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My Vtrim Story: By Cheryl Collins

A knee injury got me down, and Vtrim helped me get back up

I am the single mom of 2 girls – one in college, and one heading to college this fall. I’m also turning 50 years old in March, and I really like to think that 50 is the new 30! In my spare time I love to read and spend time with my kids. I also have a German Shepherd named Cinnamon, and a newly adopted cat named Albert. They bring a whole new dimension of joy to my life.

I decided to join Vtrim after a severe knee injury from an automobile accident left me pretty inactive.  Just a few months prior to the accident, I had lost 25 pounds through another program, and felt better than I had in years. In the months following the accident, I was basically immobile. Once I could get around to exercise, I found that I was extremely limited in my ability to do the things I had always enjoyed, like skiing, hiking, and just plain walking. During the following two years I had a few more surgical procedures done on my knee, and noticed at that point that all of the weight that I had lost had come back. Ugh.

I think the moment of truth came one day when I went to put on a pair of pants, and they were way too tight. I swore that I would never buy a larger size, so it was time to do something.  A co-worker of mine had done the Vtrim program very successfully, and recommended it to me. I looked into it, and decided that it was the right program for me at the time. I was also making a financial investment to participate in the program, so that was a definite motivator to take it seriously.

In choosing a weight-management program, I was looking for a group who would offer support and where I could also learn how to change my eating behaviors, in addition to learning how to limit calories and still be healthy. Vtrim met those criteria. Also, I liked the fact that it was developed right here at UVM.

I lost 28 pounds on Vtrim and went from a size 14 to a size 8. I achieved my goal over a 5-month period, during which time I religiously logged in everything I put into my mouth, and adhered as well as possible to the plan.  At first it was tough and required a lot of planning. I did find, though, that after the first few weeks it became my new normal. I could recognize appropriate portion sizes by eye, and learned how to eat well during the day and still leave enough room for my snack in the evening.  I became much more aware of my eating triggers, and realized how many times I had been eating for reasons other than being hungry.  I liked that I was accountable to my journal, and when I went over my calorie limit, I felt kind of bad.

I think the toughest part of my weight loss was making the decision to get started.  I tell people that I know that losing weight is something that they have to want to do, and that if they’re not ready, it won’t work. I’m not sure there has been an easiest part.  I still find that it’s a challenge every day, even though it has gotten easier in some respects. One thing I found critical to my weight loss was keeping up with the on-line food journal. I continue to do it today.

My biggest reward came when I went to try on some new clothing, and I had to drop down to a size 8.  I’ve never been a size 8 in my entire life. Another reward came when I was having my yearly physical and my nurse practitioner categorized me as small boned. Seriously? Me? Never, ever did I imagine anyone ever seeing me as small boned. Nonetheless, it totally made my day.

I have kept off 25 of the 28 pounds that I initially lost for almost 3 years. Of course there are fluctuations during the year, but I have maintained my eating plan and don’t wander far from it…ever. It’s really become second nature to me. Whenever I think about having that cookie or candy bar, I still think about how much I want it.  There are times when I really want it, and I’ll get it, but I’ll compensate later on.

My goals moving forward are to keep doing what I’ve been doing. I eat well, I exercise, and I live a relatively well-balanced life.  I feel great at the weight I’m at, but I do have to work at it each and every day to maintain it. My life is better because I have a newly found confidence in my appearance. I’m not nearly as self-conscious as I used to be before the weight loss.

Vtrim has been my constant companion on this journey. I have relied on the website and the tools available to keep me on track, and use the knowledge I have gained to eat well and be well.