My doctor told me that I would never be able to do it. Boy, did I show him!
I grew up in a single-parent household. Since my mom worked 10 or 12 hour days, my sister and I were on our own to figure out what to eat — and we ended up eating a lot of junk food. I was a chunky kid, and I remember kids picking on me about my weight. Things spiraled out of control when my grandma passed away. I started hanging out with the wrong crowd and met my ex-boyfriend, with whom I remained in an abusive relationship for eight years. Food became my friend, and I would eat to fight the pain and depression.
When I was 18, I gave birth to beautiful baby girl named Jade. After that, I was even more overweight than before and decided to start dieting. I would lose 60 pounds, then gain back 80; eventually, I gave up. When I hit 301 pounds at only 26 years old, I knew something had to change. I felt terrible knowing I was depriving my daughter of certain activities — like swimming — because I was too lazy or didn’t feel comfortable. In September 2008, I decided to have lap band surgery to help control my eating. After the surgery, it's up to you how well you do with weight loss. You have to make an entire lifestyle change, and I was ready to change my life.
A Confidence Boost from Denise
My biggest challenge was giving up soda and making the change from fried food to lots of fruits and veggies. I started receiving Denise’s motivating daily tips in her newsletter and I loved making her recipes. Denise's plan was so different from all of the other diets I have tried because she really gives you the confidence to know that you can do it. She’s always happy, and she pushes you to achieve, always with a smile! Exercise may hurt, but Denise's energy pulls you through. I started seeing results instantly and I built myself up to working out three times a day.
My initial goal was to lose 150 pounds by September 2009. My doctor told me that I would never be able to do it. Boy, did I show him! I exceeded my goal and lost 150 pounds by July 2009. I have muscles in places that I didn’t even know you could have them! I get compliments all the time now. It really feels good, especially when you are used to being the fat, unattractive girl in the bunch.
Now, exercise is a huge part of my life. I do one of Denise’s workout DVDs in the morning before work and on my break I’ll go for a mile walk. Then at lunch time I go to the gym and do weights or cardio depending on the day. After I get home and eat dinner, I will do another fitness DVD, like Yoga or Pilates to finish off my day. My life has completely changed; I don’t look the same, act the same or feel sluggish anymore. I have fun with my daughter and can finally keep up with her!
*Participants can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.