weight loss motivation, tools, and support  

After a lifetime of private shame, going public with my story seems like an amazing turn of fate. So here goes ...

My unhealthy relationship with food began early in life; not because of any trauma or drama or event but merely because in our family, large quantities of home-cooked food were the main events each and every day.  Whether any given day brought joy, sorrow, celebration, or stress, food was the solution to everything. 

As the youngest child and only girl in the family, I kept pace bite for bite with my older brothers.  I gained weight quickly and by the time I entered high school, my weight hovered near 200 pounds.  Our family physician prescribed diet pills and sent me home with a 1000 calorie diet.  The pills made me jittery, the diet's restrictions concerned my well-intentioned mom, and so that first attempt at weight loss was short-lived and my weight gain continued. 

Another 25 pounds found their way/weigh onto my 5'7" during college, but I simply resigned myself to being heavy and embraced plus-sized fashion (2X tops and 24W pants) and mindless daily junk food indulgences.  Love became a new incentive to lose weight, and prior to marrying in the summer of 1979, I embarked on a near-starvation approach to food that relied on liquid shakes and diet pop.  While certainly unhealthy, the plan worked and I walked down the aisle in a size 12 wedding gown. 

The pounds reappeared once I began eating again.  Getting pregnant in 1982 gave me a reason to "eat for 2" and after our daughter was born, I kept the "baby weight" and went on to add another 50 pounds to the equation.  I never yo-yo dieted; I simply ate and ate and couldn't stop.  And so I was morbidly obese in the 2004 "before" photo, tipping the scale at 275 pounds. 

Surprisingly, I experienced very few weight-related issues up until that year, but we all know it is only a matter of time before the silent damage wreaks havoc within us.  That year, my blood glucose spiked and I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic.  Results of a liver test showed the beginning of fatty liver disease, and at age 50, I faced my moment of truth.  How was it possible for every aspect of my life to be blessed and rich while my relationship with food was a disaster?  With my internist's watchful supervision, I began a low-carb eating style that changed my life.  All white, refined substances along with fruit were sugar, flour, rice, bread, cereal, fruit, juice etc.  The early results were dramatic and my determination was rewarded with markedly improved lab results a year later.  Between 2004 and 2006, I lost 100 pounds. 

I maintained that weight loss and although I looked better and felt terrific, I stalled out at 175 and became frustrated.  It wasn't enough to hear others say I looked thin enough, I believed that my journey was incomplete.....goal eluded me, and I was baffled.   I do not remember the year I found Kim Bensen, but it was long before the enhanced site and Options® program (at least 3 centers ago for those tracking by how many times she's moved). 

I bought her book, Finally Thin, and decided it was time to make my peace with healthy carbs using her XChanges program (renamed Options®). 

Fast forward to our daughter's wedding in July of 2014, a week-long party where food was everywhere.  Up until then, I had never tracked my weight on Kim's site in a consistent manner.....don't ask me why.....I simply didn't.   But something led me to the weigh-in page after the wedding food coma wore off, and the accountability worked.  Since July 2014, ever so slowly, another 26 pounds is gone and today, at age 62, I participate in Kim's maintenance group at a healthy weight of 151 pounds, 8 pounds below that elusive original  goal weight!

We are all so different and yet the struggle with food issues is universal.  My parting thoughts are these: seek out support and a sense of community because our combined strength is unstoppable.  Explore your resources thoroughly; I squandered so many opportunities by not digging into Kim's site sooner.   

And finally, never ever quit: we have within each of us a success story eager to be lived.  I wake up each day thankful for another 24 hours to be 100% mindful of anything I put in my mouth.



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