Stephanie

57 Pounds Lost!

Height: 5'4", Age: 43

Two days after my third child was born, my beloved father died suddenly from a brain aneurism. He was my best friend, and his passing was an extreme blow to my heart. But my newborn son needed my energy and attention. I realized I could choose depression and darkness — which, truthfully, is what I wanted — or I could choose light and love for my new son. I chose the latter.

Through this struggle I found myself lacking the energy I needed to take care of my family. I had always wanted to be an active mom, but feeling so heavy — both in my heart and my body — left me wondering how I could do it. On top of these challenges, life threw me another curveball: My seven-year-old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I had to contend with a new life of weighing food, counting carbs, reading labels, tracking blood-sugar numbers, and many, many needles. I was now the warrior, the mommy, the doctor, the nurse, the boss, and I was determined to nail it.

My closest friend and supporter during this time in my life was my aunt. She gave me a book on the Mayo Clinic Diet. It taught me about portion sizes and sensible eating, but I found the magic was in the food journal. The journaling changed my life and helped me understand that food is to be used for fuel, not comfort. With this realization, I started to lose weight.

Before I started the diet, I was comfort-eating in the evening after the kids went to bed, and I wasn’t very active. Changing those lifestyle habits helped me lose weight. Now I eat light and healthy throughout the day and little to nothing after 7 p.m. And I’m consciously active every single day. During the early years of my daughter's diabetes, she wanted to take taekwondo, and I wanted to encourage anything bright and positive. When I brought her to her first lesson, I was bored sitting and watching, so I signed up, too. Who knew I'd become a ninja — and eventually a yoga teacher!

The information I learned from the Mayo Clinic Diet is now imprinted onto my everyday life. Once you learn it, you can’t forget it, and you experience a life change that involves conscious awareness — rather than a “diet” that starts and ends. I’m proud to say that I have been able to keep the 57 pounds off for eight years with these healthy habits!

Favorite snack
Apples. Many, many apples every day.

Biggest surprise
When you eat healthy, you want to get in shape. When you get in shape, you want to eat healthy. One path will lead you to the other.

Benefits (other than weight loss)
I have endless energy. I am also left with the confidence of knowing that I had the willpower and determination to see myself become a healthy, strong and independent woman.

Best advice
Life is a roller coaster, and through all the highs and lows, I was brought into a journey I never expected. We all have a light to share and contribute. Finding unconditional acceptance and love for yourself is step one. Open the door to that, even if only a crack, and the light will shine in.

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

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