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Elizabeth: More than 100 pounds gone in less than a year

Elizabeth Olmeim, 42, of Willow, Alaska, shares how she lost more than 100 pounds in less than a year!

Stats:
Diet plan: Atkins
Started: Feb. 2004
Starting weight: 263
Current weight: (As of November, 2004): 147

BEFORE I had always been overweight ever since I was little. My father would put me on starvation diets to get me to lose weight and of course it never worked! So, as a young adult I had pretty much given up with the whole "lose weight" concept. As I married and had children, I pretty much passed on my beliefs that you have to be happy with who you are. But deep down I realized that it was just an excuse to eat however I wanted. I had tried diets before and had soon given up not because of any childhood trauma but because I LOVED FOOD!

My husband and I had a close friend who was around my husband's age who had a heart attack. He was in his 40s. It was a big wake-up call for both of us. So, we compared the different diets and settled on the Atkins. Mind you, I had never stuck to anything before for more than a week.

During the first week I had the "induction flu." It was then that I started to realize just how addicted to food I was. I had a friend come to visit about a week after I was on the diet. (I was still trying to decide whether or not I was going to "stick" with it) And she said something so simple, yet very profound that I had never thought about before. She said you're going to just have to be tough with yourself and say "no" when you want something that you're not supposed to have.

Of course other people probably would say what's so big about that. But I had never thought about being tough on myself before. We love ourselves so much that we don't usually deny ourselves what we want.

Her profound statement got me through the next couple of weeks.

BEFORE After that, seeing the weight come off quickly helped me plug along. Before too long, I added exercise into the mix and started to feel better. And by August, I had lost 100 pounds. I couldn't believe it! Even now I wake up in the morning feeling my stomach to make sure its not a dream. My husband and I are now in the maintenance phase. I still would like to lose another 7 pounds. But I will take that off over time.

We still live the low-carb lifestyle along with our children. Among the benefits for this lifestyle change are that the family has learned to eat better. My husband lost 60 pounds. My oldest daughter lost 50 pounds. And the rest of the family learned to love vegetables.

My advice would be whatever diet you choose to do, stick with it. There will always be birthdays, potlucks, holidays, etc., that come up , along with reasons to go off your diet. You have to be consistent!

The first month that I was on Atkins, we had a church potluck, my birthday and a dinner, and I had to remain strong. I really found out what I was made of. As soon as I conquered something like that I felt stronger.

And if you do fall off, by all means get right back on. Your biggest defeat is when you fall off and throw in the towel. We all have bad days. All you can do is get through them and start over the next day.

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