Annette Sharp holds a BAAS in Behavioral Science from Texas A&M. She is a counselor and motivator with an empathetic heart.
Frustrated with losing weight?
I've always been this really small person. Little bones, small frame, petite. As a teenager I didn't weigh a pound over 100. But as my baby boomer metabolism began to age, something changed. I got fat. Yes, I was fat. For me to reach 150 pounds was unbelievable! The only time I weighed that much was when I was pregnant. But in January, when I saw the scale tip 150, I freaked. How could I have gotten so out of control? I'd maintained between 126 to 130 pounds for years by drinking tons of water and working out at Curves. But after my Mom was diagnosed with cancer and my grown daughter became ill with Major Depression, I started pigging out. And I had to quit Curves because I was only working part-time. I don't smoke or drink, so I ate.
It didn't happen all at once. It took over 3 years. Yes, over 3 years of eating late at night, morning, noon, whenever I felt the urge. I stayed active and continued drinking 64 ounces, plus, of water a day. But I packed it on the middle pouch and busted out of my size 8 pants. Then started a new job...rush rush rush. Stop at Sonic and eat in the car to get to my next client. No time for anything else. Eat and run! Changes, changes..stress stress. Food cravings galore! Chocolate pie, here I come! Then I go to my OB/GYN doctor and he says, "Oh, you're thyroid is underactive". So I start taking medication for that to keep me from dragging. Second, he calls me a few days later and says, "You've got some suspicious test results...we need to do a biopsy in my office..". Great day in the morning!!! (It was clean). What else? "Mrs. donotfear, your mammogram is inconclusive. We must do a biopsy". Not again!! Then I started taking Prozac after a bout with depression. After that, who wouldn't? So I set myself up, or may I say, my body did it.
Find a Curves location near you!
- Curves Information - Home Page
Curves: Curves is the largest fitness franchise in the world dedicated to providing affordable, one-stop exercise and nutritional information for women.
Curves for Women
Then like I said, in January I freaked out. I said, "NO MORE!" and marched myself to Curves and re-activated my membership. It thought, "Cool, this will be easy. I can still eat what I want as long as I work out 3 times a week and drink 64 ounces of water or more a day, just like I did 4 years ago!" WRONG!! One month of working out, I weighed and measured. Lo and behold, I gained a whole percentage of body fat and didn't lose one inch or drop one pound! I nearly lost it. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I wasn't going to be able to get in shape unless I changed something. But give up late night binging?
The Wuyi Tea Scam
So I began researchingWuyi Tea. Oh my goodness!! I nearly ordered the stuff, but thank God I caught myself before I got caught up in the scam. However, I continued reading material about the tea and decided it was worth a try. But I didn't fall off a turnip truck yesterday, duh! I checked around for the best price and found some on Ebay at a reasonable price. Amazon had some good prices, too, but for starters I decided to go with the cheapest thing I could find. So I began by taking Acai capsules, then drinking the juice and finally started consuming Wuyi tea, religiously. Nothing happened other than I had to pea more and my complexion was a lot better.
My next obsession: Shake the Weight, better known as Herbalife! Ah, what a delicious shake! They really push protein, protein, protein. So I thought, "okay, I'll add more protein to the shake." I threw in soy nuts, (which I later found out are NOT good for you in excess) as well as fruit and other edibles. I even followed the recipes for the delicious meal replacements by adding sugar free (again, another bad thing: Aspartame, but I didn't know it at the time) jello and pudding mix. It was really great!! I followed this plan for 3 weeks, drinking a shake for breakfast and one for lunch, then a sensible evening meal. Following the evening meal, I continued my quest to satisfy my cravings and pigged out on organic stuff. I was really hungry!! I lost 3 pounds after 3 weeks, but was hungry all the time! I was over-compensating in the evening for my pangs and cravings during the day, so it was like '2 steps forward, 1 step back'. I have continued to drink Herbalife shakes, though, for breakfast. They're good!
The Weight Watchers Solution
I decided to try Weight Watchers, in addition to Curves and everything else. My sister successfully lost weight on the plan, so I knew I had to try. I couldn't afford to join up and continue to go to Curves, so I downloaded the food point list, researched to see how many points I could have, orderd a points calculator and started on my new venture. I drove my sister nuts with my questions, " How many points for this? Can I have that?" and she yelled, "Yes, you can have it. It's up to you, there's no restrictions...!" So I began the weight watcher journey. One thing different, I didn't feel as hungry. And guess what? It worked!!!
After one month of WW, I weighed in at Curves. I'd lost 4 pounds and 3 inches! Then, my mother died. At her memorial service, we served Mom's favorite food: brownies! At the reception, I ate 15 of the little brown wonders. There were so many different varieties, I sampled them all. Did I feel guilty? Yes, but I got back on the plan the next day. I thought for sure that I gained the 4 pounds back, but figured Mom would have wanted me to enjoy the brownies. And, wonder of wonders, when I weighed-in again I'd lost another 3 pounds and 2 inches! I knew I was on the road to wellness.
I continued to have a problem getting hungry between meals. I read an article about Shiritaki noodles and Glucomannan, which gels up in your stomach to create a feeling of fullness. Plus, the noodles were only 1 WW point! So I ordered someTofu noodles and enjoyed a filling meal with very few calories and lots of protein. The problem with this, though, is that the Tofu contains soy. In large amounts, this can be unhealthy and lead to other problems, like I stated above.
Colon Cleansing and Chromium
I almost forgot to mention the Colon Cleanses. I really believed I could lose 10 pounds of body weight after a week of cleansing. Well, I ordered Oxy-Powder from GHC Health. Let me tell you, it cleaned me out! Ho baby! After a week of pooping water, I was squeaky clean, from the inside out! I believe it had some benefit, but it wasn't the "quick fix" I was looking for. Back to the drawing board!
I continued my quest to find the ultimate fix and discovered that Chromium Picolinate would help with my cravings. Seems like I could tell the difference, sometimes, but I couldn't rely on it. I had to do something else!
So There You have It!!!
So here I am. Lost a total of 15 pounds and 6.5 inches. And I still eat at night....but not the same things. Instead, I eat 100 calorie popcorn or fruit or yogurt. I've had chocolate pie, cake, and candy. The only thing different is how much I eat, what I eat, and how I eat. Plus, I've discovered lots of things! Things like turkey franks, turkey chili, peppers, talapia (fish), 1 point WW candies, sugar free pudding, diet sodas (Oh, if I'd only known then how dangerous these things were!) but only 1 per day, Flatout Flatbread, whole wheat sugar free bread, and lots of others! Best of all, I'm back in a size 8. And I feel great!! I have continued drinking Herbalife Shakes (only 4 WW points with 1 cup of fruit added) and their delicious Shapeworks Herbal Tea. I drink Acai berry juice daily by mixing it with Chrystal Light lemonade. I still have a little Wuyi tea occasionally and my Tofu noodles when I need a quick meal. I'm still following the Weight Watcher's principle, but I'm not limiting myself. I allow myself to enjoy the flex points. I even go over my point limit, but I'm not beating myself up over it. It's working. I've found that if I go ahead and allow myself to enjoy an occasional chocolate pie, or cookie, it satisfies the craving, to an extent.
Other good things I discovered (and healthy!)
1. Fresh Garlic.
2. Berries, berries, berries!
3. Almond Mild, unsweetened.
And finally, I've continued to work out at Curves 3 times per week. I'm developing muscle mass and it shows. I'm much stronger than I was a year ago. I also feel obligated to mention that I haven't been sick in months. In the last year, I've only had to take antibiotics one time, which was back in the fall for a sinus infection. Since then, nothing.
One thing's for sure: I believe the Acai Berry juice (with it's antioxidants), the Herbalife Shapeworks shakes (with it's vitamins) and altering my eating habits made me healthier. I can't say which "fix" works the best, but I can tell you one thing for sure: they all work together to achieve the goal. There's no such thing as a quick fix.
Please note that, later on, I found out the dangers of too much soy in the diet and artificial sweeteners like aspartame, Splenda and others. The alternative to artificial sweeteners is Stevia extract. You can have as much as you want and it's a natural plant. BEWARE! The Truvia brands sold in most major grocery stores are NOT 100% natural and contain some artificial ingredients. Read the labels. Pure Stevia can be bought at your local health food store or ordered online through Vitacost, GNC and other natural food stores.
Update in September, 2009.
I have now lost a grand total of 18 lbs and 10 inches all over. I've had a little set back, but I continue to work out regulary. I've been going over my weight watcher points but continue to stay aware of what I'm eating at all times. I give myself an 'attaboy'!!!
- You can still lose weight despite weekend calorie splurges: study - NY Daily News
Feeling guilty for tucking into a pizza pie or pint of ice cream over the weekend? As long as you resume a sensible eating and exercise plan over the workweek, new research shows successful weight loss can be achieved even after splurging on the week
Stephen Mcneil on April 21, 2011:
One thing I would really like to comment on is that fat burning plan fast may be possible by the proper diet and exercise. Ones size not simply affects appearance, but also the actual quality of life. Self-esteem, major depression, health risks, as well as physical skills are influenced in extra weight. It is possible to do everything right whilst still having a gain. Should this happen, a medical problem may be the culprit. While too much food but not enough exercise are usually the culprit, common health concerns and popular prescriptions may greatly amplify size. Thanks a bunch for your post here.
katrinasui on December 10, 2010:
Your story is amazing. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful and useful hub.
krista.zamora1980 from New York, New York on February 11, 2010:
fantastic hub! thanks for this!
horsecrazyheidi from good old Arkansas on February 07, 2010:
wonderful hub. I just bought the colon cleanser and the acai berry pills about a month ago.No luck but I do fell alittle better.I have hope still.
Putz Ballard on November 09, 2009:
Love this hub,for any weight loss to be successful determination and dedication on the part of the losere is a must. thanks for this hub, it is encoraging to those of us trying top shed a few extra pounds.
zeehman from Port Orchard on October 08, 2009:
sheryld30 from California on September 28, 2009:
Your story is amazing. Thanks for sharing! :)
create a page from Maryland, USA on September 27, 2009:
This is a very informative hub. I do not need to lose weight, but I have found that eating more fruits and vegetables as well as drinking the juices from them keeps you healthy and lean. This has been my experience. I hope you can add them to your diet too.
lennymicheals on September 23, 2009:
Nice! You have provided a tremendous amount of helpful information here for people. Keep it up.
awsydney from Sydney, Australia on September 17, 2009:
Great info. Thankfully I have managed to be on the "lighter" side although one should not take things for granted!
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on September 13, 2009:
I'm glad to have encouraged so many people. Keep up the good work.
Dr Francis from NEW YORK on September 10, 2009:
I need 2 lose weight. I have tried a lot of diets.I am so tired of eating to the point of full.Terrible feeling.Great self study and it worked 4 you.Enjoy your journey of weight loss.Thanks 4 responding to my question.>peace 2 U.
maggs224 from Sunny Spain on September 09, 2009:
I am glad that you have found something that works for you and that in addition to losing the weight you have also gained an increase in your health.
Jacob from Delhi, India on August 19, 2009:
Good information. Thanks
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 15, 2009:
Glad that you are having success with your diet plan. Feeling healthier and having more energy is a wonderful side effect. Congratulations on finding what works for you.