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The Life-Changing Decision That Made Her Turn the Car Around--and Finally Get Healthy

Courtesy of Susan Sweatt

I skipped the dentist appointment, and drove to Jenny Craig.

I was sobbing and feeling sad about missing my husband. I was also down on myself for having gained so much weight. I walked in and told the staff I had to join right now. The Jenny Craig staff was warm, welcoming and sympathetic. One of the consultants was available to take care of me right away, and before I knew it, I was having my first consultation. I left feeling relieved that I had found the right program to offer me the support and guidance that I needed. I had tried to lose weight many times on my own without success. I left that first day with my menu, my Jenny Craig food, my next appointment and lots of hope that this time I would be successful at losing the weight that was affecting my health and eroding my self-esteem.

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It took me 13 months to lose my weight and to accomplish my goals: to lower my cholesterol and triglycerides (which were sky high), avoid getting diabetes after I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, be able to do the activities that brought me joy (like skiing, bike riding, gardening, and playing with my grandchildren), and feel good about myself without relying on food to handle my emotions. My doctor was astounded my weight loss. When she received my blood work back, she told me that my blood work was all within normal limits and she was able to take me off the statin I had been taking, and that I was no longer pre-diabetic.

Exercising and enjoying physical activities such as skiing and yard work became effective ways to help handle stress instead of turning to food for comfort.

My sons were also proud and happy with my success. They had lost their dad and felt that my weight loss and improved health would help me live a longer and better life to enjoy them and my grandchildren. Now I love going into my closet knowing that everything fits! Before I lost weight I just kept buying larger sizes when my clothes would become too tight. After I reached my goal weight, I cleared my closet of everything that no longer fit and replaced them with the right sizes.

I have my smile back now! I'm much more active and do 20 hours of yard work a week, shovel snow in the winter, love walking and am back on the ski slopes again. I grew up skiing, and I'm back on the slopes again with my family and friends. Another wonderful benefit of weight loss is that I am able and flexible enough to play on the floor with my two darling granddaughters, which is something we all enjoy.

My life was less lonely when I became active again and could do activities that I had been missing. Honestly though, even after 5 years, I still do grieve for my husband. I will always miss his companionship and love.

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