Debbie's Journey

Submitted by: Kathy Price

Debbie's Success Story

In an email to me from Debbie, in her own words...

The most important and agonizing goal I have had as an adult is to,
you guessed it, Lose Weight. Getting back to my normal weight felt
like an unattainable miracle. A lifetime of issues with my body image
lead me to become a weight that was unhealthy and frustrating to see
and be. Girlfriends told me I was obese! I lied on my driver's
license by over 40 lbs. My boyfriend told me I was OK, but when I
brought desert home for company, he admonished me and I accused him of
calling me fat. He is Italian, so pasta and homemade pizza bounced me
over 200 lbs after I moved in with him. My girlfriend and I started
to walk over 5 years ago and that lead to weekly trips to Bally's. I
became inspired to start personal training 3 times a week. I lost ten
and gained 15.

My male trainer didn't work me too hard (the post workout stretch was
awesome) because he didn't want me to quit. After 2 years of
floundering, I moved to the Y in Burbank. I immediately signed up for
a personal trainer. So here I am again, afraid to try to lose weight
because I would typically gain. And sure enough, I did not disappoint
myself. Over 8 months I went from 206 to 217. Kathy Price went a
little easy on me at first (I had been injured while working out
before and had a repetitive injury to my shoulder). As I gained
weight, she stepped up the workout. Up and down the stairs at a
jogging pace. She had me working really hard. I received several
comments from other members from the gym about what a great workout I
had. Many "congratulations" were shouted out. After working out so
hard, I had an expectation that I deserved to eat a bit more. Kathy was
unfaltering with her firmness. I came up with every excuse in the
book. Two or so glasses of wine and cheese were doing me in. Kathy
did not buy into my rationalizations one bit. This was a stalemate.
The more stubborn I became, the more difficult my workouts became.

I finally asked Kathy for help because I felt like something was blocking me . I thought if I could get to the root of
my issue then I could maybe start to lose weight. Kathy sent me to Dr
Christopher Williams, a psychologist that also worked out at the Y. I
met him on my 56Th birthday and went home and consumed half of my
birthday cake in less than 24 hours. I did not take my goal seriously
because failure with weight gain was always the outcome. The first
thing he did was have me tape myself for self hypnosis. It was a
script that encouraged positive thoughts and discouraged negative
thoughts. It took a few months before I had a breakthrough. This was
the turning point. I was restricting my calories and of course
working out with Kathy. One afternoon after working on the computer
for an hour, I started to jog down the hall with the full intent to
pig-out. I heard myself saying; " Why do you even try, you know you you
always fail and here you go again.")

I caught myself doing some very powerful ANT or automatic negative
thinking. And I said stop, look what you are doing, no wonder this is
so hard, you are sabotaging yourself. I was able to go in the kitchen
and have a healthy snack and finally, I set sail. I thought "maybe I
can do this". Over the next 8 months I lost 30 lbs. I finally lost my
wind and was stuck at 190.

Kathy and Dr Williams encouraged me to go to the next level. I thought would
Jenny Craig work? I had read the Valerie Bertinelli book. A food
delivery service is super expensive and I knew that could work too. I
have done it all, it all works , but with disastrous results in the
end. We have all heard that it is better to not yo yo. This is a
great excuse to hang onto the heaviness.

Enter my final hero, Rachel Beller, a nutritionist. I met her a few
years ago at the American Cancer Society's leadership council. I
called her and we connected. It was expensive but I figured that I
was serious now and I needed to solve this issue once and for all.
Rachel gave me a plan. She seemed to think like I did. She told me that people that write down everything they eat
during the week, lose weight. Eating about 1100 calories a day,
working out with Kathy, and joining a gym near my sister Diana set me
up to workout nearly everyday. Now I have dropped 40 more lbs.

One more thing happened to keep me moving down on the scales. My
significant other, Louis was diagnosed with coronary artery disease
and had a stint put in. He decided to adopt the Dean Ornish Reversal
diet which is vegetarian with no added fat. He lost 20 lbs and
inspired my new lifestyle. I still have a glass of wine several
nights a week and the Babybel cheese really helps me stay on track.

I am nearing my goal of 140. The American Cancer Society's Discovery
Shop allows me to shop for a new size wardrobe and give my big clothes
away. Once I get down to my permanent size, I will be an 8 or a
small. What a thrill to shop and not be restricted because of bulging
hips and a bust that is busting out of a size 16.

Stability, Rachel tells me, will be eating very much like I am now but
being able to have maybe an occasional sandwich instead of my staple
turkey and spinach. I feel somewhat trained. I quit obsessing about
chocolate cake.

There has been damage to this old body of mine. My legs and butt have
serious gravity issues. It's a combo of cellulite and wrinkles.
Clothes do hide the issues. I promised myself when I got it, I would
share it with the world. I am sorry it took me so long to enjoy the
new me. Dr Williams said I would regret not losing the weight and as
I got older it would become almost impossible to kick it.

I want to thank Kathy Price for her undying commitment to assist me in
this important area of my life. I gave up on myself, Kathy did not. I
listen to her dealing with the old Debbie. I wasn't all that
unusual. Overweight women are so common to see everywhere you look.

I don't feel much differently being 70 lbs lighter, but I am not the
old me. I am enjoying buying clothes now. The only thing I would
like to share is that this was not hard. It's like anything we do in
life that is worthwhile, a commitment to finish. I wish I had
figured this out sooner, but the biggest message is to not miss out.
For me, I have stopped the negative thinking about being hopelessly
overweight. That daily frustration was so negative, I am no longer
feeling fat, I feel successful. One more thing that Dr Williams said
was that if I didn't do it now, I might not have the health do it
later and that could make me feel bitter. Looking back, I am a bit
bitter I didn't figure it out sooner. And yes, it's never too late.
This is why I am encouraging us to take advantage of our health we
have today.

This is a major issue for Americans. We don't seem to realize our
health is directly attached to our ability to eat better and
exercise. Let's all support each other in this endeavor. Yes, non
or low fat foods are not as delicious initially, eventually eating a
1000 calorie meal at a restaurant is the same thing as having 5
martini's when you have turned the corner.

Turn that corner, because your best life is ahead. Get involved with
any and everyone who will support you.