One Woman’s Journey with Weight Loss

Margie Chase usually had success with weight loss when she put her mind to it. But then, something stressful would happen in her life, and the pounds would add up again. It wasn’t until the 53-year-old Davidsonville resident learned to understand nutrition and the underlying reasons for weight gain that she was able to make the lasting changes required for permanent weight loss.

I struggle with emotional eating. When I have a lot of stress in my life­; I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I eat. The death of my mom in 2005 put me into a downward spiral and I just never seemed to get out of it. Then a friend suggested I go to the Mayo Clinic Workshop.

I followed the workbook and I read the chapters in the book and I realized I can do this. I can do all of this. The difference is that I learned a lot about nutrition that I didn’t know the other times. Things like reading the labels and how products are labeled to make you think they’re healthier than they are. Now I really understand the nutritional value of the food I eat. However a few weeks into the program my sister passed away. It was a tragic event and I didn’t know if I could keep going with the program. I was afraid I would start eating junk again. The biggest thing that kept me in it was talking it over with Ann and Carole, (the nutritionists who run the program.) They were so supportive, and even though I was eating, I was making healthy choices.

And I still make healthier choices. For instance, today, I’m going out to Garrett County and I made sure I had plenty of water, fruits, and nutritional bars in the car to help me on this long drive. It’s all healthy. I never would have done that before. I would have just gone for the fast food junk.

When I started in February I was at 223, and I’m now down to 180. I’ve hit a plateau, but that’s OK. I’ve learned with the program that you’ll hit these places where you get stuck. I’ve hit a couple before and I just keep going. Then all of a sudden it breaks loose and the scale starts to move again. Your body needs to adjust. Staying steady is better than focusing on the scale.

I’ve never been much of an exerciser, but I always knew I felt better when I had the weight off. So now, I make sure I do the exercise. I even joined a boot camp after the Mayo Clinic workshop was over. With the things I’ve learned I’m still able to treat myself. Someone recently made me a blackberry pie, and that’s my favorite. So I didn’t deprive myself. I made a different choice. I took a small slice instead of what before would have been a quarter of a pie, and I told myself that I would exercise for an additional 20 minutes or so to make up for it. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. I eat everything I want but in small portions and keep doing my exercises.

None of this has been easy. It’s been a long, challenging journey, but it’s gotten me 43 pounds closer to my goal weight. It’s not over for me because I still have my goal in sight, but I’m hoping the changes I’m making will allow me to live longer and have more energy to enjoy my two small nephews.This is a life style change and it feels so good.

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