Start Weight: 160 lbs
End Weight: 135 lbs*
Weight Lost: 25 lbs*
Biggest Life Change: Stronger, healthier body
Most Mindful Tip: Finding sugar-free, low-carb replacements
It all began in February 2005, when I had my second mammogram at the age of 41. I received a call the next day to get a second look. “No need to worry”, I was told. So I went back for a follow-up. I was called again and asked to come in for a needle biopsy and once again told “no need to worry”. I got a call later that evening from my doctor; her first words were “it’s not great news”. After hearing those words, I felt I was listening to the teacher from Charlie Brown…all I heard was “wa wa wa wa”, my face got hot and I remember telling the doctor to repeat everything to my husband because I didn’t hear a word she said other than “cancer”.
I was fortunate because it was caught somewhat early. I received four rounds of chemotherapy and a mastectomy. I decided at that time, I was going to live my life to the fullest and did not want to deny myself of anything. I have always been a very social person with many wonderful friends who also wanted to deny me of nothing. If I wanted to drink wine to temporarily escape the fear of having cancer, we did. I could polish off a bottle myself if need be. I also ate out often; it was something to look forward to and friends often brought meals throughout the week. There wasn’t anything I said no to.
Before I was diagnosed, I weighed about 145 pounds and was rather muscular. I have always thought of myself as a healthy person, and was a swimmer in high school and college. During the last five years of denying myself nothing, I managed to creep up to 170 pounds on my 5’5” frame. The final scare came this past summer when I had a test that came back inconclusive. I was told while on vacation in Tahoe with family and friends, that through various tests, they had found a mass on my liver. Breast cancer was bad enough, but I really believed this was it for me. I had a PET scan and then a follow-up biopsy of my liver. It turned out to be a hematoma (a non-cancerous spot). I realized at that time, I needed to stop living as if I were dying, because if I continued my habits I really would. I wanted my old life back, the one before cancer and that’s what I have done!
I joined a weight loss class with my son and I lost 15 pounds in six months.* It worked well, but very slowly, and then I managed to gain back 5 pounds. I had two friends who were on the Greenlite Medicine program at the same time I was doing the class with my son. They were losing and I could really see the amazing results; and it was quicker for them. I found it funny that one of my friends didn’t want to share how she was doing it. It was like her little success secret that she didn’t want to share with her friends. We had our ways of finding out!!!
I started the Greenlite program in August 2010, but was a little concerned about starting while my kids were still on summer vacation since we enjoy eating out as a family. I met with a couple different health educators at Greenlite and was unclear that I could pick one person to work with; I thought it was whoever was there when I was there. I felt like I was telling my story over and over. This happened for about three sessions until I realized I wanted to work with Elaine. Not only does Elaine have my mother’s name, who passed away many years ago; but it’s also my best friend’s name. She was like a supportive “very young mother” to me. I liked her warmth and true compassion right away. Elaine never rushed me on the days I needed a little extra attention or motivation, and never kept me longer than needed if I just wanted a quick consult. Elaine follows through with emails when I need information and lets me know she is always there for me. We all need an Elaine in our lives…
At the time I started Greenlite, I decided to get serious about exercise, I have always been rather competitive, so I decided I would be much more committed if I shelled out the big bucks for a personal trainer. He was just the perfect match for me; he pushed just enough and because I was paying him money, I felt even more accountable to not miss one session (whatever it takes right). I am now in a group class (less expensive, competitive and fun; but still needing and wanting someone to stand over me and push me).
I have enjoyed how I look; my face is much slimmer and skin healthier. My body looks and feels strong and healthy. I carry myself with more confidence and I am noticed. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happily married, but it is still fun to be noticed. I enjoy buying clothes and like my extra energy. I am happy to be drinking more water (in the past wasn’t always easy) and little alcohol. Now I’m saving drinks for special occasions not as an escape.
My family has been amazing. I have a son graduating from high school this year and heading off to college and another son entering high school. My husband and I want to take them on a memorable trip this summer, we are thinking of Costa Rica.
I have a sweet tooth and found some amazing handmade sugar free/low carb candies at a market by my house. They don’t make me feel deprived. I take them when I go out with my friends and they order dessert.
I started in August at 160 pounds, and am now in transition at 136 pounds,* a number I thought would be unobtainable at 47 years old. Truly such a nice group of ladies at the Greenlite office ….thank you!
*Actual results May Vary