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MEET VAL FROM BROOKLYN!

KIM: If you're like I used to be, it's easy to minimize the pain and frustration of those who have much less of a distance to reach their goal. You know they feel uncomfortable, but you'd give anything to have the "small" struggle they face. At least that's how I felt when I was 200 pounds overweight. What they struggled with certainly wasn't anything like what I had to deal with! 

Then I got to know members like Karen, Sandra ... and our newest success story, Valerie. Real people with real pain who had "only" had 25 -30 pounds to lose. Believe me, they feel every pound. It's different, but it's not. They tried, falled, started over, cried and agonized over every pound. Seeing the depth of their emotions and pain has caused me to change my perspective completely. Here's Valerie's story ...

 

Meet Val. She's an emotional eater, a binge eater, and she hated the way she looked, hiding from the camera whenever she could. She tried every weight loss program -- succeeding temporarily at all of them. She scoured success stories, praying one day she might find an answer that would help her lose those unwanted pounds, too. VAL DID NOT BELIEVE that she would ever reach her goal weight and stay there. Sound familiar?  She had 25 stubborn pounds to lose and, though she lost weight a million times, she rarely came close to goal, and always put them back on -- almost immediately.

Valerie came from the Clean Plate generation. She was praised for eating. No one thought she was overweight growing up, just big-boned. And Val didn't like her big body. She was muscular, athletic ... and a binge eater. Val learned that a high-calorie binge could be (somewhat) off-set by excessive exercise and a few days of starving herself. This became her pattern for weight control.

After a difficult first marriage, Val went to back to school for her nursing degree. She set goals, lost weight on Weight Watchers and maintained her goal weight for two whole months before she started regaining. She continued searching for answers. She wanted a long-term solution.

Val specialized in oncology and began caring for hospice patients. During this time she met and married a wonderful man named Adrian who adored her whatever size she was. He was her support -- encouraging, accepting, loving. But Val knew that Adrian couldn't do it for her.

After seeing Kim on the Today Show, Valerie bought a copy of Finally Thin. Then she signed-up for the weekly eNews. Week after week she read success stories from Kim's site, but always went back to the familiar diets. Several years later Val became a member. It was, as she calls it, "a last-ditch effort." She didn't believe that long-term weight loss was possible for her, but what did she have to lose?

Val didn't just join, she got involved, coming to as many online meetings as she could each week. She listened and internalized what she heard. She started calling the Center for her weekly weigh-in and opened up on the phone. Then, something that she had heard a million times before finally clicked: the scale isn't as important as the behavior! Val was losing weight each week, but she knew there was still some binge-starve behavior going on. Before, the important thing to her was always the number on the scale on weigh-in day. Now, she realized, it was time to focus on the day to day behavior. That was the answer. Val started changing, not just dieting.

Sharing her struggles with Kim, Adam, Alyssa, and other members helped a lot. Sometimes, when she was feeling weaker, she would check-in daily. Other times, it was just the weekly weigh-in. Slowly, Val started to become a moderate eating person, for the first time in her life.

Valerie did reach goal and continues coming to meetings. She's still works hard every day on her meal plan and tries new recipes frequently. She's learned how to stay OP (On Program) despite traveling with Adrian for his work. She's truly made this journey a lifestyle change, not just a diet.

While Valerie's weight loss is amazing and her physical changes are very visible, it's the invisible changes that have taken place in Val's life that have made all difference. Well done, sweet Val!

 


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