July 28, 2009

I Did What 80 percent of Americans Want to Do

This is me at my 45th high school reunion.
I was one of the skinniest girl in senior class so some classmates
might have been surprised to see that I'd put on a few pounds.

America has one of the poorest health trends in the world with 80 per cent of us wanting and needing to lose weight. We have medical costs at $40 billion annually tied to obesity and heart disease responsible for over 40 percent of all deaths, with diet-related diabetes and cancer rates rising at alarming rates.

I know many Americans are as frustrated as I am by diets that claim to be the answer, but rarely are. I don't know how the saying "gone south " originated but it could be applied to one's metabolism when they reach a certain age, starting as early as 40. I know mine went south about a decade ago.

I'm a very healthy eater, don't like sweets that much and rarely eat them, avoid red meat, eat small portions and lots of good veggies . A few years ago I had a severe foot problem, plantar faciitis, which slowed me down and that and the long cold winters added 10 lbs. I'm also physically active, doing weights and aerobics several times a week. So why wouldn't the scale budge even an ounce, no matter what I tried? Because our bodies are made to resist starvation by holding on to fat and it will fight every effort you make to lose it. Especially us women. A 65 year old man and a 23 year old woman have the same metabolism. Now I ask you is that fair ?!

Recently I was at Border's and a book titled CRACKING THE FAT-LOSS CODE caught my eye. Subtitle was even better : Outsmart your Metabolism and Conquer the Diet Plateau. Just what I'd been trying to do for a decade. The author, Wendy Chant, has impressive credentials in nuitrition science and is also one of the top ten ranked personal trainers in America. The book is also a NYT best seller.

What the heck , I thought, what do I have to lose except 10 lbs. ? I've tried everything else and nothing worked. I was committed to the 8 week ( 4 different cycles ) plan but really wasn't hopeful of any results. Low and behold the first week I dropped 5 lbs! Not 5 lbs. of muscle or water weight that will come right back, but 5 lbs. of fat. Not only did the scale move my clothes size shrunk as well. Long story short I cracked the fat loss code ( yes, Virginia , there is a secret code ) and lost the other 5 lbs. over the 8 week regime . Ten pounds may not sound like a lot but that's 35,000 calories ! I am proud of myself.

This is not a diet as Wendy emphasizes, but a lifestyle change. She gives you the code to help you outsmarty your body's natural cycles for storing and burning calories. It's not a low-carb, high-protein plan either, although she uses carb depletion for the first 2 week cycle. Its a solution to permanent weight management and while its not a walk in the park, with determination and discipline, it is doable .

This is not one of those quick fixes or fad diets, either . You must eat 5 to 6 small meals a day and you won't feel hungry or starved, which made it easy for me because I've never been one to go hungry . And after the 8 weeks you can cheat on the diet, go back on it a few days, and your weight will remain the same. I know because I did that and it worked.

Guess its now time to make the disclaimer here : I am not being paid to promote this program, folks ! Just so excited by my success that I wanted to let my fellow gardeners and friends know about it. I want to be forever fit so that I can garden forever.

Wendy has a website : foreverfit.com for those of you who'd like to check it out.


  1. Great job! And I'm sure you are feeling better, too! :-) We should always be able to celebrate together. Have a Great day!

  2. Ive lost 10lbs as well since end of April and I feel so much better but I am struggling to loose more so maybe I'm at my natural weight especially as I feel ill when I try to loose more. I have used weightwatchers online which has been great as it has made me aware of my bad habits or late night snacks and biscuits between meals. Well done on your weight loss

  3. Congrats!!! I bet each set of 2 weeks seemed like forever. I'll have to keep an eye out for the book.

  4. I'm reading a book called "The Blue Zone" which is about pockets of the world where people often live past 100. It is obvious that we don't get the same exercise as they do (these people work like dogs!) and our fatty foods only contribute to our downfall. I've always been health conscious - like you, I rarely eat red meat but my weakness is the sweets. I have to fight hard to resist those. I'm glad you have found a book that is helping. That is great.

  5. Hi Carolyn,
    Congratulations on your weight loss. You're looking great!

    I had plantar faciitis a number of years ago, and after several cortisone shots, physical therapy, orthotics, and lots of stretching, I ended up having surgery. I am still sticking to wearing athletic shoes, and usually add Dr. Scholl inserts. A couple months ago, I walked around the house barefoot, a few days in a row, and my foot started hurting. I got some new inserts, and the pain has gone away, so I think it was just tendonitis. How did you get rid of yours? Was it the weight loss?

    I lost 60 pounds going to Weight Watchers a few years ago. I lost more than the leader thought I should. I have gained 18 pounds over the last year, I think, because I'm not exercising like I was. I seem to be able to maintain my current weight, which is still 10 pounds lighter than what my goal was, but I think what I need is to do my aerobics again.

    Oh, dear, I didn't mean to go into such detail, but if I start to gain weight again, I may check out the book you wrote about.

  6. Ok, I've seen you in person and I know that the camera adds some pounds but I never would have thought to myself; "Gee, that Carolyn need to drop a few pounds." If you're doing it for yourself-that's great, but I don't think you need to do anything.

    Just my 2 cents.

    P.S Can I borrow the book?

  7. Congratulations, Carolyn! I used to be one of the skinniest girls in high school, too, so it's been frustrating to see the pounds steadily add on each year for the past decade or so. Sweets and carbs are my downfall, and I don't exercise as much as I should. But I'm tired of looking and feeling this way--I will definitely check out this book! It's good to know someone has had success with a program, not one of those skinny models in bikinis who claim to have lost 30 pounds in a month by taking a pill:)

    I also had plantar faciitis a few years ago--very difficult to exercise or even walk with that! But Birkenstocks and stretching have cured that, so I have no excuse any more.

  8. Ma, you look marvelous as usual!

  9. Hi Patientgardener,

    Congrats to you ! What kind of diet were you on? Feeling ill is not a good thing.

    I never felt sick, hungry or tired on my plan.

  10. Actually, Debbie, the first cycle was the most challenging. After that it was rather easy. As I said above I never felt tired, hungry or sick.

  11. Thanks, Phillip. Sweets and carbs are the main culprits. I love pasta, bread, and corn but can't eat them too often.

    I was lucky to find such a good and effective book.

  12. I hear you, Rose :-) Hate the model that says she went from a 10 to a 4. That's extreme. Pills and fad diets do not work and are a waste of time and money.

    Glad to hear your PF is cured by wearing good shoes and stretching. I do stretches as well and buy the most comfortable shoe I can find.

  13. Gee thanks , MBT. As mentioned in my post I gained 10 lbs. and finally managed to lose it after struggling with so many diets.

    Women are much more self-critical than men.

  14. Hey, Sue,

    Sixty pounds?! That's amazing, and wonderful, Sue. I know that took a lot of discipline but you must be so much better for it.

    The Plantar Faciitis was a result of the excessive use of my feet ( landscaping, gardening, walking, etc. ) and I had minimally invasive surgery on both which relieved about 90 percent of the problem. I do special stretches and I wear orthotics and very good shoes. I am limited in how far I can walk so I try not to overdo it.

  15. Thanks, Cathy. That's the unbiased opinion for my darling daughter.

  16. Just found this cute blog and read your 10 lb. success story!!!Way to go!!! It is a wonderful feeling to get control of our bodies!!! Have a great day, and drop over for a vist, would love to have you also... xoxo~Kathy~ @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...


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