Updated: Feb 18
Breaking the Diet Roller Coaster
My weight struggles all began when I moved out of my parents’ home after college. I thought I knew how to take care of myself, how to properly cook and how to be healthy…….boy was I wrong! My parents grew up with a farm to table mentality and always provided the best quality of food as I was growing up. But then I moved away and got a job and husband. Life got busy and we quickly learned the convenience of restaurants and carry-out. For a wedding present I received a bread machine and my husband and I tried every possible recipe, some of which included vegetables IN the bread — that was healthy—-right? My weight slowly crept up, between being sedentary all day at work, watching TV at night, and finding daily restaurant “deals” every night of the week. This one place had ½ price bagel burgers on Monday’s………totally delish!! Then I found out I was pregnant, what a delight AND an excuse to eat things I craved like breaded chicken and potatoes. After my first child, I decided I needed to get serious and diet…..well one diet fail led to another. After time, I was an expert at sticking to a diet for 6-8 weeks and losing 15-20 pounds each time and then gaining it all back and more. This cycle kept repeating itself over and over again for almost 21 years.
Then I ran into someone at work that looked very “Fit”, not skinny, but very toned and her skin almost glowed. She looked healthy, she had definition in her arms, and she looked very happy. That was what I wanted. She told me about Debbie Portell and her nutrition program. I spent days researching and listening to Debbie’s radio show podcasts. I was sold and immediately called Debbie to sign up. My family (especially my husband) was all like….there she goes again…another diet kick that will be short-lived, but somehow I knew this would be different.
My first 12 weeks was awesome! I felt better than I ever did and that 12 weeks led to another 12 weeks and then a year later I had lost 60 pounds and was feeling very proud and good with my accomplishments. At this time I still had about 25-30 more to loose and it was getting mentally harder to keep the commitment especially when I was feeling good and was down to “normal” sizes in the store. Then I started allowing a few “cheats” to reward myself. One cheat led to another and then I started gaining some of the weight I had lost. I still worked out consistently, but my mind was not dedicated to my food. 55
Then in January 2016 at 46 years old, I decided that enough was enough and I needed to first commit to my food and then secondly to exercise. I cut my exercise down and focused on my food 100%. Six months later I have dropped over 50 pounds and have reached my goal. Debbie and her trainers have been my support tools and I have surrounded myself with people that share the same values. I follow Debbie’s nutrition plan, train in Integrity group training classes, and do Personal Training with Mike Harris, an Integrity trainer. For me, I needed the variety and to surround myself with people that would help me to succeed. Mike Harris with his no-nonsense and scientific approach was exactly what I needed. Not only did he ensure that my workouts were appropriate for me and my body type, but he literally got into my head mentally. Each session he would ask “how have you been?” and I always knew what he meant……”have you been eating on plan?”. His caring, but no-excuse attitude really pushed me to do my best. I could literally hear his voice echo in my head on days I didn’t even see him. I literally saw differences each week and he saw them too, which really kept it going for me. I remember the day when I was doing a push-up and actually saw my collarbone…..so exciting!!!! I was strutting around for days just watching it in the mirror.
The benefits have far exceeded my own journey to being healthy. I have set a family example for my husband and my 2 daughters. My husband went to the doctor for his annual check-up 2 years ago to find out that he would need to take statin drugs if he did not lower his cholesterol in 6 months. So he went to Debbie and after 5 weeks of following her program 100% his levels were normal. When he went back to the doctor the doctor said “I don’t know what you are doing, but keep it up”. He has been following Debbie’s nutrition program and works out in her group training classes for about 8 hours a week. Then there are my 2 daughters. When they were both in high school they fell victim to eating sweets that was available to them at school. So when they started to gain weight, they asked if they too can goto Debbie. They both have lost over 30 pounds and know how the healthy way to eat as they goto college.
I am truly blessed to have Debbie, Mike and the entire Integrity Training Group in my family’s life and mine. They have added not only years onto my family’s life span, but we are healthy and can live life to its fullest.