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My Vtrim® Story: By Linda Saia

Slow, but steady, progress helps me continue today

In September of 2010, a co-worker presented an announcement for a new Vtrim session and asked if anyone were interested. Two co-workers and I agreed to join her in enrolling in Vtrim I. Little did we realize then where this journey would take us. Any real weight related issues began to surface in my mid to late 40’s and continued to escalate through nearly two decades. At various times during this period, I engaged in other weight loss programs but only with moderate short-term success. I was ready for something different.

It’s difficult to pinpoint my true motivating factor for enrolling in the program, or more importantly, for making the decision to embark on a significant lifestyle change. I do know that having very young – and active older – grandchildren made it clear that as I aged, it had become increasingly challenging to keep up! My weight had officially hit the “obese” category. I was over 60, had never really engaged in exercise of any kind, and loved anything sweet. When I began Vtrim, I wasn’t at all certain that this program, more than any other, would assist me in making the long term commitment to changes in nutrition and exercise that would be necessary for real and lasting success.

Our facilitator, a nutritionist, was fabulous – patient, interested and engaging. She celebrated the successes and was tolerant of the challenges her students faced week after week. Her teaching style enabled me to truly learn – and want to learn – about nutrition.  Over time, I developed a keen awareness of the foods I was eating and quickly established meal plans that worked for me. I found foods that I liked – even loved – to eat regularly. I tolerated vegetables more and more and developed a particular affection for fruits. Mid morning and mid afternoon snacks helped to stave off ravenous pangs of hunger experienced just before lunch and dinner. Journaling continued to reinforce the important and essential elements of Vtrim. Each week’s progress and a slow and steady decrease in my weight fostered a commitment to continue.

The most critical aspect to succeeding at this, or any other program I believe, is the support factor. That I entered this program with other individuals from work, coupled with the outside support from family and friends all contributed greatly to my perseverance. Also, I cannot discount the role that my husband played.  He serves as the chef of our family and readily prepares any recipe (often shared by co-workers) I offer him. I know that I am extremely fortunate, if not unique, in this regard.

Without exception, the most challenging part of the journey for me continues to be incorporating daily exercise. This remains the most difficult aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle but the support of co-workers was invaluable in this arena. We supported each other by walking in pairs or groups and conducted light to moderate aerobic sessions when we were unable to be outdoors. Currently, I try to walk outside or on a treadmill several times per week and occasionally add other forms of aerobic or weight bearing exercise as well.

My original goal had been to decrease my weight by 25 to 30 pounds, but as I continued through the second session, I hoped for a loss of closer to 40 pounds. I eventually experienced a total weight loss of 47 pounds and am now maintaining at a fairly consistent range within 3 to 4 pounds of that loss. While reaching my weight loss goal has given me great satisfaction, it is a renewed sense of self that is the ultimate reward.

I am a strong proponent of the Vtrim program. Whatever the reason, it works for me. It has enabled me to make changes in my life in ways I never imagined. I have more energy, virtually no joint pain, markedly improved breathing and stamina and find enjoyment in activities which were not even deemed possible a few short years ago. I enjoy hiking in the summer and fall and snowshoeing in the winter. Last summer, I realized a goal of participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.  Although I walked the course, the experience gave me immense satisfaction and pride in my accomplishments to date. I am convinced that Vtrim is a program which can provide the valuable tools necessary for anyone, of any age, to write his or her own success story.