"I tried so many weight loss programs over the years I have lost count of them all"
Ideal Healthy Weight Loss client Melinda shares her story of her struggles, successes with Ideal Protein, why it worked, and how the journey to health never truly ends.
My successes have been mixed – usually weight loss and then weight gain (more than the amount lost). I had to hit rock bottom before going on a weight loss program. For example, someone congratulated me and asked when my baby was due. I WASN’T pregnant. Another time a weight loss counselor called me “M.O.” and I didn’t know what that meant – “morbidly obese”. Thanks for telling me something I already knew.
I came to Ideal Protein when my doctor told me I had to lose weight or go on medication for diabetes. She had heard about the Ideal Protein program and suggested I contact the clinic Ideal Healthy Weight Loss in Avon. I procrastinated until after a cruise vacation but once I saw the pictures of myself from the trip I went to the orientation. My first private meeting with a counselor was a bit scary because the program seemed very strict to me but my head was finally ready and I set out to learn the program. The food protocol was not that difficult to learn and I found that although following the program could be annoying (especially learning to go out to dinner and asking for specific Ideal friendly foods) the weight loss was fast! I lost 65 pounds in 6 months. I felt more energetic, never went on medication (my A1C number went down) and I sure looked good for my son’s wedding pictures!
That first weight loss was four years ago and I would love to tell you that my weight stayed off but I can’t. I continue to struggle and have gained and lost 10-20 pounds 3 times since that first weight loss. And each time I gain weight it takes longer to lose – this latest episode took me 4 months on Phase 1 to lose the 20 pounds to get back to my goal range. But each time I gain and then lose I learn about myself. I am an emotional eater and I reach for food when I let emotions get in the way. I am also a “carboholic” which for me means that when my carb(sugar) levels get too high I can’t stop reaching for more carb rich food. But I am not going to give up. I am coming to accept that I just can’t eat the way I used to before I came to Ideal Protein. I am not going all the way back to where I started. I am going to stay healthy and care for my body. You know that old saying – if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again ……
Over the past four years I have been to other Ideal Protein clinics and found the weight loss support different in each one. I prefer the clinic in Avon because the support is based on medical data. We focus on the medical details in the weight loss number – hydration, lean mass, fat loss % - which helps me understand what caused the weight results. My counselor, Mary, is a nurse and has helped me understand my weight loss/gain medically over the years and she has been incredibly supportive. One of the other clinics in Florida just weighed me for total weight loss and sold me the Ideal Protein products. That was ok because I already knew the Ideal Protein protocol but I just missed the additional information.
Everyone’s weight loss journey is personal. My journey is ongoing and I hope this article helps others who are thinking about going down the same road I did. Good luck!
"I have found a person I never knew existed. A Jesee, who I never thought I would know. A woman who is strong, who has confidence, and who learned that she can do anything that she puts her mind to."
I remember cooking a pound of bacon in my college apartment along with 6 eggs, 4 pieces of toast, and sausage and demolishing it in one sitting. I would then feel ashamed and hide any evidence I could of what I was doing. Never realizing that the evidence was going right to my butt, my stomach, my face. I couldn’t hide the fact that I was gaining weight and becoming bigger and bigger as time went on.
When I entered college I weighed 180 lbs and when I graduated I was close to 300. I had been dating this boy since my senior year of high school and continued through my college years and for a few years after. He wasn’t kind, was emotionally abusive, and his actions weren’t those of someone who was supposed to love you. In turn I kept turning to food for comfort. He degraded me, made me feel worthless and unloved. He once broke up with me and told me that he was embarrassed of me because of my weight and he didn’t like me to be around his friends because he didn’t want them picking on him because he had a fat girlfriend. Talk about a gigantic hit to an already lackluster of an ego. A few months later he came back remorseful, but years of this emotional breakdown was something I could no longer take. I finally found the strength and courage to leave him. I was done being the last choice, I was done feeling like I was worthless and ugly and not loved. I knew I deserved better. But, even still, I turned to food for my comfort. Continuing to keep getting fatter.
"Any program out there, I tried. My biggest issue was I couldn’t stick to it. I would always justify cheats and then just fall off the wagon. I lived in a world of, "just one more", or "you deserve this". All the while I continued to keep getting fatter."
I have never been naïve to the fact I have a problem with food. I have always been very aware of situations but I always choose to ignore them or look past them. Throughout the years I tried every program you possibly could for weight loss. In college my mom hired a personal trainer for me who I saw throughout the years. I would drop 20lbs and then gain it right back. Something would happen, I would lose my focus and I would binge and hoard and gain it back plus some. I went to weight watchers, I tried Jenny Craig, and I went to a hypnotist. I also tried Atkins, paleo, and South Beach. I did the gym thing. Then I did my own thing of what I thought was healthy eating. Any program out there, I tried. My biggest issue was I couldn’t stick to it. I would always justify cheats and then just fall off the wagon. I lived in a world of, "just one more", or "you deserve this". All the while I continued to keep getting fatter.
I started dating my incredible husband in 2012. It was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. He has told me since day one that he loves me for exactly who I am. He was everything a girl dreams of. Here I was a 350+ pound woman and someone actually loved me and wanted to be with me and looked past my size and wasn’t embarrassed of it. I wasn’t told not to tell anyone we were together, I wasn’t hidden. He would hold my hand in public and we did everything together. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I once again got on the bandwagon of trying to lose weight. I sucked at it though. I even convinced my mom to help me purchase this one program that was such a scam. You would drink this gelatin and it would supposedly expand in your stomach to fill you up so you would eat less, sort of like a faux gastric bypass…that didn’t work.
Even though I was happy I still sought solace in food. At this point it was routine and it was my life. I made poor choices with my eating and while I cared, I didn’t care enough to make the right choice. It was a pretty vicious cycle. In February 2015 my husband deployed overseas and I was bound and determined to lose weight while he was gone and surprise him with this amazing weight loss when he got home. Well, that didn’t happen - I gained 20 more pounds and now weighed in at 410 pounds when he returned home. I was so ashamed of my failure.
Throughout my life I have been made fun of, picked on, fat shamed, felt ashamed, been pulled off a plane for being “a person of size”. I have lost a baby due to ectopic pregnancy and suffered from a severe infection (necrotizing fasciitis) from the ectopic pregnancy. I have been stuck in a chair, broken a chair, broken a bed (three actually), not fit in a booth at a restaurant, suffered severe depression, suffered anxiety, was diagnosed pre-diabetic, not fit in a movie theatre seat (that day was horrifying). I have was not able to purchase clothes at a physical store, been embarrassed, among many other things all because of my weight. But yet all of these devastating occurrences didn’t change my lifestyle. I knew I had an issue, I knew I was fat. But even after all of the above and so many more instances of issues with my weight I continued to turn to food for my comfort.
"I try and always be prepared and always carry IP snacks and have a pretty good hold on what my day is going to entail. Be prepared and ready is key with this program."
In June 2016 though I woke up. I made the choice to take control of my life, my weight, and my food addiction and try the Ideal Protein program. I had finally hit a realization that I was going to die. If I continued on the path that I was going down I wasn’t going to live much longer. On the day I weighed in at the clinic, June 28, 2016, I weighed 419.8 pounds. I wore a size 6X shirt and 32/34 pants, but only stretchy pants. There was no way I was fitting into jeans! I couldn’t sleep comfortably and I was always short of breath. I couldn’t even walk up a flight of stairs without having to take a break. I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking I was dying because my chest hurt so badly. I honestly believed that I was going to die and I was so overcome with emotion about how my husband and family were going to have to deal with my extremely large body that I knew I had to change. It wasn’t fair to them, or anyone to have to deal with that. I needed to take control. So I did.
I joined IP on June 28, 2016 and I made the choice to follow the program. Since then I have lost 185+ pounds in 11 months. I am now wearing a size 16 pant and a size XL/XXL shirt!!! I have had two scheduled cheat days and that is the only variance from the protocol I have made. I am still amazed at how I haven’t cheated on the plan. My husband is a huge help along with my family and friends. They understand what it means to me to be successful and they have been such an amazing support system. I have endured a 10 day road trip to the south along with many hotel stays and quick weekend trips. All the while sticking to protocol. We won’t even talk about the endless amount of food that is brought into my work every day! Just today it was Buffalo wings, pizza, and brownies! I try and always be prepared and always carry IP snacks and have a pretty good hold on what my day is going to entail. Be prepared and ready is key with this program. While I do get really grumpy and sometimes pretty hungry I haven’t given in. I haven’t swayed from my program or my end goal.
"I want everyone to know that dreams and wishes, they do come true, but it only happens when you take control of your life and you make them come true. Only you can create the change you want to see in yourself."
I have found a person I never knew existed. A Jesee, who I never thought I would know. A woman who is strong, who has confidence, and who learned that she can do anything that she puts her mind to. I started a blog, Instagram account, and a Facebook account to share my story. I named it Fatbriety as a take on Sobriety - because that is what my journey is - breaking from my addiction to food. I started these accounts so that normal people like me, who suffered a lifetime of weight troubles and food addiction knew that if they really put their mind to it that they could achieve what I am achieving. That they could find happiness and healthiness in their lives. That they could become the best versions of themselves that they have always wanted to be. Every day is still a struggle. Every day I still think about food constantly. But what I do with those thoughts now is the biggest change. I no longer give in to my internal demons. I fight past the urges and I stay focused. Let’s be honest though, when I see pizza, I can get pretty grumpy! But I get over it and I focus on the tremendous amount of success I have had because I didn’t cave in and eat the pizza.
The biggest thing that I have learned is that anything is truly possibly when you put your mind to it. That you really can find you’re happy ever after. That dreams and wishes really can come true. My whole life when I would make a wish on an eyelash, the first star at night, 11:11, tossing a penny into the water fountain, or blowing out the candles on a birthday cake, I always wished for the same thing. That I could lose weight. My thousands of wishes are coming true. I am losing weight. I want everyone to know that dreams and wishes, they do come true, but it only happens when you take control of your life and you make them come true. Only you can create the change you want to see in yourself.
- Jesee Paquette (Fatbriety)
Follow Jesee's blog, Fatbriety, to keep up with her progress!