Pt II: The Be Well 365 Experience with Terri Johnson
Could you talk a little more about the treatment program you were on and some of the changes you had to make?
Terri: During the class with Dr. Lopez, she handed out a little brochure or flier of uh, uhm, bad things that you’re supposed to stay away from, and good things. And she had a few little recipes for people like me who loved their sweets. Things like ‘Cool whip’ and, uh, sugar free hot chocolate, mix ‘em up together and you’ve got mouse, chocolate mouse. Helluva good desert, chocolate mouse. Uhm. There were lots of substitutions that I could try, and I liked to cook anyway, but like, mock mashed potatoes made of cauliflower, you know. putting ‘em in a blender, some things that I was trying to.
In her program, you could have real cheddar cheese, not the processed cheese food. Real butter, not margarine. Uhm, real mayonnaise, not the light stuff. So, I was able to eat all the yummy fattening real foods, which helped a lot cause I’m, uh, a cheddar cheese addict. So that helped a lot. Uhm. They, she taught me how to look on labels for carbs, how many carbs does this have. Uhm, when I’m figuring out my carbs, you know, you take the number of total carbs, deduct the fiber, and deduct the alcohol sugars, and that’s the real carb level. I started out at 50 carbs a day, and she started me out at 50 carbs a day, and I stuck to it. She also told me about a little app called ‘MyFittnessPal,’ so I was able to track my carbs pretty easily, and, uh, it became kind of a game with me, you know, okay. Uhm, okay. How far can I get under that 50-carb level. Well, I couldn’t. I stayed right at around 45 to 50 carbs a day. Uhm. She taught us about protein, and how it, it, uhm, curbs the appetite for carbs, so when I would get hungry, ya know, ravenously hungry, uhm, I would take a piece of ham, roll it around a cheese stick, and that was my snack. And sure enough, the hunger went away. It abated. She taught us how to eat like, 5 meals a day instead of 3 big ones with a huge desert afterwards, and then, of course, I, my evening, after dinner I always like a sweet. Well there’s where the chocolate mouse came in. So, uh, I learned a lot just through her classes, and uhm, ya know, talking to other people that were, had been on carb diets before.”
Did you experience any low points?
Terri: Ohhhh yeah.
How did you overcome your doubts?
Terri: I never questioned myself “I cant do this”, but there were times I would plateau. And for a month, I wouldn’t lose a single pound. And I just knew, if I stuck to it, that eventualy, it would, ya know, I would start losing again. Uhm. Dr. Lopez, when I would meet with her, she would tell me tips and tricks on how to fool your body, like, drink lots of water, lots and lots of water. Which was one of my weak spots, I don’t like water that well. Also I was going to the gym, I started going to the gym and made, and uh, changed up my exercise routine a little bit, cause I’m 61 years old, I don’t do a whole lot of exercises. Running was out of the question. I had bad knees and the surgery, so bicycle riding was fine, swimming was great, she says “swap it around. Do your swimming first, and then you know, the bicycle and exercises like that.” So I did that, and uh, eventually, yeah, it would start coming off. And when it came off, when it finally, after the plateau got done, I would take a big dip down. I would lose like 5 pounds in a week. So you know, once the metabolism started kicking in again, it was great. It was just riding out that month of getting on the scale: no weight loss. Getting on the scale, no weight loss. Dang.
What did it feel like not experiencing the results that you wanted or maybe that you were used to?
Terri: I was real discouraged. And even the harder I tried, it just would not budge. And I never had the attitude ‘I’m gonna give up,’ because I knew that it was working up to this point. There’s something I need to do different, or something to keep it going again. So, ya know, that, that little thing in the back of your mind that’s ‘Uh, this isn’t worth it, I give up.’ Never heard it. It’s not gonna happen, I’m gonna beat it.
How would you describe the person you are today after starting your weight loss journey?
Terri: Hundred and eighty degrees different. Uh, I have more self-confidence in myself, I know I look better; I have a broader, more positive attitude about the world as a whole. Before it was ‘ehh, who cares,’ now it’s ‘yeah, I care,’ what do I feel about it? Can I, ya know, what can I do different, ya know, about situations. Uhm, my another thing we’re doing right now is we’re remodeling our kitchen. We watched too many DIY movies, and we’re doing it ourselves. Before I lost the weight, I would never have even tried. Uh, now that I’ve lost the weight and have more energy, yeah, I can tackle this. I can paint, I can do this, I can do that. You know, I can help my husband lay tile. But before, no way. I would’ve sat my butt on the couch and watched tv, or read a book. Now it’s ‘no, let me try it.’ I’m not the best carpenter in the world, or the best painter in the world, that’s my husband, but I’ll give it a try, I’ll try just about anything within my limits.
And are you continuing the program you’re on now? Are you still seeing Dr. Lopez?
Terri: You better believe it. I would not lose my best friend for anything, at this point. Yes I’ve met my goal, and even exceeded my original goal. Uhm, my original goal was 150, or get down to 150 lbs, and I’m below that now. And I feel great, and, uh, she has now helped me maintain that.
to be continued…
Does your story sound like Terri’s?
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