Weight Loss Transformation of the Day: Marsha lost 108 pounds. Struggling with her weight since childhood, her wakeup call came during a terrible situation caused by lost luggage during a 2 week trip to Africa. When she came home she made a commitment to take action and change her relationship with food. She didn’t give up and now she is sharing her success story with the world. Read her story to find out what she did…
I have been struggling with weight issues since adolescence, and seemed to put on about 10 extra pounds a year from 7th grade through college. I had success with weight lost programs on a couple of occasions, but then would gain it all back plus more. My tipping point came in September of 2000. I had traveled to southern Africa for a 2-week safari, and the airline lost my luggage. Bad turned to worse when I tried to buy clothes at the airport in South Africa; I couldn’t fit into anything! ANYTHING!
An extra large in South Africa was equivalent to a medium in the United States! The same was true in Zimbabwe, and then again in Botswana. I could not fit into a single piece of clothing in three countries! SO. VERY. HUMILIATING. Thankfully, I had packed a pair of shorts and a pair of underwear in the backpack
that was my carry-on. I had no choice but to wear the same thing every day, then hand wash and hang it to dry overnight.
Tipping the scales at 283 pounds, I made a commitment to take action as soon as I got home, and I did. It’s been a long and bumpy road, but I never lost sight of my goal, which was not a number on the scale. My goal was to change my relationship with food – to stop using food for company, entertainment, comfort, and all of the other emotional reasons I would eat, and to simply eat to fuel my body. I knew that if I gave my body the healthiest kind of fuel, and worked out regularly, then the pounds would come off, and keep coming off until I reached a healthy weight.
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It’s taken 15 years, but I’ve finally reached that goal. Along the way, I followed numerous different programs — the Atkins diet (down 65 pounds, then regained about 48 of them), the modified Optifast program (down 84 pounds, then regained 30), and the 17-day Diet (lost 35 pounds). I continue to lose, more slowly now, by doing my own version of the 17-Day Diet. I eat a lot of lean protein, and a ton of non-starchy vegetables. I eat starchy carbs (like steel-cut oatmeal, beans, or yams) only about 2-3 days a week, and always before 2:00pm so my body has time to burn through them. I limit my fats to no more than 3 tablespoons of healthy oils (like olive, flaxseed or coconut oil). I completely avoid sugar and other sweeteners, natural (e.g., honey) or artificial, and I only eat plain, fat-free Greek or Icelandic yogurt. I eat 2-3 servings of fresh fruit each day (also before 2:00pm), and I drink at least 90 ounces of water daily.
Finally, I workout about 6 days a week, and I mix up my workouts (e.g., walking, biking, hiking, water aerobics, strength training) so my body doesn’t get used to any one thing. At 5’7” tall, I am now down 108 pounds from that humiliating experience in the fall of 2000, but more importantly, I am at peace with food. Giving up sugar and carbs put an end to my cravings. Now, I think about food when I’m hungry, or when I know I’ll be out all day and need to plan for something.
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