My whole life, as far back as I can remember I was called “the big girl”. I perhaps was not extremely overweight as a child, I was tall and larger boned but I began to believe it and I found comfort in food through my childhood and early teen years. As I approached adolescent years I wanted more acceptance from my peers and through extreme exercise, throwing up and starvation I lost 100 lbs ,the summer between Jr. High and High school. The attention when I returned to school that year was so positive, I wanted to stay at a normal weight. However, my Dentist told my Mother that he suspected I was throwing up because of the changes in my dental exam and both he and my Mother talked to me about this and the dangers of being bulimic. I stopped throwing up. This began my long journey on just about every weight loss program imaginable. Some “deemed” very healthy, others by being very limiting, restrictive and even dangerous to my health (as I discovered) I have an aortic heart valve regurgitation from being on Phen-Phen and Redux when I was in my mid-30’s. Nothing worked for me. Sure I would lose some weight only to get sick, frustrated or both and stop. I began praying for help at 365 Lbs and being a 55 year old woman, by now my health had taken a huge hit. I had GI problems and was diagnosed Gluten intolerant in 2005, I had peripheral neuropathy in my lower legs and feet and was told I had metabolic syndrome. No one told me what I should do to help myself. I hurt my back at work in 2009 and every Dr. I saw for it told me I had to lose weight. They were not telling me something I did not know, I work in the Health Care field. I had horrible arthritis in my spine and both of my knees, in fact in 2010 I had both of my knees replaced. My Cardiologist and my Primary Care Dr. both strongly encouraged me to have bariatric surgery. That is the one option I knew about I had not tried. My Mother-in-law had though, in 1988 and lost her life to it not long after. My husband, my daughter and my OBGYN encouraged me not to do this without a lot of research. When I decided it was my only option I was on 4 BP pills (one at a very high dose), an anti-inflammatory, occasional pain pills and muscle relaxers and my thyroid pill. I scheduled for a class to find out more and possibly sign up. When I told my daughter she cried and told me she had been praying and she knew if I had this surgery she would lose her Mom within a year. I too began to pray hard and the week before I was to go to my class I heard about Optimal 365 on my favorite radio station. I called and got in for a free consultation right away I signed up and I have almost lost 65# in 6 months and for the first time in my life I feel like I have found what will work for my body. The staff is so supportive and awesome; the food is all your own natural, organic, gluten and dairy free. I now feel empowered to get all the way down to 175 or 180 LBS. I still have a long way to go but every day is a learning experience about me, my health and how my body works with the food I put in it. I am so grateful to the staff at Optimum 365 and this program, for the first time in my life I am hopeful I will be able to sustain a normal healthy weight. In fact the last time I saw my Cardiologist he was so pleased he said, “ Leigh I used to worry about how to keep you alive, now I know that you have got that covered, I will just take care of your valve problem and I can do that!”
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