In 2003 I left my job as a teacher in my home state and moved to a new city with a friend. We were 26 and we were ready to take on the world. I found a job at a local fitness center and had easy access to health, nutrition, and fitness advice. That year, I hit my lowest weight as an adult, 130 lbs. The following year I found a teaching job and went back to the profession that I loved. From that point on I gradually gained almost 80 pounds. For the past 4 years, I have done a few things to try to control the weight (met with a nutritionist, participated in exercise classes, worked with a personal trainer) but nothing really seemed to get me on track to really lose the weight. I have never tried a « diet program » such as Atkins or Weight Watchers. I don’t really believe in diet programs because I know that as soon as you quit following the diet, you gain all the weight back. I did not want to be a yo-yo dieter.
In the summer of 2011, I started considering a particular diet program but my husband opposed because of the monthly cost…and I agreed that I didn’t want to invest in something that I knew wouldn’t hold out in the long run. In the fall, school started back and there was a buzz among the staff about this « new protein diet » that some of the teachers had been following. As an anti-dieter, I was skeptical. Then a 2nd grade team member rallied us together to « try » the diet. We made a pact to begin immediately after fall break. I had read parts of the book, but did not really understand it and was still unsure if I wanted to join them. While my husband and I were on vacation in California, I thought about it and decided that if I tried it and lost even 10 pounds before giving up, at least my weight would be back under 200. So, what did I have to lose, other than a little weight! I knew that if I was truly going to do it, I needed to know everything about it to be sure I was making the right decision.
Before boarding the plane on the way home I purchased the e-book on my phone. I read the whole book on the flight and the more I read, the more I believed this could really work. What I liked most about the Dukan Diet** was the way it « started over » with the basics. Each phase of the plan had a purpose and would re-teach me how to eat healthier and with control. I also liked the true-weight* calculator on the website. This tool gave me a realistic goal and a timeline for how long it would take to reach my true-weight. This tool was priceless because it helped me set realistic expectations so that I would not become disappointed if things didn’t seem to be working right away*. I started full force after returning from vacation on November 2, 2011 along with 4 other co-workers. Not all of them stayed true to the diet but many others also became motivated to do it. Currently there are 15 of our staff that have lost weight with Dukan and most of us are still following through.
To be honest, my journey has seemed pretty easy. Of course there were 2 or 3 times I wanted certain foods and couldn’t resist temptation, but I always picked myself right back up the next day, never letting my lapse lead way to completely falling off the wagon. I had a goal and a deadline and I was determined to make it*. Due to my lapses, I reached my true-weight about 3 weeks after my timeline with a total loss of 55 pounds. Had I stayed 100% true to plan, I am certain I would have made it right on time or even a little earlier. But one thing is for sure- I never thought losing weight could be so easy. I just started the Consolidation phase about 3 weeks ago. So far, I am amazed everyday at how I continue to stay at my true-weight. I still have about 8 months until I enter stabilization, but I have no doubt that I will make it all the way through.