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 Protein and our clinic, Ideal Northwest. 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. Many of these clients appreciate a coach who understands that you don't have to weigh over 300 lbs for this to be a heroic journey. Any of us who struggle every day with carb cravings, chronic fat storage even if we are trying to "diet," and a much higher level of difficulty losing weight will find empathy and support from Izzy.
EXERCISING ON IDEAL PROTEIN
Izzy is also our best expert on supporting exercise, athletics and activity while in Phase 1 and Maintenance. She hiked, went skiing, snowboarded and worked out the whole time and became adept at balancing the intensity, protein and supplements to preserve her muscle. She is a great fit for clients who want to be active on the protocol.
COMPASSION, EMPATHY, PERSONAL GROWTH
Izzy may as well be a therapist for all the ways she's 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. At Ideal Northwest, we value self-awareness and personal integrity very highly, which is why Izzy has become such a perfect fit for our team and our clients.
I had been over weight since I was 10 years old, and obesity and Type II Diabetes run 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 308 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. I had never heard of it before, but all the research I’d done told me the science behind the program was sound. I was skeptical of pre-packaged programs and one’s ability to sustain weight loss afterward. But I didn’t yet understand how different Ideal Protein was. Thankfully, I was desperate enough to give it a try! It has saved my life!
On IP Phase 1, 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 came when I began maintenance. First, Ideal Protein's 2013 Phase 4 recommendations included too many carbs for me and I began struggling with cravings and addictive behaviors with food again. I battled this for about six months and gained back some of the weight I'd lost. In a panic, I sought help from Overeaters Anonymous (www.OAHOP.org) which helped with my addictive behaviors, but I (and by then, the people I was coaching) needed a better way to maintain.
We began tracking what was working for the most successful maintainers among us. Using their menus, we formulated a plan that resembled Paleo or Primal, but with fewer carbs, and specific methods for incorporating them. Suddenly, we were all keeping our weight within 1-2 lbs very easily!
Our maintenance plan is UNIQUE among Ideal Protein clinics, as are our Custom Menu Design Services and monthly meetings for Maintainers.
HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE SYMPTOMS THAT CLEARED UP FOR ME (MANY AFTER A JUST FEW MONTHS ON PHASE 1):
- 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.
I have a very typical story, I think. I have been overweight, and on a diet roller coaster for most of my life, spent a lot of money on every diet program out there, and succeeded at all of them! Unfortunately, the results were an illusion, and I was never able to maintain the weight that I had lost over and over again.
I knew that at 51 years old, I was taking more medications than my mother, and I decided that I was not going to live the rest of my life like th —50+ pounds over weight and waiting for the old ticker to give out. Somewhere along the way, maybe 25 years ago, my blood pressure became an issue, and trying numerous doctors and medications (adding and adding more medications), I was unable to maintain a healthy blood pressure. It had become dangerously high, and I was taking multiple medications in an attempt to get it down. My typical blood pressure readings were 170/90 and higher, even while taking 5 blood pressure medications. Now, I hold steady in the ballpark of 117/75. I am no longer taking ANY medication to control my blood pressure. Now that’s EXCITING!!
I found Ideal Protein (and Sherene) through my Naturopath, and have never looked back.
On the Ideal Protein program, I lost 63 lbs, 52.5 total inches (10.5 were off my waist), my body fat percentage went from 42.06% to 25.85%, and my BMI is 22. This amazing transformation took just short of 6 months, and I have been maintaining within just a few pounds ever since.
As a one of Sherene’s maintainers, I have been able to keep my weight off. I continue to meet with Sherene periodically to get weighed-in and keep myself honest. I am also participating in the monthly Maintainer meetings, trying all kinds of new foods, and have found “food peace” even in maintenance. The maintainer community is a huge benefit, because it’s a big food world out there, and sometimes extra counsel can keep you on track.
I don’t have the typical weight loss story, as I never struggled with my weight growing up. I was extremely thin in my teen years, bordering on underweight. I did not develop healthy eating habits since I could “eat anything” with zero consequences. After having children, my unhealthy eating habits caught up with me and I gained close to 60lbs. During the stressful baby years, food was my escape – sneaking candy and cookies to cope with a cranky toddler. As my children grew older and my free time increased, I decided to make some positive lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, "healthy eating" (as I understood it then) and exercise weren’t making a dent in my weight.
After seeking help from my Naturopath she discovered that I was insulin resistant (related to an underlying diagnosis of PCOS). She recommended I give Ideal Protein a try.
I met with a coach at Ideal Northwest and started Phase 1, but I was extremely skeptical. I didn't see myself as someone who needed to learn the science behind the diet or participate in any of the support meetings. I didn't have a goal weight (I just wanted to feel better). And I was definitely not on board with their maintenance guidelines - as I felt just watching my sugar intake would be good enough once I got my weight back under control.
I ended up losing 35lbs in 4 months, but phased off the program because I was still feeling crummy. I sought help from a nutritionist who told me I had a number of food intolerances - all of which I had previously thought were healthy choices. The subsequent restrictive diet was stressful and frustrating. I turned back to stress-eating and began to gain back some of my weight.
I returned to Ideal Northwest for advice. My coach graciously helped me plan a menu that eliminated my "intolerable" foods, and explained why Ideal Protein was the perfect diet to combat PCOS! I never felt judged for my prior skepticism or resistance. Apparently several of the coaches had felt the same way about the diet when they started!
I am now at my lowest weight since before having kids (!!) and, more importantly, I feel amazing! I have energy and I’m learning more about my body every day. This time, I’m taking advantage of the education and support Ideal NW offers, and I am learning how to celebrate and manage stress without using carbs as a crutch. As a Coach, I'm excited to put my new-found knowledge and experience to work helping others make use of this unique and valuable protocol!
Dr. Karen Shepard, D.C., Medical Director
I have personally witnessed people I care about achieve greater health and success with Ideal Protein than with any other plan. For this reason, I’m proud to be the Medical Director for Ideal Northwest and to promote this plan to my clients, family and friends.
In over 20 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 over 15 years and I cannot recommend her approach highly enough. She is a person of integrity and honesty who truly desires, and is uniquely qualified, to help others. She has gathered an outstanding team of coaches and administrative 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.