Izzy doesn't look like someone who ever struggled with weight. In fact she started life with a "Type A" metabolism; slim and active in various sports all throughout her teen years. Then everything changed.
Several health issues and a sudden weight gain of over 30 lbs sent her to the doctor in her early 20s. It was then that she was diagnosed with borderline Type II Diabetes and Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS - a condition which effects approximately 10% of all women). PCOS is a multi-hormonal imbalance, paired with Insulin Resistance, which usually causes significant weight gain, problems with fertility, scalp hair loss, facial hair growth, etc. It quickly became a daily struggle for Izzy to stop gaining weight, and she found it nearly impossible to lose any.
For years she searched for ways of eating which might help. She tried diet after diet with little success. She went from 128 to almost 170 within the space of about six months. It was only her persistence in staying active (snowboarding, skiing, hiking, running) which kept her from gaining even more.
In 2012, she discovered Ideal Northwest. Using one of our low-carb protocols, she immediately had success losing weight because - as she later learned - the best intervention for PCOS is a low-carb, insulin-balancing diet. Not only did she drop unwanted fat, but she rebalanced her metabolism in a way that helped her more easily keep it from returning. AND, in learning to understand the biological underpinnings of Ketosis, she found the key to long-term maintenance. Izzy has kept her weight off for over 5 years (within a 3-lb range) and reports she's never felt better, stronger or less inflamed since she started eating low-carb.
Even when she weighed 170 lbs, though, Izzy didn't look like someone who needed to lose weight. In fact she actually looked like one of the naturally thin people. So when she talked with friends or colleagues about her struggles, her need to watch what she ate, or her trouble dropping weight, they were not very sympathetic. Izzy is actually sometimes "thin shamed," in that people who see her order a salad or watch her refrain from eating certain foods will make snide comments. It's as if they feel a thin person being careful to stay thin somehow reflects negatively on themselves.
Approximately 20% of our clients are like Izzy in some way. Either they started out thin -- not having to watch what they ate until after they had kids, or after they hit their 40s -- at which time it became a constant battle. OR, they also have PCOS and struggle with the extra difficulty that disorder creates for weight loss and weight maintenance. If you meet with Izzy, she can provide valuable insight in a number of areas: daily, chronic carb cravings, difficulty losing weight due to hormones, and how to integrate exercise into a low-carb weight loss and maintenance lifestyle.
Izzy is also understanding, empathetic, supportive and excellent with boundaries. She has dedicated many years to personal growth and learning, so she has a lot to share when it comes to the mental and emotional side of weight loss. Izzy has taken courses such as Landmark, read dozens of books, attended groups and seminars -- all aimed at living the most productive, happy life she can.
I had been overweight since I was 10 years old, and obesity and Type II Diabetes ran rampant in my family. Over the years, I’d tried many, many diets and exercise programs in my search for a solution to this painful and embarrassing problem.
I even managed to lose 88 lbs on another program. It was very difficult, and I struggled with constant cravings, low energy, feeling weak and cold all the time, and a lot of aches and pains. I got close to my goal by white-knuckling it, but then I slipped up, lost my momentum, and I gained it all back -- plus more. That was the story of my life. My metabolism was ravaged from yo-yoing. At my highest, I weighed almost 325 lbs and I had become pre-diabetic with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides (Syndrome X, or Metabolic Syndrome), while my body (knees, back, neck, shoulder joints) hurt all the time.
After a visit to the cardiologist in 2011 (I was only 44), precipitated by high BP spikes and dizziness, I had been considering weight loss surgery. Thankfully, just in time, I stumbled across Ideal Protein, one of the low-carb protocols now offered at Ideal Northwest. I had never heard of it before, but all the research I’d done told me the science behind protein-optimized, low-carb diets was sound. I was skeptical of pre-packaged programs, but I was desperate enough to give it a try! It has saved my life!
My weight loss averaged 10-11 pounds per month. During the weight loss phase I never felt better, healthier or had less pain in my adult life. The challenges began when I began maintenance.
Unfortunately, Ideal Protein advocated a maintenance plan with far too many carbs for my personal tolerance level. I immediately began struggling with cravings, addictive behaviors and weight re-gain. In a panic, I sought help from Overeaters Anonymous (www.OAHOP.org) which helped, but I didn't know why I kept gaining weight. What I did know was that I (and many of my clients) needed a better way to maintain.
With the help of a Certified Nutritionist, my naturopathic physician, various books & seminars, feedback from my successful clients and countless hours of research, I settled on a plan. Suddenly, we were all keeping our weight within 1-2 lbs very easily! Along the way I learned many ways to fine-tune and adapt l a protein-optimized, low-carb diet for satiety, food intolerances (mainly soy) and prevention of hair loss. This is the new protocol coming soon to Ideal Northwest!
These are my pictures when I was a my low weight. After my regain, I struggled for quite awhile trying to get up the gumption to start the weight loss phase again. There were starts and stops, but like you, I never, Never, NEVER gave up! I've learned a lot about resilience, resolve, self-love, self-forgiveness and the spiritual approach to overcoming food addiction. I offer my insights and wisdom in the topic-based support materials available to all our clients at Ideal Northwest.
HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE SYMPTOMS THAT BEGAN TO CLEAR UP FOR ME AFTER A JUST FEW MONTHS ON a PROTEIN-OPTIMIZED, LOW-CARB PROTOCOL:
- Weight Loss: Over 100 lbs from my highest weight!
- Blood Pressure dropped from 160/112 into healthy range - 118/77.
- Cholesterol ratio improved, and triglycerides dropped from 145 to 67.
- Blood sugar is no longer pre-diabetic. A1C is in the low 5s.
- Drastic reduction in chronic carbohydrate cravings, and greatly reduced appetite.
- Resolution of nearly all of the symptoms of PCOS. Normal menstrual cycle and no more hair loss.
- Complete resolution of chronic pain (knees, shoulders, back, neck).
- Complete resolution of chronic reflux.
- No longer need a CPAP machine for sleep apnea.
- Less sinus & congestion issues.
- Even moods & lots of energy.
Dr. Karen Shepard, D.C., Medical Director
I have personally witnessed people I care about achieve greater health and success with Ideal Northwest than with any other plan. For this reason, I’m proud to be the Medical Director for Ideal Northwest and to promote their approach to my clients, family and friends.
In over 25 years of practice as a Chiropractor, its been difficult to watch so many patients struggle with weight issues, especially since excess weight can make existing issues with the spine and joints worse. This safe, effective and medically sound method to help people lose weight while re-balancing their metabolic processes has been a welcome compliment to my practice.
I have known Sherene Kershner for almost 20 years and I can say without question that she is a person of integrity and honesty who truly desires, and is uniquely qualified, to help others. As the founder and leader of Ideal Northwest, she has gathered an outstanding team of consultants and staff to provide excellent support. I am excited about our affiliation and looking forward to helping many hundreds of people finally solve their weight issues, once and for all.