Written by Jennifer Eidahl
Just over a year ago, I weighed 298 pounds. At 5’ 3” and 35 years old it was not a question of if, but when, I would develop type 2 diabetes and other weight-related problems. The media is riddled with gastric bypass success stories, and I began to think that was my only option. A piece of me wanted to try once more to lose the weight on my own. So, I made a deal with myself; lose a significant amount of weight in the next year or have the surgery.
I hired a personal trainer and he required me to read The Paleo Solution. Over the past thirteen months, I have followed the diet and exercised. It has been quite a journey, and there have been many learning opportunities along the way. In the beginning, it was difficult to give up grain, soy, and dairy. Paleo meant more time in the kitchen and increasing my food budget, but it did not take long to start reaping the rewards and that kept me going. I derailed many times but I never gave up. When I needed inspiration I referred back to the book or read other Paleo success stories.
Everything in my life over the past year has focused on one goal, losing the weight and, ultimately, saving my life. The Paleo Solution provided the information, but I had to provide the commitment, hard work, and time. During a particularly tough time I developed, what I call, the five S’s; Sustenance (food), Stress, Sleep, Strength (exercise), and Supplements. When I feel like my weight loss is stalling, I ask myself if I am paying enough attention to all five S’s. It was difficult to increase my food budget and start buying supplements, but I told myself that I could pay for those things now or the medical bills down the road when I started to have health issues.
Treating my workouts as an unbreakable appointment has also been helpful. Honoring those appointments in the same way I would honor a doctor’s appointment or school conference is important to me. This mindset keeps me from making excuses and missing workouts for reasons that are not important. Exercise not only burns fat and creates muscle, it also reminds me that I am a different person now, a person who values my health.
Happily, I am no longer considering gastric bypass surgery. All of my hard work has paid off with a 100 pound loss. In fact, based on my current health and body fat percentage, I no longer qualify for bypass surgery. In the future, I know that there will be obstacles, but I also know that I will continue to lose. The goal is to shed 60 more pounds. Losing 100 pounds has been the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done. Along the way, there have been celebrations and tears, but I’ve never regretted the cookie I didn’t eat.