I have always been heavy, even as a kid. I was the only kid in the family who had to buy "husky" pants. It didn't bother me—much. I got used to it. There were a lot of kids in school who were chubby like me.
I didn't get as big as I am now until I quit a four pack a day smoking habit. That was in 1994. Food tasted so much better after I quit the cigarettes. At this time, I bought a truck and started my own cross-country trucking business. For the next 10 and a half years, I would eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I ate at truck stops. I had a portable gas grill and an RV fridge in my rig and I could cook and eat anytime, anywhere. And I did. I was putting on a lot of extra weight.
My youngest son is in the Marines and five years ago, he was sent to Iraq. This was hard on me and it was a time when everything was going wrong for me. I took up smoking again. I was depressed. I switched doctors and my new one told me I needed to lose weight. So I tried a lot of different things to lose, but never had any success.
I paid a dietician to work with me but if felt like I was paying someone to beat me up. I would lose a little and then put it back on, plus some. Last September, it hit me hard that this added weight was serious. I was rushed to the hospital for chest pains and my weight had gotten up to 298.8 pounds. My blood pressure was up. I was a ticking time bomb! The cardiologist told me I had to get rid of the excess pounds and quit smoking, but getting the weight off was critical if I wanted to live to see my granddaughter graduate from high school.
At work I was put on a short medical leave until things could get under control. In October of 2010, a good friend who knew I was struggling, told me about a woman looking for people to test a new weight management program. It sounded interesting and different, and I knew I wanted to get involved with it.
I met with Miriam and her husband Donald. She explained the MonaVie RVL program and we got started. I liked that it was a different type of program all together, with high nutrition and a major focus on improving health. Most importantly, I liked that I would not be doing this alone. That truly struck me as different. There would be an online tracking system to help me stay focused and Miriam would support me every step of the way (she's on the program too).
I was afraid of failing on my own, but getting out and meeting with people with similar weight issues was comforting to me. We meet once a week with others on the program, and I really enjoy the support. Getting weighed and measured weekly, having people to talk to about what's going well and not so well, conquering bad habits together, and creating weekly goals is key to my success. I have a serious chocolate addiction, and in November I was eating 40 candy bars a week. In the group, we talked about breaking habits by quitting the behavior for at least 21 days in a row. Because of the support, I went 21 days with no chocolate! This group means a lot to someone like me. It's a big boost just having people other than family behind you. I couldn't have broken that habit on my own. The candy just doesn't seem important to me now.
My new goal is to get moving! I've dusted off the treadmill. My weight goal is to lose 100 pounds. I'm looking forward to being healthier and not winded when fishing or hunting with my sons or playing with my grandchildren. At this point, I am down 35 pounds. Since we started measuring mid-January, I am down a total of 11 inches with nearly 6 inches off my waist. I'm sleeping better, feeling better, and have a better attitude. I can feel it in my bones. People are noticing and want to know what I am doing. I am sharing this opportunity because it works and I have been recently laid off. I am expecting another grandchild, the first grandson, and I want to be there for him!