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Salute to Success ~ September 2013

         This month for our success story, I want to introduce you all to our clubhouse member...SweetLynn.  Here is her story in her own words!

         "Hi you all may know me as Sweet Lynn in Richards Club house, My name is Lynn. And to be honest with you, This has taken me a very long time to do. This wasn’t just an overnight thing with me. It didn’t take on the first try, I have been on at least 9 of Richards Cruises, and on each one I looked close to the same weight every time, except the last cruise, the last cruise I unfortuneally gained most of my weight back I was very close to my hightest weight of 210 pounds and only being 5 feet tall that is way to much to weigh!

        I believe I have had this eating disorder most if not all of my life, I could eat anything and everything I wanted. And didn’t gain weight. I was just a very active young girl and a teenager for it to get caught up to me. I remember when I was younger my mom had a job and I was old enough to be home alone, I would go to the neighborhood store and buy chips and candy bars and ice cream. The not so good things for myself and then I started to gain the weight.

       When I was a teen I started to ride my bike a few miles a day about 3 times a week to see a teacher friend, plus my mother taught herself how to do Aerobics by buying herself a book that Jackie Swornson (not sure of the spelling on that) wrote, so I was going with my mother 5, 6 times a week so that kept my weight down, now I still had a weight problem but it held it down.

      Well then I got a car, and well since I wasn’t working out anymore or riding my bike and I started using my car more, well, the more weight I gained. I can remember my dad making subtle comments about my weight, he was trying to be helpful but I didn’t need that kind of help. I can remember at that time Richard had a informercial on tv I asked my parents to get it for me, so they did, and in it was a cassette tape (yes, showing my age here) and a few tapes, and Richards Deal a Meal program.

      To be honest I wasn’t ready yet, I wanted it because I knew of Richard Simmons and loved the man he was very funny to me. But one day, I looked on the back of the cassette tape and saw an address to write to him, The Address was Slimmons, so I beared my soul to him and wrote him, a few weeks later I got a letter back, this was in the day of snail mail, us postal I didn’t have a computer at the time, and he was so encouraging! Well in my little box of goodies I got I saw there was a coupon for the Cruise and I had always wanted to go on a cruise, so I asked my parents what do you think of me going on a cruise? They thought it was a good idea I had vacation days coming up from work, so I started to save up money to go on the cruise I then explained to them that it was a “Richard Simmons cruise to lose” They were excited about it, and excited for me.

       Oh how I remember that first cruise, I remember going to Grand Caymen Islands, We went to one more Island but I can’t remember it right now. New Orleans (Richards home town) took his walking tour where he went to his school, Leahs Pralines,(Richard first Job) St Louis Catherdral (Richards Church)  And the river walk mall, it was all so new to me and I was enjoying every bit of it. Getting lots of exercise walking and of course exercise class with Richard every day!! That was fun to be right in front of him just doing the best that I could on that cruise.

         Water is a very important part of this weight loss journey, I still to this day do not love water, but I can handle it now because I have seen how it does truly help in losing weight, the Exercise is also important, I don’t love it, I truly don’t think that I ever will love it but its necessary to lose weight and keep it off.

       The cruises were very fun and exciting, I believe on each cruise I came home with more information to give me the power to do this! And the confidence I needed to do this. I continued to lose weight never really giving up but there were times were I just went on maintance for a while, Man how I knew how to do that!! Sometimes I stayed there for years, in about the same weight till I felt ok I can do this again, and I would pick it up and start again, this continued my whole time of losing weight.

        I started to eat healthier, like eating hummus, I never ate hummus before. Or chick peas come on how gross do they look no way was I gonna eat that stuff! Then one day where I work we had a group of Vegetarians and Vegans come and they made homemade hummus, Ok so I got up the nerve to try it LOVE IT!!

      It has been a rough year for me this year, My dad died in June of 2012, and then three months later my Grandmother died. Now that one was kind of expected. She was 98 years old when she died it was only a matter of time, but the time she picked to do this was not a good time for me as you see, it was three months after my father died.

     And then doing things I never did before helped me to continue to lose this weight, I am now cutting grass, shoveling snow, paying bills, cleaning the house and eating better. I am eating more salads now, what I have found that I am doing is just eating smaller portions I started eating on a smaller plate (I couldn’t do that before when dad was alive he would make fun of me, he thought that was a crazy idea,) but seriously it works!! And the big one for me is, I watched how much ketchup I was eating! I got together with a trainer and she said to me to watch out on the ketchup it is filled with sugar and sodium. So I did and well obviously it works! I am also eating more often.

       Richard helped me in so many ways, he has always been a big help to me a ear to listen to me but most importantly he has always been my friend! I am so thankful for the food mover and Richards plan it paved the way for me, anytime I needed to know something it was always there in one of his books.  I am just sorry to say that it took two deaths for me to get this! But 20 years later and two deaths later some where it clicked and I got it!!

        I pray I never go back to where I was, I can now go up a flight of stairs to my room and not be out of breath, I can walk up a small hill from the building I work in to the parking lot and not be out of breath! I owe this all to Richard for showing me how to do this! His plan truly works! You just have to do it. I couldn’t do it all at once, I had to take baby steps. Something like just drinking one less soda, or coffee or tea a day and add one water, and just continue to build on that.

        By adding a veggie in at lunch or a salad in at dinner, one day of exercise. This is how it worked for me but slowly and surely, it all worked out. You don’t have to do this all at once and go gung ho over it. For me it was just one baby step at a time. And I built on that. I am so thankful I met Richard and this club house they have helped me out tremendously!!

        So my highest weight was 210 pounds and I am now just 6 pounds from my goal of 130! I am now in a size 12 pants and I started out in a 20 to a 22! I now wear a size large in a T-shirt were before I was in an extra large. I have lost so far a total of 74 pounds!! Thank you Richard for all your help!! Love to all Lynn."

       Lynn, thank you so much for sharing your story with all my readers.  And please keep going strong.  I am so proud of you!!!