For as long as I can remember, I've been uncomfortable in my own skin. I'm 5' 5" tall, and I weighed 220 pounds at age 16 before deciding to make a change. I began the process like most others: eat less, exercise more. I lost weight, but I was also starving, getting headaches, and feeling weak and run down. When my weight loss slowed, I ate even less, and exercised even more.
After losing roughly 80 pounds that way, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment! I felt like I'd arrived, so I quit checking the scales and watching what I ate, confident I'd never go back to my fat, unhappy self. But as soon as I began eating "healthy, whole, normal foods" again, such as fruits, grains and dairy, my clothes began getting tighter. I had learned absolutely nothing about nutrition and my body began to pay for it. I was hungrier than I'd ever been. The more carb-rich food I ate, the more I craved. Being in my 20s and having friends who liked to drink didn't help. Before I knew it, 40 of the 80 pounds I lost had come charging back!
I had just started my new job at Ideal Northwest when I heard about Ideal Protein. I was skeptical but curious since I was now barely fitting into the largest size clothes in my closet. In the last year, I'd begun exercising like a fiend just to keep my weight from going higher. I thought I was eating healthfully - mostly low fat, low calorie, but I wasn't losing weight. I’d begun to wonder if could ever be slim again.
Every day at work, I began to see people coming in smaller than they'd been the week before. I met maintainers who were confident, happy and keeping it off! It was amazing! So I decided to take the plunge and hopefully take back my life.
I followed the diet just as it was laid out to me, but I it was very hard for me to let go of exercise. Despite my coach's warnings, I kept exercising more than she advised because I still believed I should. It worked for me years ago…In my mind, it should just make Ideal Protein go faster! But it didn't. I stalled and showed muscle loss on my body scans. My coach explained I didn't have enough calories, protein and glycogen to support the kind of exercise I was trying to do and urged me to comply. I didn't quite believe it, but she seemed to know what she was talking about. So, finally, reluctantly, I agreed.
Once I could see the difference for myself, I became interested in the science behind the diet. I learned what my prior diet had accidentally done to my body's muscle mass, why I felt so weak, tired, cold and hungry the first time, and why I regained the weight so rapidly. Now I'm down over 40 pounds, happier than I've ever been with my appearance, and finally confident I can maintain this weight loss because I know what to eat. I no longer look in the mirror with dread, but rather with a sense of pride and gratitude, which no other diet has ever given me.