By Jane Erickson RD
I’m a Registered Dietitian who has struggled with weight my entire life, sometimes successfully, sometime not so much. In fact my struggle with food was what motivated me to go into Dietetics. I was even a chunky kid.
I managed to keep my weight at a fairly normal level until I retired in 2007 from my position as the Manager of the Food Service Department at the local hospital. Through the years I tried various ways of counting calories, restrictive eating, eating low fat along with exercising and the weight would come off, I’d get stuck on a plateau and then would yo yo up again. Being a Dietitian, I did stick to “healthy” diets and followed the advice we dietitians were giving to our clients. I could follow my strict eating patterns during the week, but on weekends my hunger would get the best of me and I’d binge.
So when I retired, every day was a “weekend” and I would have cravings for food I just couldn’t ignore. Gradually the weight crept on. It’s easy to fool yourself into thinking, “Well it’s not that bad. I’m really not that heavy.” And I quit weighing except when the Doctor forced me onto the scale for my annual exam. I had high blood pressure, gerd, and high cholesterol and at my top weight weighed 198 with a height of 5’ 3”.
I read the Smarter Science of Slim as a continuing Educational exercise in September 2012. The research and conclusions really made sense to me, even though some of it was not what we had been preaching as Dietitians. But I knew what I had been doing certainly wasn’t working.
So I started to experiment. I cut out sweets and starches (except for some fruit) and began drinking whey shakes with flax seed, eating Greek yogurt, lots of protein and tons of broccoli (which is and was my favorite vegetable anyway) and green salads. I noticed my strong cravings for food disappeared and although sometimes I was hungry, I wasn’t ravenous like I used to be.
And gradually the weight started to come off. I averaged a weight loss of about five pounds per month until finally in about October of 2013 I had reached my goal weight of 135 pounds. I’m 68 years old and decided that was a good weight for me because I don’t want to be too skinny and wrinkled.
I haven’t had another physical since April 2012 (when I was in the 150’s and my Dr. was very complimentary) so I really can’t say I’ve alleviated any of my health issues, but I feel like I’m very healthy overall. I walk about an hour daily and do exercises at home with small weights but couldn’t get into the exercises mentioned in the book.
One of the most exciting things for me has been the adventure of buying new clothes sizes and feeling like I’m looking good now. It was fun at each step of the weight loss to treat myself to some new clothes and surprise myself by how good I felt and looked. Now I can kneel down and stand up without grabbing things for support and I just feel great.
I didn’t follow the diet to a T, but I took the advice given in the book in Step 5: “Do What Works for You.” I strive to be fit, not “hot”. (At 68 years old who’s hot anyway?)
My goal for 2014 and forever is to maintain, which is always more difficult than losing, But I’ve been surprised over the holidays and on other occasions when I’ve cheated with non-SANE foods and found my weight did not balloon up and with a little effort I was able to get back to SANE eating, which I try to do most of the time. My “go to” meal is natural peanut butter on Rye Krisp, so if I feel I’m in danger of my weight going too low, or if I’m in a situation where there are no SANE foods readily available, I grab my peanut butter and Rye Krisp.
I feel like I can eat this way the rest of my life. It is not a hardship. I’ve come to enjoy it. Thanks so much to the Smarter Science of Slim.