At size 2, I can fit into anything!
I have battled my weight my entire life. As a child I was “chubby” and endured all the taunts and humiliation that go along with it. I started my first formal diet when I was nine years old and from there began my history of yo-yo dieting. Throughout my life I had been every size from 10 to 24 but had never managed to stay at one weight for any period of time. Even at a size 10, I was not within a healthy weight range for my height and I didn’t believe I ever would be. I was miserable and hopeless, depressed and anxious and morbidly obese.
I ate huge portions of food and increasingly relied on fast food. I ate whether I was hungry or not, to make myself feel better when I was sad and to reward myself when I was happy. I was constantly searching for a solution to my weight problem but I now realize I was searching for a solution that didn’t require me to change my eating habits in the long term. For that reason I was doomed to fail and fail I did, over and over and over again. Every time I lost weight, I would reward myself with food, return to my old habits and gain it all back again plus some.
My last attempt to battle my weight without changing what I ate had me joining a gym and signing up for a 200 kilometre bike trek approximately one year before my 40th birthday. The bike trek was to take place the week after I turned 40 and I was determined to complete the trek in honour of this milestone birthday. I worked out religiously and trained for this trek but I didn’t lose a pound. Six days after my fortieth birthday, I completed the trek at a weight in excess of 260 pounds. I did it but it was an immense struggle and it probably took me a month to recover.
I then decided to hire the best personal trainer my gym had to offer. When she asked what my number one goal from personal training was, I told her without hesitation “weight loss”. For the next year, I worked out with the personal trainer three times per week and attended the gym on my own another two times per week. Although my body certainly became fitter and stronger, once again, I did not lose an ounce as I stubbornly refused to change my eating habits, looking to exercise as an excuse to eat what I wanted without modification.
I will never forget what the personal trainer said to me that changed my mindset. She said, “You are fitter than most people but part of being fit is being at a healthy weight and the fact is, you can out-eat any exercise program”. That was exactly what I had done. I had out-eaten my exercise program. At that moment the light bulb went off and I realized that the only solution to my weight problem was to get real about the food. As long as I kept on eating like I was, no amount of exercise was going to make me thin.
At my heaviest I weighed 278 pounds and I could barely fit in to a size 24 pant. Joining the Dr. Bernstein clinic helped me to get real about what I was eating and to be accountable for everything that went into my mouth. The Diet keeps you motivated because you see results quickly and don’t get discouraged. Aside from the fact that the weight loss itself makes you feel better, a diet made up mostly of lean protein and vegetables means I no longer feel sluggish or suffer from indigestion or heartburn.
Fast forward to today and I am a size 2, extra small and well within the healthy weight range for my height. I am 160 pounds lighter than I was at my heaviest. In my wildest dreams I never would have believed that I could be this small. Even my immediate family is sometimes shocked when I walk into a room and people that have known me my whole life walk right by because they don’t even know it is me.
The maintenance program has given me the opportunity to see how certain foods affect my body and my ability to maintain my weight. It can be tempting to revert back to old habits but now that I have the experience with maintenance under my belt, I know what I need to do.
I still work out regularly and this September, I did the bike trek again. This time I climbed every hill and raced to the finish barely breaking a sweat.
My weight loss was not a result of working out because I trained 5 days a week for two years without ever losing an ounce. It was once I joined Dr. Bernstein that the weight came off. I therefore have a unique perspective on how weight loss can change your life because I was actually active even at my heaviest.
I now understand and have accepted that my ability to maintain this weight is determined by what I eat and no exercise program will give me a free pass.
I never would have imagined how fun shopping can be when you can fit into anything. I am no longer stuck wearing whatever I can find in my size. At a size 2, my options are endless.
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*Individual weight loss may vary. Call for details. Compliance with our program is required.