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The Mayo Clinic Diet helped Jan face the issues that led to overeating and was just the help she needed.

81 Pounds Lost!

Height: 5’6", Age: 55

I have a strong family history of diabetes, and I was headed on the same path when my blood-sugar levels started steadily climbing. However, my true wake-up call came in 2007 when I had a hysterectomy. The extra weight I carried made the healing of my surgical wound take a lot longer, and keeping the wound clean was quite a difficult task. I was disgusted with myself, but I felt more determined than ever to lose weight and improve my health.

I had been successful at losing weight before — but never at keeping it off. Once I hit a goal weight, the pounds inevitably came back. This time around, I knew I needed a different approach. On the Mayo Clinic Diet, I learned how to change not only what I ate, but how I ate and how I felt about food. Prior to starting the program, I never allowed myself to feel hunger. I almost always ate second helpings at every meal, and I ate sweets when I was bored. For the first time ever, thanks to the diet, I learned how to become aware of the feeling of satiety and never eat past a certain level of feeling "full." I stopped eating fast food. I stopped drinking carbonated beverages in favor of water. While following the diet, I learned that each and every day (maybe each hour) is a chance to start over.

Before I started the Mayo Clinic Diet, I was depressed and always tired. I never wanted to try anything new, and I had resolved myself to the "fact" that I would always be obese. In two years, I lost 105 pounds and went from a size 24 to a size 10, my blood sugar went from 101 to 93, and I can proudly say that I have completed two half-marathons!

With the Mayo Clinic Diet, I learned behavior modifications and tools to help me sustain a healthy lifestyle for the rest of my life. The information helped me face the issues that led me to overeat, and that was the help I needed. My self-esteem and confidence levels are so much better than before!

How has the Mayo Clinic Diet helped you keep the weight off?
I have had some medical issues and injuries this past year, and I have gained about 20 to 25 pounds back. Luckily, I learned early on to never keep unhealthy, tempting foods in the house. If I hadn't learned that behavior change, I could have easily gained 60 to 80 pounds. I am very near being healed from my injuries, and now I know I have only 20 pounds or so to lose to maintain my initial weight loss. This is what "maintenance" is all about. The Mayo Clinic Diet has helped me form the attitude that this is real life, not a relapse. Injuries happen.

Favorite snack
Dipping raw veggies into garlic-flavored hummus is awesome!

Biggest surprise
I was very pleasantly surprised to learn how to cook healthy foods and realize that adding spices for flavor to healthier foods helps them satisfy me more than the sugar- and carb-loaded diet I used to crave.

Favorite exercise routine
I love kettlebell and strength-training workouts that raise my heart rate. I'm not running anymore due to arthritis in my knees and spine, and I also avoid anything high impact. So I will be bicycling and will get back to swimming this year. I love the water, and I adore yoga. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite!

Best advice
Do not look at the number on the scale as the only measurement of success. Make sure to track your progress and reward yourself along the way. This will help you feel good about the process. Success breeds success. Also, if you are experiencing a plateau, just keep doing the same things you were doing when you were losing weight, and if you can, increase the intensity of your exercise, and you will break through that plateau and be SO GLAD you didn't stop trying.

*Participants can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.

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