month. In about 10 -15 days I got my first order and began the most amazing journey I’ve ever been on in my history of trying to lose weight. 


The program that I’m on is called the five and one plan. I eat five fueling and one lean-and-green meal every day. I eat a fueling meal every two to three hours and a meal I prepare consisting of three servings of green vegetables and a lean serving of protein. Each item is weighed or measured based on the carbohydrates it contains. I drink at least 100 ounces per day, and we have a list of healthy fats and condiments we can have each day. This will put you into what is called “fat burn” in about three to four days, and you begin losing weight. You could lose 5 to 19 pounds your first week in fat burn. 


The most difficult part was learning how to eat every two hours and how to participate in family events, as well as maintain a social life, while staying on the plan. I set an alarm to remind me to eat because the fueling is very filling once you have been on the program for two to four days. As long as I stayed home, it was not a problem. With the help of my coach and the OPTAVIA community support team, I’ve learned how to balance my family events and social life and still remain on plan. 


Today, I’m loving the new me! I look forward to my doctor visits. I’ve improved every area of my health to the point that I’ve come off some of the medication I was on and am hopeful I will be off even more soon. 

I love going shopping now; I like the person looking back at me in the mirror. I find that I have to remind myself not to do too much before taking a break because I have so much energy. I love who I’ve become on this health journey. This lifestyle change has affected the whole me — spirit, soul and body. 


Making the decision to take charge of my health is the second-greatest decision I’ve ever made. It will take discipline, and you will have to make some adjustments to your mindset about food, but it will be well worth any changes you make. If you don’t invest the time and money in your health now, you will more than likely invest it in medical and doctor/hospital bills later.

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