Jun 09, 2020 « Back to The Skinny
How did you feel about your body and health before starting NS?
I really didn't understand my body before Naturally Slim. It was frustrating to me to yo-yo up and down with my weight despite counting calories, taking supplements, and trying any fad on the market. My doctors had me on medication to manage my iron (being severely anemic and not absorbing the way it should) along with my Vitamin D. I was tired all the time and I truly felt like my body was failing me.
The truth is, I didn't commit to my health because I felt like my body wasn't making the same level of commitment. It was difficult to look in the mirror and be proud of what I'd accomplish because in a few weeks, the weight would be back on again.
What surprised you the most about the program?
I signed up not really knowing what I was getting myself in to. I liked that the program advertised changing how I eat, not what I eat. That was a new concept to me. I felt like my relationship with food may be the problem, but how should I know how to tackle that?
I had been food journaling for over a year at that point and yet somehow, counting calories was not enough. It helped me keep some weight off (at my highest, I've been 309 pounds), but I couldn't break past the barriers of the 240s.
It surprised me that what truly felt like common sense steps were the keys to my success. Why had I not thought of them before? These are things that I've known I need to do, but I haven't focused on actually putting them into practice. And once I finally did, the weight melted off!
What about the program was the most challenging?
I work two jobs (full time and part-time) and I attend school as well. Then you add in my family life (mom to three wonderful kiddos and a great husband as well), time is limited in my life.
What I've learned is that I have only this life to live, so I have to make my health a priority. I have to take full advantage of hunger savers when needed (especially on a busy waitressing shift) and make sure to take the appropriate amount of time to eat. Once I stopped making excuses about time, I managed to find what works for me. That is the challenge. You have to fit it into your life to make it a habit. Once it's in the habit stage, it feels like it's always been a part of the picture.
What has participating in NS helped you achieve?
NS allowed me to finally feel in control of my health. I just had my semi-annual physical (because my doctor couldn't allow me to go once a year with my health concerns when I started seeing him two years ago) and for the first time in a very long time, I got to hear phrases like "athletic" and "healthy" as descriptors for me. I had normal blood results, finally conquering my anemia and Vitamin D deficiency which has hung over my head for 20 years. My body is finally able to process vitamins the way it should.
I've accomplished several virtual races, running an average of 20-30 miles each week. I get to move to annual physicals because I'm finally at a healthy BMI and my doctor supports my lifestyle improvements.
Lastly, NS allowed me to learn to be proud of the body that I'm in. Even when I wasn't 70 pounds down, they honored that this body is built for great things. It is capable and with the right support and commitment, it will do things I didn't imagine possible. Now over 70 pounds down, my body is proving that point over and over.
How has participating in the NS program changed the way you feel about yourself?
I feel accomplished. When my husband and I met, I weighed in around 185. I did not have a good relationship with food or exercise, but I kept the weight off by severely limiting food intake and taking medication to maintain. When I had to give up the diet medication during pregnancies and nursing, the weight piled on. I felt defeated and decided that I was just doomed to be out of shape and unhealthy. NS stopped the cycle in my mind, trying to change my focus to a positive light.
I'm now sitting at 170, not much lighter than the day my husband and I met, but my body looks so different. It's strong and healthy, with a beautiful glow in my face. I feel proud knowing that my children see my healthy lifestyle and will be able to mirror that.
What makes NS different from other wellness programs?
NS focused on what other health programs miss: building up the person, not the plan. It's not about a diet plan. It's about who you are, why you do what you do, and how you can make small changes over time, building up a new and improved, healthy version of the person in that mirror.
My relationship with food is very different than what it used to be. My relationship with myself is also very different. These are the keys to unlocking a lifetime of wellness and I'm grateful that NS understands that.
What would you tell a colleague who was considering signing up for the next NS class?
Jump in and get started! Make sure to watch every video a few times through to soak up all the information. I'm on my second go with the program and I'm amazed at all the extra details that have come out of it my second time through. The program will adapt with you and meet you where you are at in that moment. Be open to change and be ready to transform!
Anything else you’d like to share?
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm so grateful, more than words can say, that I'm back to a life that I had long forgotten could exist. I'm only a couple pounds shy of my military weight (I joined right out of high school) and I know that I'm going to meet that goal very soon. I don't even know what's next after that, but honestly, I'm not worried about it. My body is healthy and strong and I truly owe my success to NS. You have changed my life for the better and I will sing praises of this program to anyone willing to listen!