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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.
Connie K. 57. I started my transformation in March of 2011. As a young woman I had been athletic and slim but by my mid 20’s I was struggling with my weight. I have dieted off and on for over 30 years. I have done diets ranging from Diet Center, Weight Watchers, The Zone, Atkins, to Medifast and HCG. Always the weight would come back, and then some, so by my late 40’s I was at 235 pounds.
At 49 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was my wakeup call. I felt bad that I had not taken good care of my body and that I had let it down. I did enough reading to know the excess fat on my body was elevating my estrogen levels and had most likely contributed to my cancer. After surgery, chemo therapy, and radiation I was motivated to improve my health and get the weight off for good. I never wanted to go through chemotherapy again. I wanted to live long enough to see my grandson grow up. So in an effort to get the weight off I ran, swam, and participated in mini-triathlons all while following Weight Watchers. Try as I might, I was not able to get under 200 pounds. I even consulted with a nutritionist on what my calorie consumption should be and asked why I couldn’t lose weight. She told me I was probably one of those rare people with a very slow metabolism and I should learn to live with my weight and exercise more. I was so discouraged and angry. Why couldn’t I figure this out? Why was I different than everyone else? In frustration I turned to extreme low calorie diets like Medifast and HCG.
As I struggled with weight gain following my extreme dieting, my good friend and Weight Watcher buddy, Diane, told me about her success with GT. I called Sheri Lynn right away and practically begged for her to take me on. Sheri reassured me that I did not have to worry about how many calories to eat; she would be responsible for figuring that out. I was simply to follow her instructions, track my food, drink my water and record how I felt each day. After a week or two of recording my normal diet, Sheri instructed me on what food choices to make and started me into fueling. What an eye opener! I was amazed that I could increase the amount of food I was eating and not gain weight! This was a revelation to me. As the weeks went and my calorie levels increased I felt liberated from my fear of food and angry at the whole diet industry. By the time I finished fueling I was up to 2400 calories a day, struggling to eat everything on my list. 2400 calories is a large volume of food, when all the food is whole food, no processed food, no sugar, and no alcohol. At the time I did not realize how much repair my body was doing during fueling. I dropped a clothing size even though the scale did not budge. I started sleeping through the night instead of waking up at 2 am every night. Each week I felt better and better.
After fueling came rotation. This was where I began to see the scale go down. It wasn’t long before my body settled into comfortably dropping a pound a week. In years past I would have considered this too slow. But Sheri educated me on how the liver is very involved in fat metabolism and can only process a pound of fat a week. This helped me understand why eliminating foods my liver has to filter, like artificial sweeteners and alcohol, is essential to giving my liver the band width it needs to process fat. I also began to understand how my food choices needed to be focused on maintaining even blood sugar levels so my insulin wouldn’t spike. I realized that in years past, my spiking insulin was storing most of the calories I was eating, even if I was eating low calories. With all that dieting I had simply trained my body to get by on less and had radically slowed my metabolism. Why didn’t that University trained dietitian know that? As the months of rotation went by, and my body kept letting go of fat, it became clear that my original weight loss goal was too high. I adjusted it down 10 pounds. A few months later I adjusted it down another 10 pounds. In the end, I lost 30 pounds more than I had planned and reached my high school weight – 100 pounds down from my heaviest. Never could I have imaged this was possible.
I have learned the most during the loss of the last 10 pounds of fat loss. My confidence in my ability to research and understand nutrition and the science of metabolism increased as I watched my body respond to adequate water, good protein, good fats, and relatively high calories. I knew I would never need to go on a low calorie/high cardio diet again. I quit paying any attention to the diet experts in popular media. Through Sheri’s reading recommendations I have developed a much better understanding of how the brain works, how I form habits, and how I can change those habits. My thoughts are simply habits that can be changed just as behaviors can be changed. I’ve learned the importance of being in conversation with myself and my body in order to line up my behaviors with my values. Now I journal and meditate. Never have I felt better. Gone is the joint pain I experienced hauling around all that extra weight. Gone are the mood swings that were due to roller coaster blood sugar levels and inflammation. I finally get how my body, mind and spirit are intricately intertwined and all need my care.
My husband has been very supportive of me as I have wrestled with changes and often lets me know how great I look. My son has lost weight, too, as he has learned to make better food choices. My coworkers have put up with me sticking ‘poison’ labels on the cookies in the break room. I was even asked to run a twelve week fitness group at work. Life continues to throw up plenty of challenges but I respond to those challenges differently now. Genesis has helped me acquire the knowledge, coping skills and emotional balance to be the person I want to be. I truly am transformed. Thank you, Sheri.
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