Lost 95 Pounds!
Before: 225 lbs.
After: 130 lbs.
Lost: 95 lbs.
I have officially made it to my goal weight of 130! I started at 225 pounds, and I have lost a total of 95 pounds on Richard`s programs. It has taken me a long time to get here with many ups and downs along the way, but now that I am here, I see that it really is worth all the effort that one puts forth to achieve this goal. Richard is right; I am worth it! There is no way I could have made it without Richard and his never ending support and belief in me. Here is my story!
"Now that I am here, I see that it really is worth all the effort that one puts forth to achieve this goal!"
I was born in New York and lived there for the first 22 years of my 54-year-old life. I started gaining weight when I was 9 and my stay at home mom went to work. Although my grandmother lived upstairs from us, I missed having my mom there when I got out of school. I was lonely, and I started using food to keep me company until my mom got home every night. It didn`t take me long to put on a lot of weight.
I had just turned 12 when The Beatles appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and changed the world! I am sure you remember the 60`s. It was the time of love-ins, Sargent Pepper, and "make love not war." It was also the time of Twiggy and Cher. Growing up fat during this time was very hard for me. While all of my friends were out on Saturday night dates, I was making the rounds to Sam Pan for the roast pork and egg rolls, Gino`s for the pizza, and Jack in the Box for the burgers and fries. I would sit home alone, watch "All In The Family," and eat. Before I knew it, I weighed in at 200 pounds.
As silly as this may sound, it really did not occur to me that my eating habits were making me gain weight! I was told my whole life that I "looked like the Kramers, and Jon (my older brother) looked like the Greenbergs." The Kramers were all fat, so I figured I was a Kramer, and that`s why I was fat. The fact that I stopped off and ate fast food every night late at night didn`t even enter my mind! It was written in the stars that I would be fat!
When I was 17 years old, I met Pat. I had had a couple of guys in my life before this, but nothing as serious as this was. The most unbelievable thing about Pat was that he seemed to love me for me! My weight didn`t bother him. He loved me anyway! We went through the usual teenage drama. My parents didn`t approve of Pat. They felt that he wasn`t good enough for me, and the fact that he wasn`t Jewish drove them crazy. The harder they tried to break us up, the harder we worked to stay together. We are still together today and will be happily married 30 years in November! Pat has truly loved me through thick and thin!
When my parents moved to Florida in 1974, I followed them, and Pat followed me. He went back to college and got a great job with the local power company that he still has today. Finally, with the approval of my mom and dad, Pat and I made plans to get married! It was at this time that my weight started to bother me again. I wanted to look good for my wedding, so I starved myself down to a size 16, which was the lowest dress size I had been in years. I was very happy, but as soon as the wedding was over, I started eating again, and ZOOM... I weighed in over 200 pounds again.
I had my fabulous daughter, Kerry, when I was 34, and I jumped into being a mom with both feet. I was very depressed about my weight and went to my family doctor. He prescribed diet pills for me with the understanding that I would only get a 4 month supply. Oh man, I loved those pills! I lost weight, had loads of energy, and had the cleanest house on the block! LOL! True to his word, my doctor refused to renew my prescription. I`ll bet you can guess what happened. ZOOM... 225 pounds in no time! I still had not learned how to eat and to exercise. I took the easy way, and in the end, I was a failure.
Like many other people, I first saw Richard on "General Hospital." I fell in love with his "tell it like it is" style and sense of humor. I watched "The Richard Simmons Show" and loved him even more! I continued to follow Richard`s life and was always happy to see him on TV. I felt that I could lose weight if I could have him on my side.
When Kerry was 5 years old, I enrolled her in daycare. I had quit my job to be a stay at home mom, and there I was at 225 pounds with lots of free time on my hands. I saw Richard on an infomercial and ordered what at that time was Deal-a-Meal. First, I put it away in the closet for a while and ignored it. I guess I just wasn`t ready for the food program, but I was ready to start a little exercise! I began walking to Richard`s "Take a Walk" audiotape every day. I graduated to "Take a Hike," and I started to lose weight! I knew in my heart that if I really wanted to get to a healthy weight, I would have to do something about my love of food. It took me about a year before I got the Deal-a-Meal out of the closet and started to watch my portions. I really kicked into gear when he did the "Day By Day" videotapes. I still watch them to this day. I was able to get to my then goal weight of 140 pounds, and I was thrilled! It was during this time that Richard called me, and we spoke on QVC. He showed my before and after pictures, and we spoke on air! It was a thrill for me, to say the least.
I was able to keep my weight off for a few years until I lost my mom in December, 1996. She was my best friend, and I was devastated. I started to eat. Pizza here, french fries there. You know how it is. Before I knew it, I was driving through the local Burger King and eating Whoppers as well as Big Macs from McDonald`s. I was completely out of control, and I managed to gain back over 50 pounds.
When I woke up from my "food fog," I was horrified! How could I have let this happen again? I was very upset and realized that I needed to get a grip on my food. Exercise had not been a problem for me because I never really stopped going for my power walks or "Sweatin` to the Oldies," but food was a real problem. I felt the same hysteria about my weight that I felt when I was younger. I felt completely out of control.
I ordered a FoodMover and started to watch my portions again, and I lost some weight, but I was still over 160 pounds and not a happy camper. I used to go to Richard`s website almost every day to read the Message of the Day and take part in the free section of the site, but it was not until August, 2005 that I finally joined up. I immediately knew what my name would be. It would be "Beatlefan," because I am such a total Beatles and Paul McCartney fan! I planned to lose all my weight and finally be like the thin 60`s girls.
I felt better as soon as I joined! I started posting on the boards every day and still do to this day. I have gotten so much support from my fellow Webbies that I felt that I had to succeed as to not let them down. We are all a family and are there for each other when help is needed. I had some hard times, and the last 5 pounds were killer, but I did it with the support of all of my Webbie cheerleaders!
I am also a member of the National Weight Control Registry. I am very proud of this! The National Weight Control Registry is the first large scale study of the food and exercise habits of people who have been successful losing at least 30 pounds and keeping it off for at least 1 year. The weight loss must be documented by a doctor, and I was able to be part of this only because of my success on Richard`s program!
I should also mention that I am a vegetarian and have been for about 9 years. I find Richard`s food plan to be very "vegetarian friendly"! I can get my protein by eating tofu, beans, and lentils as well as meat substitutes offered in the supermarkets. I have also found many vegetarian recipes in Richard`s cookbooks and online on the website. I know that some people think that a vegetarian can`t use Richard`s plan, but I am here to tell you that this is a wonderful plan for vegetarians!
There is no way on this earth that I could have achieved my weight loss goal without Richard behind me at every turn. Every time I wrote him a letter, he always answered me, saying just what I needed to hear. He sent me videos when he felt I was having trouble with my exercise. He called me, and any time I emailed him, an answer was always waiting in my email! I don`t know how he has the time to do all that he does for all of us, but he has always made time for me even when he hadn`t heard from me for years. He loved me, believed in me, and cheered me on, and now that I have reached my goal weight, I want to say thank you, Richard Simmons! I don`t know where I would be without you. I love you!
CLAUDIA'S TOP 3 TIPS FOR SUCCESS!
1. Exercise every day! Find something that you like to do, and do it as often as possible. I would not have been able to lose 95 pounds without exercising. My favorites are power walking with Richard`s "Take a Walk, Take a Hike" and "Take a Classic Walk" audiotapes; and doing Richard`s home exercise and toning videos. I love the new Party Off The Pounds, but I also love all of the Sweatin` tapes, Disco Sweat, and 60`s Blast Off, just to name a few. Sometimes I have trouble choosing which video to do!
2. Use small dishes and utensils! Small dishes and bowls make the portions look much bigger. I eat my fat free frozen yogurt out of a mug. It seems like much more. I always use a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon, and I have small forks. I also use chopsticks from time to time. They really slow things down! :)
3. Join Richard`s Website and post on the message boards every day! I could not have achieved my goal weight without the help and support I got from my Webbie friends. I especially love the thread on the Motivate Me boards called "From This Moment On." I have met people who have become close friends through that thread. I also love Richard`s Weekly Chats. They are always so motivating! They keep me on track.