kimbensen.com
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kim's story

Hi. I'm Kim. I live in southern Connecticut with my husband, Mark, and our four children, ranging in age from thirteen to twenty-eight. Although not always obese, I have battled a food addiction and its challenges since childhood.

In high school I fluctuated up and down 10-15 pounds in a yo-yo cycle that would haunt me for years. In college the spread of pounds grew to 30, then 40. I lost weight for my wedding in 1984, but soon gained it all back and more. Shortly after we were married my eating got out of control and for the first time in my life I was over 200 pounds. For the next 10 years I struggled up and down in the 200 pound range; for 10 years after that in the 300 pound range. I tried every low carb, high protein, low sugar, shake-supplemented, pill popping, bar munching, body piercing weight loss program in existence. Guess what? They ALL worked! But after a while I would feel deprived or discouraged and fall off the wagon, gaining back all that I had lost ... and then some. By the time I was forty, I had given up all hope. For over a year I completely stopped trying.

Normal, every day activities became increasingly difficult. My cholesterol was astronomically high. Eventually even my walking was limited. When I sat down my stomach came to the end of my knees. I had no lap for my children and, if I continued along the same path, my children would have no mother at all. I was eating myself to death. Then, on October 1, 2001, I cried out to God in a desperate, broken prayer which would change my heart ... and my life. I was ready to try again.

At 347 pounds. I "knew" I would eventually quit and gain the weight back, but I was hoping to be able to breathe a little easier and – possibly – fit into plus size clothing stores again (which I had outgrown) before that happened. The idea that I might actually become thin never even entered my mind. But with a glimmer of hope I began.

For two years I pre-planned meals, drank water, weighed, measured and made delicious new recipes. For two years I focused on changing behaviors from the inside out. For two years I watched the scales inch downward, and my once hopeless spirit began to soar. The more I put into it, the more fun it became! I was actually ENJOYING my new way of eating!

Week after week I stuck with it. I started out following the Weight Watchers® traditional points program. To be honest, it could have been any healthy diet. It wasn't WHICH diet I was following, it was HOW I was following it. The three biggest factors for me was cooking light recipes which I could eat in volume, writing down my food BEFORE I started each day (we call it PREplanning), and not overdoing on the 'free food'.

Eventually just counting POINTS wasn't enough for me. Carbs were so tempting, but even though I could stay within my points, I could have a LOT of those little grabby-easy-to-grab, not satisfying snackie things. They began to be the death of my diet. But NOT THIS TIME! Instead, I gave up POINTS and managed my food by counting my calories through food groups based on the USDA Food Pyramid. For me, it was the key. I found eating a well-rounded day not only made me healthier, it also kept the head-hunger at bay. So I kept going to meetings for support and weigh ins, but followed my own program instead for weight loss.

My journey was long, but it didn't matter any more. I loved what I was doing! I could live with this! For the first time in years I was under 300 lbs ... then 200 lbs ... on October 7, 2003, I reached my goal.

In the end I lost 212 pounds, lowered my cholesterol more than 200 points, lost an inch and a half in each wrist, and went down from a size 6x to a size 6. The weight loss has made countless practical differences in my life: I can walk through a restaurant without having to lay out a strategic map to see what tables I'll fit between; I can fit in any chair, buckle up in a car and get toys out from under the middle of my boys' beds. I can fit socks inside my shoes and can wear over-the-counter jewelry without extenders. I even started exercising to help me with toning and maintenance. I've kept my weight off for ten years using the weight loss program I created along the way ... OPTIONS.

My weight loss has not only changed my health and my looks, it’s changed my profession. I've been able to share my story from network TV to my weekly webcast to the covers of national magazines, I've shared my struggles and my victory. In my book, Finally Thin (Random House, 2009), I offer tips and tools and many of the recipes I used to finally get the weight off for good.

Six years ago friends encouraged me to take to market one of my favorite products – a 110 calorie, high fiber, low-fat bagel -- in six yummy flavors. Today we ship Kim’s Light Bagels to all 50 states and are in major grocery store shelves across the northeast. This led to bagel chips and other delicious low calorie products with many more on the way.

There’s a lot about my story that isn’t easy to share, but my goal is to encourage others. You need to feel the depths of my bondage to food, so that you can see how great the possibilities are of overcoming yours.

No matter where you are today, reaching YOUR weight loss goal is possible. No weight is too much. No time is too long. The only way you'll NEVER lose weight is if you stop trying.

Come on ... it’s YOUR turn now! Learn more about our Premium Membership and OPTIONS Weight Loss Program.

Come on ... it's YOUR turn now!