Client Fits Through a Hole!

Our client Cheryl is creating a journey of a lifetime!  Since September Cheryl has lost 67-1/2 pounds… that’s a size 3x to a women’s 14!  Cheryl pulled out her old clothes and can wrap them around herself 3 times.  And to top it off, she can fit through a hole…. we found out just what that meant….

Cheryl is a care taker and the sole provider for her and her husband.  She will be 65 in December, and was pre-diabetic when starting the plan, Cheryl knew she had to be healthy to continue.  On top of everything, Cheryl decided she would study Clinical Pastoral Education and made her personal goal Self Care.  So many Care Givers can relate to this feeling when they give so much to others but tend to neglect themselves.  In Cheryl’s words, “they think they can.  They feel invincible.”  And as all learn, to take care of others, we need to take care of ourselves first.  Our lives are like that airplane, when a problem hits or the plane loses altitude, whose mask do you put on first?  Cheryl decided it was time for her to put her mask on first and started making changes.

What has Cheryl done to stick to her healthy weight loss plan?  She has to keep her food simple.  If it gets too complicated, she feels overwhelmed and she’ll eat whatever is around.  At home she will make scrambled eggs and add veggies, salads with chicken or salmon and roasted veggies, and for desert, she likes strawberries with Wax Orchard Chocolate drizzled on top.  The tips she gets at her check-ins from her counselors have been helpful such as different “freebies” she can have.  She likes the Braggs Limeaid which surprised her because she’s not a “sour kinda gal, but it’s good, and it helps.”  Breakfast Wraps at The Healthy Way are really good, and the Quest Bars too.  But, as Cheryl stated, she can’t have those all the time; just in emergencies when “I’m really jones-ing for something, or I don’t have time for breakfast.”  The salad dressings are also helpful for Cheryl and she’ll bring them to restaurants.  She doesn’t stress too much when she forgets though.  She’ll have the salad dressing at the restaurant, but she’ll dip her fork into it instead of pouring it over her salad.  It’s those little changes that make a big difference because they add up into a healthy lifestyle.

What does Cheryl miss?  Hot chocolate at the Coffee Shop.  Sometimes she’ll still have it with non-fat milk and sugar free chocolate but “it’s not as necessary as it was before.  It used to be a daily thing, along with a scone.”  Socially, it can be a struggle too; sometimes with wine.  “All of a sudden I started craving cocktails, which was bizarre because I hadn’t ever before.  And I would have one.  But just one, then I would go right back on plan.”  Christmas and the Holidays were really hard for Cheryl.  Her families Scandinavian tradition and culture revolves around food, baking with butter and cream for weeks.  Her mom is the “best baker; and it’s how she shows her love,” so it was really hard.  In fact it wasn’t just hard Cheryl said, “I went through an actual grieving period over the loss of my tradition and culture because I knew it was all in the past; it was the idea of not doing it anymore.”  It took recognizing what was happening to begin to move on.  Recognition of a feeling is huge because we start to learn how to answer that feeling another way.  Finding other answers or new traditions to take the place of the old ones is key.  Now, when Cheryl visits her family and Mom in North Dakota she has to work hard to stay healthy.  Fresh produce isn’t available like it is here and it’s all canned veggies, fried food, beef, meat and potatoes.  Salad bars are full of ice berg lettuce with it’s edges burnt, potato, macaroni and ambrosia salad.  Cheryl makes the best choices she can; and when she’s with her family and her mom’s baking, she will have a little and not completely deprive herself.

There’s something to that idea of not completely depriving oneself.  When we let a craving go, we tend to eat a lot of that food. But when we still have the inner strength to have a little, we do it with mindfulness.  Using the 3 bite technique works.  Cheryl has put a sort of poison sign on sugar and it makes a big difference with attitude and blood sugar levels.  And when she eats out, she knows she needs to balance out those extra calories by eating lighter the rest of the day, and an earlier dinner.  Cheryl’s doctors say her numbers all good now and in healthy range!  Wow!

Last Summer, Cheryl fell and crushed her wrist.  She knew it was because she was out of balance because of her weight.  Cheryl had a hard time walking before, in fact, “it was excruciating and I had no enthusiasm” for walking.  “Now, my body wants to go, and at a good pace!”  She can even outpace someone younger!  Cheryl went on a retreat in Mexico where she and other women had to walk everywhere they went, up and down hills, on cobblestone streets, and steps and she felt GREAT!  To get to a waterfall, Cheryl and her group had to hike up a hill and then climb through a hole in a gate and “I DID IT,”  she says, “and I could not have done it before.  If I hadn’t lost all that weight I would not have made it.”  Years ago, Cheryl went to Italy where she had to do a lot walking and it was not easy.  Now “I cannot wait to go back, because I know I can do it.”

When Cheryl hit  the 27 pounds lost milestone, she remembers Cheri feeling so happy for her and both feeling so good and proud.  Now it’s 67-1/2!  Next is 70!  “That’ll be soon.”  Cheryl was in a meeting with a co-worker who hadn’t seen her in 3 months and he had to take a double-take!  Cheryl is feeling great and she’s going to keep going for 30 more pounds!

Cheryl’s friend Lea, also on program, standing in front of the hole in the gate. “I could never have done this before,” Cheryl said.