"I had type 2 diabetes, but now my blood sugar and blood pressure are back to normal!"
My story starts where many weight problems do — in childhood. I was always heavy as a child. As the oldest (and the heaviest) of four children, I felt awkward, out of place, and to put it simply, embarrassed. My weight problem followed me into adulthood, but it wasn’t until I had children of my own that things took a turn for the worse. After the birth of my son (now 16) and the adoption of my daughter, I began to develop innocent but troubling habits. I would eat a little food off their plates every now and then, the whole time fooling myself that I was actually eating “healthy.” Gradually, these extra bites turned into a few extra pounds a year — which eventually became 35 to 40 extra pounds of weight.
When I reached my forty-ninth birthday, the proximity of the big five-O shoved everything back into perspective. Where had I been these past years, and where was I now? And if I didn’t do something, where was I going? I decided to make a pact with myself. I was going to look better at 50 than I did at 40. And I was going to start right then and there.
Promises in tow, I quickly went online to research diet programs. I wasn’t quite sure what I was in for or what I would find, but I was hopeful. It was then that I saw an advertisement for JillianMichaels.com. Leaving skepticism behind, I visited the site, signed up for a free online trial, and took the online quiz to determine what kind of metabolism I had. It was the first time I had ever found a “diet” that was suited exactly for my body. I ordered Jillian’s book Making the Cut, and I started the program. I haven't looked back since.
The meal plan taught me about portion control, calories, and the necessity of healthy choices and good snacks. I gave up alcohol and followed the diet to a tee — keeping to my limit of 1200-1400 calories a day. When I was able to use my own judgment comfortably, I began making my own food selections and transitioned to my own food choices and meals. When it came to fitness, I knew I had to start slowly. I used Jillian’s DVDs and online routines for weight training and then walked, walked, walked! I had made up my mind that I would literally walk my butt off! I knew that I needed two days during the week for rest, but I made sure I was up and moving the other five, increasing my distance and duration each week. Some days I'd yell unmentionable things at my television if I was feeling a little tired or sore during a DVD, but somehow Jillian was on to me and had heard all my excuses before!
Now I can proudly say that I've kept my promise. I've reached my goal weight, having lost 40 pounds, and I'm feeling amazing! I used to have type 2 diabetes, but now my blood sugar is completely normal. My blood pressure has also returned to normal. At a routine visit after my weight loss, one of my doctors was absolutely shocked when she saw me.
There is a common misconception that as we age, gaining weight is just “something that happens.” I am thinner and, more importantly, healthier than I was 15 years ago. I think everyone really needs to rethink the concept of aging!
Activities now: Everything is so much easier for me now. I can walk up hills and talk as I’m doing it, lift weights with confidence, do crunches and squats while even (dare I say it?) enjoying them! I even got on the trampoline with my daughter (she’s a gymnast) and felt as if I was light as a feather soaring through the air! It’s so amazing to be the active mom I’d always wanted to be, and especially to be able to set a positive and healthy example for my kids.
Best compliment: That’s an easy one! One of my husband’s colleagues walked into my house, took one look at me, and shouted, “My goodness, De! You just lost 10 years from your face!”
Advice for others: Once you've committed to getting healthy, get a good scale so you can see the reality in front of you. Many people simply don’t want to face the music, but you can’t begin to change unless you’re completely honest with yourself first. It’s an incredible motivator, especially when I know that I never want to see those numbers again! Second, log on to JillianMichaels.com and get yourself on the Message Boards. It’s amazing to have so many people there for support — people who may not know you in person but are with you in heart. It’s an incredible network, and reading through everybody’s struggles and successes makes you say, “If they can do it, why can’t I?” Third, learn to know yourself and love yourself.
*Participants can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.