Weight has been a lifelong issue for me. I was a chubby child. I have two sisters and I used to try and con them into asking our mother if we could have a treat. I knew if I had asked that she would say no. Although I loved school as a child, I used to hate the days that we were weighed and measured.
I’ve been able to lose weight in the past but I would always gain the weight back and more. Most often I would lose the weight on my own, counting calories and carbs, although I am a lifetime member of Weight Watchers as well. I not only always gained the weight back, but I would add more weight after that. I’ve had high blood pressure and high cholesterol for many years. Two years ago, before I came to Positive Changes, my doctor had warned me that my blood glucose level was very close to a type 2 diabetes diagnoses. That scared me so much that I went on a low carb diet and lost 50 pounds over the next year. Unfortunately in the year that followed I put 15 of those pounds back on.
I heard about Positive Changes on a T.V. commercial. The idea that it was about more than just losing the weight and that there was an emphasis on lifelong weight maintenance was what brought me in. After gaining back 15 pounds of the weight I had lost and the threat of diabetes still looming, I just knew I couldn’t do this anymore. I had to make some permanent changes.
From the beginning, I was very committed to making the changes that I was learning about in the program. Having recently retired, I listened to my hypnosis sessions and the startup kit messages 3 times a day. At first I experienced everything on a conscious level and was very intentional about what I ate. As I gained experience in listening to my processes on a subconscious level, eating healthy became less intentional. It was becoming a habit and one that was somehow simpler than it had been in the past. One thing that particularly surprised me was the immediate elimination of the 2 Diet Cokes that I had been used to drinking daily, along with the sugarless Chai Tea that I would enjoy every morning. As I was talking with my hypnotist prior to my first session, I remember thinking “Well there is no way I’ll be able to give those things up.” So imagine my surprise when the desire for these beverages just vanished.
I lost weight by the end of the first week. I saw a steady and regular loss of about 1-3 pounds a week until I had lost 40 pounds. At that point I hit a plateau and didn’t lose any weight for several weeks despite maintaining my new eating habits. It was frustrating but after several weeks I began to lose weight again, at a much slower rate. With the weight gain prior to coming to Positive Changes, I had gone from a size 12 to a size 14. I now consistently wear a size 6. I was shopping this week to get some
Bermuda shorts for an upcoming Hawaii trip and I ended up with a size 2! I couldn’t believe it! Since the doctor first warned me about the type 2 diabetes, I am down 87 pounds. 52 of those pounds I lost with Positive Changes.
What was more surprising to me than the weight loss was the abrupt and complete change in my eating habits. And even more surprising than that was the complete elimination of cravings. Every other time I’ve lost weight, the biggest battle was fighting the cravings. It took me 9 months to lose the weight. I am more aware of portion sizes now, particularly with things like potatoes, rice and other foods high in carbohydrates. I am much more aware of getting the proper amount of protein now. If I get hungry in between meals, my snacks are high in protein. I am eating a lot more fresh fruits and vegetables, including salad. For my salads, I mix regular dressings with yogurt. My cravings are very rare, but if I do get a craving a few bites will satisfy me. I was never a binge eater. My favorite food is ice cream and before Positive Changes, I would have a bowl of ice cream almost daily. This is after telling myself earlier in the day that I shouldn’t eat it. I thought it would be difficult to give that up but honestly I haven’t had a craving for it. I do have ice cream periodically, but now it’s a conscious decision made ahead of time to have just a little. I enjoy it and then it’s gone until I make the next conscious decision to have it.
I don’t currently have cravings for any kind of food. Obviously I’m eating differently than I was prior to coming to Positive Changes. But another important thing I notice is that I am so much more active than I was previously. Exercise used to be drudgery and I would avoid it at all costs. I was well into my second month with Positive Changes before I really committed to exercising. I started with riding my stationary bike. It has a stand on it that I could prop my Kindle up on, so I can read while I’m exercising. My coaches at Positive Changes recommended I work on upper body strength as well so I hesitantly joined Curves. I discovered that I love it. With the weight loss, movement is so much easier. So easy in fact, that the Curves recommendation of ½ hour workout 3 times a week has morphed into an hour workout 5 times a week. On Tuesdays I have my 2 year old granddaughter, which is its own kind of exercise. On Sundays, when Curves is closed, I ride my stationary bike.
This has been the easiest weight loss in my long history of losing weight. There are a couple things that I notice are different. One is the dual emphasis on weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle, as opposed to a single emphasis on just weight loss. More importantly though is the concept of food being a choice. That has really resonated with me. Every other time I’ve dieted, I had a deprivation mentality. There were certain foods that I couldn’t have and my focus tended to be on what I couldn’t eat rather than what would be a good choice of food. With Positive Changes, there is no deprivation. If I want something, I can occasionally make a conscious decision to have it, without the guilt and self-recrimination that I previously experienced. I make a conscious decision and adjust my other food accordingly. That deprivation mentality is not even a part of it. For the first 6 months I made it a priority to listen to my processes 3 times a day. I would listen to one first thing in the morning, one mid-day, and once at bedtime. More recently I have eliminated the morning one since I go to the gym first thing in the morning now. Most days I will listen to them twice.
I was overweight simply because I lived to eat. I loved it so much. I have always been secure in my relationships. I have a wonderful family with grandchildren who I just cherish. However, when I was overweight, I was very aware of this fault and I was my own worst critic. I would wake up every morning and promise myself that I wasn’t going to eat anything rich or sweet that day. But almost every day I would end up doing so. And then the self-talk would start: “What’s the matter with you? You did it again! You don’t have any self-control. I’m so disappointed in you.” With Positive Changes, I hear encouraging messages subconsciously every day. And I repeat those to myself throughout the day. I no longer have the cravings for the poor food choices that I used to have so I’m not having those internal battles throughout the day.
I’ve always been a fairly confident person, although I did more than my share of self-criticizing. That has disappeared now. Instead, I end the day confident in my ability to follow through with my goals. I’m also so much more confident in my appearance. I’m beginning to see that I have become much more outgoing than I used to be. I am very proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish. I’m a much happier person than I was. I get up each day feeling good about what’s in store for the day. Shopping for clothing is actually a fun experience now. It’s something I look forward to. In the past it was just drudgery. If something fit me, that’s what I bought. It wasn’t necessarily about what looked good on me. Now I have so many choices in clothes.
I’m much happier with myself as a person. I am free of that frequent self-doubt and self-criticism. I’m enjoying activities that I used to avoid because they required a lot of energy and movement. I’m no longer hooked on Diet Coke. Instead I drink water. Eating healthy foods has become second nature to me, rather than the constant effort it had been in the past. I’m much more physically active than I ever could have been previously. I had my annual physical exam several weeks ago and my doctor was full of compliments. My weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels are all now within the normal range. My doctor was pleased to hear that I had increased my activity level significantly.
Because it’s easier to get out and move now, I’m much more prone to go out and be among people. I’m also much more prone to engage in interaction, rather than sitting in the background hoping that nobody notices me. In the past, I tended to let go of relationships because I didn’t want people to know that I had gained weight. Now I am making more of an effort to keep in touch with people I don’t see every day.
The ladies at Curves have commented that they are inspired by my story. I showed them my before picture and they just can’t believe it. I want to continue to live a healthy and active lifestyle. I want to continue to spend time with my grandchildren. We are going to Hawaii and I am looking forward to going to the beach without worrying about my size. In a couple weeks I will be shopping for a bathing suit. I haven’t had a bathing suit in many years. I’ll also be able to hike trails and be able to see beaches and waterfalls. I haven’t been able to do that in the past.
The most valuable benefit I’ve received from Positive Changes is being able to be more active and to keep up with my youngest granddaughter without it taking a toll on my body. The freedom of movement that I have now is wonderful. I no longer have to make decisions about outings based on whether or not it’s physically possible for me. There is much more available to me in life than there ever used to be. As I began to make plans for spending my time in my retirement years, the one thing I really wanted to do is to take my 2 year old granddaughter to co-op preschool. She is likely my last grandchild and since I was working when my other grandchildren were in preschool, I wasn’t able to spend as much quality time with them as I wanted to. The only concern I had about doing co-op was that I knew it would require a lot of physical stamina, agility, and grace. None of which I particularly had. Because of the changes I’ve made through Positive Changes, my granddaughter and I have experienced such an incredible year together. We are making memories that for both of us will last for years. It is just such a precious gift for both of us. This is most incredible thing that has come from Positive Changes.
Because of the results that I’ve received, I believe this program was worth every penny. I would definitely recommend this program to others. Compared to other weight loss programs that I’ve done, this program was so much easier; both physically and emotionally. That dual emphasis on weight loss and health is the thing that was really missing in other weight loss programs. Although I brought the commitment and desire with me to Positive Changes, I give the program a lot of credit for aligning that desire and commitment with the knowledge and skills that I needed to be successful. I don’t honestly think I would be where I am today without Positive Changes. This program has had such an impact on my body, my mind, my health and my lifestyle. It has truly resulted in positive changes for me!
What brought me to Positive Changes was the advertising of weight loss for life. I consider this the challenge that is still in front of me. I’ve learned through Positive Changes that I’m not done with the program. The skills that I’ve learned will continue to support me in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, even though I’m no longer attending sessions. For the first time in my life, I am actually enjoying physical activity. I am eating healthy and not feeling deprived. I remain committed to listening to my processes at least once a day, which will keep what I have learned fresh in my brain. Thank you Positive Changes, from the bottom of my heart. I’m happier and I’m healthier. I couldn’t ask for more at this time in my life!