You’ve probably seen me posting here and there in these forums over the recent months. I thought it was time to share my weight loss story with you.
I'm Sue from CT. I've been living the Zone Lifestyle very successfully for over 13 years. I’ve lost 100 pounds with the Zone diet and have maintained it for about 13 years.
It's tough to decide where to begin, so I'll go back 14 years, just prior to the time when I began eating the Zone diet. I was them 42 years old, well over 200 pounds, had high blood pressure, and was scared because I was so overweight and out of shape that I couldn't even take a 5 minute walk at a normal pace or walk up a flight of stairs in my house without getting out of breath. I would wake up every day aching and stiff. I was on high blood pressure meds (eventually even was put oin 2 high BP meds at the same time), but even so, my doctors were unable to get my blood pressure to lower below the threshold of the high blood pressure range. I wasn't happy with the side effects of the medications, especially when they weren't even working for me! Worst of all, I had a problem with hypoglycemic symptoms on a daily basis. By mid afternoon on most days, sometimes even by mid morning, I'd be feeling faint, shaky, spacey, etc. Not great, especially when you’re a mom of 3 and trying to do everything that having 3 kids entails! My weight was causing me to tire quickly and become out of breath just walking up stairs and doing household chores. (I'm happy to be able to say that all of those symptoms are a thing of the past now!)
My weight was a difficult issue. I was of average weight as a child and became about 40 pounds overweight between the ages of 10 and 15. I did manage to lose the weight during high school and keep it off for about 8 years until I married and became pregnant. After that, with the exception of one year just after the birth of my second child when I lost the weight again but then regained it, I was packing on the pounds little by little with each year. I'd finally resigned myself to the idea I would always be "fat". I'd tried dieting on and off, but to no avail. I couldn't lose the weight easily, and I couldn't keep it off when I did lose a little. I'd had all the appropriate blood tests, medical exams, etc. and all was fine except for my high blood pressure, too low HDL, too high triglycerides, and my weight. My doctor kept telling me that only way to help the daily hypoglycemic symptoms was to eat something sweet whenever I had the symptoms. I followed that recommendation for years. That, plus my lack of regular physical activity and my love of baking (and love of eating), was how I got to be a size 22. Things were about to change in a big way.
Indirectly, my dad prompted my life changing weight loss experience. It was when I was 42 that he died of Alzheimer’s and colon cancer. I think that, unconsciously, his passing was the last straw, the thing that probably scared me the most. Somehow my dad ‘s death became my “wake-up call”. I decided I needed to get healthy. It wasn't even as much about the weight, though I was interested in losing some of it. In my mind it was mostly about getting healthy. The way I began was to put together info from a lot of sources. I did a lot of reading about diet and nutrition). As I found the things I thought would be best for me, I implemented them into my daily diet and lifestyle.
These are the changes I made back then:
Ate meals and snacks spaced throughout the entire day, and always ate protein , carbohydrate and fat at all meals and snacks. I loosely based it on info about the Mediterranean Diet as explained in a book written by my cardiologist, Stephen Sinatra, MD. One main difference was that I decided to eat far less grain and more veggies than are included in the Mediterranean diet
Ate mostly all low glycemic index and glycemic load carbs (almost no grain based foods at all, except oats, little to no sweeteners, etc.).
Ate lean proteins, no egg yolks and little to no beef.
Added monounsaturated fats to meals and snacks and avoided omega 6 fats and saturated fats; ate no trans fat.
I supplemented with various foods containing omega 3 fats (ultimately switching to an ultra refined concentrated fish oil few years later).
Drank lots of water.
Walked daily for exercise ( I added step aerobics and strength training during the second year of my weight loss).
The inches and pounds began to drop off quickly and steadily, a pound or two a week. By a year later I was down about 60 pounds! I had no more to the achy stuff going on, and I was walking 3 or 4 miles in an hour or less (without getting out of breath) each and every morning, summer or winter, rain or snow, etc! When I had my annual mammogram that year, the radiology facility contacted my doctor thinking that possibly they had two patients with the same name and the records had been mixed up. They said the films they had just taken of me showed the tissue of a much younger woman when compared to those of the previous year and showed a remarkable change for the better from the previous year’s films! The radiologist was puzzled because the films seemed to be of the same person but then again they didn’t. They didn’t see how it was possible for tissue to look that much younger a year later. Just goes to show what eating healthy really does for your body! Its’ proof of the amazing results of following an anti-aging and anti-inflammatory diet and life style .
The one thing that hadn’t changed, and wouldn’t for a couple more years, was that I still had high blood pressure (more about this later).
You might have noticed that I haven't mentioned being in the Zone yet. From the beginning of my weight loss, I had been eating the Zone diet, specifically the plate method, without even knowing it! During that first year of weight loss, I became acquainted with a woman who worked in my local health food store. She'd seen my weight loss progress month to month, and when I came in to shop we'd chat about the things I was doing. She was in charge of the book section of the store, and one day convinced me to buy a Zone book. I bought it, took it home, and weeks later I finally opened it up and began to read. Only several pages into the book I realized that this was how I'd lost my weight! Wow! I couldn’t believe it! This was how I'd been eating, and all the results that the book was promising were the very things I'd already experienced! No one had to convince me that the Zone worked, I already had firsthand proof! I read far into the night, more than half the book that first night. I bought a couple more Zone books the following day. With these books I gained more insight and was able to tweak my balance to completely eliminate my hypoglycemic symptoms forever. They had lessened immensely when I had initially changed my diet, but, at the time I bought my first Zone book, I was still having a few minor hypoglycemic episodes now and then.
The blood pressure lowering came later when Dr. Barry Sears, author of the Zone books and the Zone diet, offered me Omega Rx Fish oil, prior to the time Zone Labs marketed it to the public. That's another little story, but, to sum it up, I’d tried other brands of fish oil to lower my high blood pressure, but to no avail. Through a question I submitted to the Zone website 8 years ago, I was offered direct help from Barry Sears. He sent me one of the Zone Labs fish oil concentrates that was still in the experimental stages at that time, and he advised me about my dosage, helping me adjust it over time to suit me needs. Within 2 weeks of beginning on that Zone Labs fish oil concentrate, my blood pressure had lowered to excellent levels and my primary care physician took me off both of my high blood pressure meds (the 2 that weren’t working to control my high BP). I have never needed them since! My blood presser is better than it’s even been!
Since then it’s been no turning back. It’s become my mission to share my story to help others. I wish everyone reading this the same success I’ve had! You can do it!
Lost 100 lbs 14 yrs ago and have kept it off, thanks to the Zone diet!