I love when I get to post a Success Story because they always hit home with so many people. This one will also: smart woman, years of weight issues, several diet attempts, stomach problems, joint issues, fatigue. Ring any bells? Rebecca solved all this without counting any calories, or following any traditional diet paradigms.
Here’s her story:
Like most women, I have struggled with weight my whole life; it wasn’t until I really started to have some significant quality of life issues, that I realized that something had to change….and fast!
I had met Debbie Abbott years ago where my husband Tim and I belonged to Old Town Athletic Club where she was a trainer/instructor, but had not really seen her in years. As God would have it, she ended up coming to Grace Bible Church where I had been a member of for years. Debbie was offering the women of the congregation some nutritional counseling classes and that was when I became aware of her nutritional training. I was unable to make the classes due to my work/life schedule in the Fire and Rescue Department, but took this as an opportunity and prompt to call her to make private appointments with her which I shared with my Mother, who was also having some health concerns.
It was February 2011 that we first got together, prior to our meeting, Debbie asked me to read some information on Mark’s Daily Apple “with an open mind” so I would have some knowledge on the subject of Paleo eating before we met. Well let me paint the picture of what my life was like at this point: in early 2011, I was 44 years old, a wife, mother of two children ages 24 and 6, and a 21 year Firefighter/Paramedic/Supervisor. Overall, I have always been active, considered myself healthy and obviously my job demands a certain minimum level of fitness. With the exception of a few very short periods of time in my life, I always seemed to be carrying that extra “20 or so pounds” around and praying/wishing/making new years resolutions that they would go away! Sound familiar? I followed every conventional diet known to human kind and with each one, I would loose some weight and it would come right back because it was never anything that I could maintain or feel good enough to want to. I had a life long history of elimination miseries and lactose intolerance, food sensitivities that would cause my skin to itch and break out, brain fog etc….. Finally, I had hit a wall, I went to my Doctor and had every known test done to find out why I was having chest and back pains, severe joint pains with weakness and disability, fatigue and trouble sleeping. I truly was fearful I had something really seriously wrong with me. I knew if things didn’t turn around soon, the state of my health was going to end my career long before I could really afford to retire! Well of course the Doctor said I was “fine”, maybe a little vitamin D deficiency but otherwise all my vitals looked great, BP 100/60, resting heart rate of 56, cholesterol and all blood levels NORMAL. I can tell you, I was far from normal or healthy!!! Now I had just given up cream in my coffee cold turkey to stop having the chest and back pain that the dairy was causing, but when I met with Debbie that first day and we talked about “grains and processed foods” something in me just clicked! I had tried conventional wisdom, the standard American diet and the laughable food pyramid to no avail. I was ready to really make a change that would be permanent and not only take my pain and fatigue away but lengthen my life and it’s quality….remember I had a six year old at the time and I really want to be able to enjoy the eventual grandchildren from both of my kids!
So I really took to heart everything that I was learning from Debbie about blood sugar and digestion, that is where it starts folks! After that very important first revolution and enlightenment, it is an adventure in real whole foods that has been so rewarding! The kicker is that not only did I start to feel better right away, no more roller coaster of ups and downs but the weight literally started falling off me : ) Everywhere I went, people would say something about how good I looked and asked me what I was doing. My self esteem had really taken a beating all those years with all the weight I had been carrying. People would always tell me that I was not overweight but “large framed” but I knew better, I felt terrible in my own skin. I was an educated health care provider for Pete’s sake! I was supposed to be an example to those I work with and here I was, unsuccessful in loosing the weight and keeping it off despite my “healthy lifestyle”. Oh we all thought we were doing everything right, grilling, baking, eating salads, using all the right oils and eating a “balanced” diet full of veggies, lean meats and fruits and yes lots of whole grains…the complex carbs, Hah! I felt so betrayed! After I got over the “I wish I had learned this 30 years ago, I got busy. I had to rethink everything I ever knew about healthy eating….low fat, high complex carbs, taking a multiple vitamin daily…blah blah blah! In a matter of weeks, there was such a noticeable difference both on the inside and out. The pain in my shoulders, elbows and wrists had just about disappeared, (caused by the inflammation in the grains I had been consuming daily) I was sleeping better, my mind was clearer and get this? I would eat three meals a day, with out snacking and I was really satisfied (and not hungry an hour after just eating a normal sized meal) throughout the day where I hadn’t been before following all the other “diets”.
I love to shop for and cook fresh food and I am blessed to have a wonderful, supportive husband, which I know is a big part of my success! My Daughter (who has lost 70 pounds!) my Mother,and my Husband have all experienced improved health and weight loss due the changes we have made in our daily eating, choosing real whole foods. Debbie frequently says , “leanness is a side effect of good nutrition”, and “nutrition is 90% of it”! I have adopted another saying from “Paleo Mom” when sharing this lifestyle with others,”It is only effort until it becomes routine”, that is so true!!! If you know me, you know that if I believe in something, I will talk your ear off about it! I just love telling people about real whole foods and staying away from anything processed or artificial. What breaks my heart is seeing all the people who you know could be so much healthier and happier if they could just get past the “I can’t give up this or that”. If they only realized that they would be getting so much more out of their lives and enjoy each day more if they would just “open their minds” and give real whole food a try. I am a true believer, never going back to the old way of eating, why would I? I have maintained a 25 pound weight loss for almost 3 years now…without dieting, exercising to excess or feeling hungry or deprived.
I am starting my 25th year in the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department as an EMS Supervisor/Captain II, and I no longer doubt that I can do my job and I look better in my uniform and feel like I am being the positive roll model for others in the department that I have always wanted to be.
I am so very grateful to Debbie Abbott for her tireless dedication to bringing the truth about real whole food nutrition to me; her passion is contagious and I hope everyone gets “the bug”!