Freedom in Restriction
I could have been a statistic. Mid-forties, overweight, recently had a sedentary job for 8 years that enabled laziness and muscle loss, busy family life, and already a history of trying every diet ever created and never finding lasting weight loss nor improvement in health and agility. That could have been my story without a good ending. I had low energy, craved sugar daily that caused mood swings and dependence on sweets, my knees were aching, needed coffee to function, did not participate in some activities with my kids because I was embarrassed over my large size, and lamented that when I looked up my weight and height on a chart, it said I was obese. Obese?! I finally had to get so physically sick that I plain got ‘sick of it’ and sought a permanent solution that would stop my downward spiral. I knew with age I would not improve in agility and health if I didn’t make a change in my eating and activity. I had glimpses in my future of my husband needing to push me around in a wheelchair instead of enjoying our golden years together. I could not stay the same any longer. I finally decided that I was going to refuse to fail. I had to fight for my future.
My first thought process was that I needed to exercise and just “eat less” and drink less coffee. Sounded like a pretty good plan, however, it was not a sound plan. I contacted Jon first to inquire about his fitness programs and he suggested I also check out Katie’s nutrition plan and review the website for more information. After reading the website, understanding the philosophy behind good nutrition and the different packages offered by Katie, I knew that was the key. I could exercise every day but if I don’t understand that the food I am fueling my body with is either healing me or poisoning me, I am always going to end up back at the beginning of my discouraged and failed plans. I did want to keep restarting over and over, I wanted to reach my goals and live the full life I knew was waiting for me if I could get the weight off and change the way I think about food. I chose the Signature Plan and jumped right in with optimism.
After having my initial consultation with Katie, I was excited to get started and honestly going into brand new waters. Speaking of water, I started drinking more water than I ever have in my life! I soon realized I had been functioning dehydrated for most of my adult life. I was anxious at first, a little doubting, but I bought myself a shiny new 24 oz. water cup with a built-in straw and made a plan. I wanted to succeed. I also had to learn to cook real whole foods from a cookbook and that was brand new to me! I usually made easy casserole type meals or boxed meals and canned ingredients for the family. I quickly realized I had not really been cooking at all, just throwing things together. Katie patiently went over the importance of eating non-processed foods, the reality of what fast food does to the body chemically, and encouraged me by telling me how much better I was going to feel and if I follow her guidance and eliminate processed foods and sugars, my health was going to improve dramatically. She was right! Katie never looked at me like an obese person without self-control, but as a person who chose foods from the average American diet that was causing sickness to adults and children all over the country. I needed to know the truth of what was in the foods I was eating and what it was doing to me. And not just me, but my family. I couldn’t deny that my sweet tooth was one root that always pulled me back from succeeding to keeping weight off in the past. I also had to face the spiritual implications of running to food for comfort. How did I let food become more important to me than my faith? How did I allow myself to put 100 pounds of fat on my body and still not be able to stop by myself? That’s potentially the equivalent of carrying around a whole other person on my back at all times! I was starting to see these patterns in my kids and I couldn’t accept that. I do not want my kids to follow my steps into unhealthy eating and a sedentary life, hooked on sweets, snacks in bags, and (diet) sodas. Now that path has been changed. Katie gave me the tools and guidance and the accountability to persevere with a changed lifestyle even after a life-time of wrong eating and thinking patterns. It is possible to learn a new way of eating and enjoy it! Katie always encouraged me to keep going and also asked me the hard questions around Thanksgiving and Christmas with a little ‘checking in’ email. I knew she cared and she kept me honest! During this period of time I also suffered the loss of my father who passed away suddenly on October 15, 2016. I did have one bad eating day as I grieved with my mother and convenient foods were surrounding me. However, I was able to get back to my eating program and choosing wisely and even made some healthy dinners for my Mom from my cookbook. I was able to express this to Katie and she was an understanding ear and encouraged me to stay on point by reminding me that by going off of my plan I would only feel worse and worse. I knew she was right.
I started my plan on August 28, 2016. My goal was to lose 100 lbs. As of the graduation of my program with Katie, I am down 60 lbs. Over half way there in just over 4 months. I did not start an exercise plan until two months into my program. I now work out with a partner and Jon twice a week. I am down 8 pant sizes and had to recently give away 3 boxes of clothes. Nothing fits! I was elated to buy a size of clothing I have not seen in about 16 years. It’s actually fun to buy clothes. My knees are not hurting and my strength and agility are improving each week. I daydream of what my summer will be this year being outside with the kids and able to hike and swim and generally not hide behind layers of clothes because of embarrassment.
Hydrating my body, replacing fast food and convenience foods with whole foods like organic fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds, healthy grass-fed meats and uncured bacon, organic cheese, dark chocolate and whole-grain homemade bread, has not been a punishment to lose weight! It’s freedom. It’s energy, longevity, agility, and confidence. It’s enjoying life now and looking forward to years ahead at events and opportunities I won’t fear, time with my family, and being an example for my children that I am proud of and want them to emulate.
I completely recommend Ember Fitness and Nutrition and you can trust that you will accomplish all you have hoped for as long as you don’t give up. You will receive support and tools to succeed!
Stay tuned for more progress with an update in the future. Rooting for you! I was almost a statistic, please don’t allow yourself to be one.