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And the GUTS to get it done. These transformations represent real people, not models. We are proud of them for the success they achieved.
Renee. 45. "Such little feet for such a big body!" These words forever burned in my memory compliments of my mother who all of her life had battled her own weight, signing up for whatever the latest diet craze was at the time. Thus began my life in the world of weight loss and body image. Add to that a traumatic childhood experience that would keep me in a state of trying to fill a hole that was left by a personal loss. It became a recipe for more pounds and more self-loathing. I have been anywhere from 10 to 50 pounds overweight in my life and knew there was a healthy person inside somewhere, I just needed the right tool to coax that person out. So, let's see, there were starvation diets, the dreaded, nasty protein/amino acid drink, Weight Watchers, vegetarianism, the Zone, and yes, there were some that I didn't even attempt to try. I read lots of books and magazine articles all touting the road to eating healthy and losing weight. And exercise. Lots and lots and LOTS of exercise. In my early forties I finally had gotten my weight down to within 15 pounds of where I wanted it to be but ran into a wall. I couldn't do any more exercise; there just wasn't enough time in the day. I kept falling into the same patterns without any results. I had seen Sheri Lynn training people in our gym and so envied the way these people looked and the changes I watched them go through. Maybe I just needed the right training program! I signed up for a training session with Sheri Lynn and we got to talking before we got started. We discussed my goals and I explained my frustration with my personal weight game. The most eye opening thing she said to me was "Your weight is dependent 90% of what you eat and 10% of what your activity level is." She suggested a program that I might try, an article, a diet analysis and told me to look it over and see what I thought. After looking at the material and the ideas presented I was finally ready to accept the food/exercise ratio fact and work within that premise. I decided that this program would be my winter "hobby". Time was going to pass whether I got on board or not and from looking at the others who were on this program I didn't think I had anything to lose but my old weight, my old thinking, and my old disappointment in myself. On January 5, 2006 I embarked on my new journey, program in one hand, support in the other.

I followed the program pretty religiously but I can't say that at times it wasn't a real force to be reckoned with. The days did go by as I predicted they would (and they always do!) and I stuck to my eating plan, even finding it fun to try to beat the nutritional score from the day before. It took me eight months to lose twenty pounds but I needed every single day of that time to learn how to eat simply (which was different than my definition of healthy), discover what types of food my body liked and didn't like, eating the correct amounts for my energy levels, balancing the right amount of exercise, and giving my head time to adjust to my new thinking and my new body changes. I also needed that time to retrain my taste buds and head to relinquish the desire for sugar and my personal favorite- white flour products. After so much time without those things and a few nasty binges that left me feeling sick and depleted, I can now say that I am much less tempted to add those things back into my daily life. Had the weight loss process been faster I don't think I would have put in the time to allow my body to naturally change it's thinking on these types of food and behaviors.

Is this program a quick fix? Heck, no. Will you get awesome results if you follow the plan? Indeed you will. Will it happen overnight? You wish! We all wish! But stick with it and truly get a grip on the fact that things that are worth having take hard work, dedication and perseverance. The payoffs are riches beyond all the dollars in the world. And then, think deeper- the results are not just about looking good. The results are more about feeling good, having energy to live life to the fullest and doing the right things to maintain a healthy body for the here and now and the future. I am constantly amazed by my progress and how I look and how I feel. And settled with it too, as this is who I am and who I want to be. It wasn't easy, it wasn't overnight, but it was all worth it. Believe in yourself, do the work, and the program will do the rest.
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