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Ladean Spring

Ladean Spring
Lost 61 Pounds!
Before: 250 lbs.
After: 189 lbs.
Lost: 61 lbs.

Hi. I`m LaDean, but if you`re a Clubhouse member, you know me by my nickname, "Ween88." I`m 41, and I live in Creve Coeur, Illinois where I work 2 jobs. I`m a part-time chiropractor, and I work full-time in a hospital emergency room as a clerk. I`m divorced, and I have no children. My family lives in Iowa, except for my brother who is currently in Iraq. Hopefully, he`ll be home by Christmas!




"I feel really good about what I`ve done!"

I was always a fat kid, but my mom and dad were great. They never said anything to me about being overweight or fat. My mom was an excellent cook, and we ate what she made, and then we ate seconds. We were never told no, and I always cleaned my plate. My dad also worked for a company that sold cookies and Little Debbie products, so there wasn`t a shortage of those in the house when we were growing up. Then when we`d visit Grandma, we had to have ice cream before we left. By the 6th grade, I was the biggest kid in the class, weighing in at 130 pounds. I recently found a copy of an old driver`s license from my high school years that said my weight was 195 at that time. You hear a lot of people talking about people putting them down because they were fat, but I honestly can`t remember people doing that to me.

I played baseball in elementary school, but when I got to junior high school, I quit because I didn`t think I could compete at my weight. I failed miserably when we had to do physical fitness tests. I was the last one to finish the 600 yard run, couldn`t do pull ups on the bar, or very many sit ups or push ups. I didn`t fit that jock image, so I turned to Girl Scouts. I think that helped a lot with my self-image, and it gave me the opportunity to do what I wanted to do. I did all those things like horseback riding, cave exploring, and canoeing, but no rock climbing. I didn`t have the strength to pull myself up with my arms. I earned the Girl Scout First Class Award, which was the highest honor you could achieve at that time. I`ve done a lot with Girl Scouts throughout my life. I was a camp counselor for many years until I graduated college, and even though I have no kids, I was a troop leader as an adult.

I don`t really know how I got up to 250 pounds. It was probably stress and eating. I don`t like coffee, but I made up for it with Pepsi. I was a Pepsi-holic! I can remember times in college when I didn`t have money, but that didn`t seem to keep me from overeating. It was probably being with friends and going out to places and sitting at restaurants while we studied - we`d eat and I`d drink lots of soda - having pizza parties, or going to barbecues… whatever was going on. In addition, I worked at a pizza parlor for 5 years delivering pizza. During that time, I probably ate even more when I`d eat at my parents` house, because I didn`t have a lot of money to buy my own food. It seemed like there was no time for exercise then, either. I went to school from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM, then worked, and then studied. My weight slowly rose higher and higher.

After college, I moved to Peoria where I worked as a full-time chiropractor. I didn`t know anybody, so when I wasn`t working, I spent a lot of time in my apartment. I did join a bowling league, so I got a little exercise, but not a lot. Plus, there was all that food that you can get at a bowling alley! My weight just kept creeping up, and I didn`t pay attention to it until 1994. That was the one time in my life I did try to lose weight.

I`d just gotten rid of some very negative people in my life, and I decided to attend a success seminar. There were many inspiring speakers there - notch sports and political and business figures. I bought some motivational tapes that were done by a real estate guru. I listened to those tapes, and I started walking and cutting back on my food. I was doing some of Richard`s Oldies Tapes and dancing around my living room. I was trying to take control of my life, and losing weight was just a part of that. I started at 240 and got down to about 215... but then it happened.

I tripped over my dog in the back yard, and I dislocated my ankle and broke the fibula in my right leg. I had to have surgery, and that ended the walking. I had to shut my office down for about four and a half weeks. When I went back to work, it was in a walking cast. I went from the cast, to a walker, to crutches, to a cane. I lost my habit of walking during that time because of the pain, and I didn`t even try to get back into it again for several years. Eventually I went back to my old eating habits, too.

I was under a lot of stress because of all the financial problems that came from that accident. I had to sell my house, and I moved to a mobile home park across the river, considered bankruptcy, and finally filed Chapter 13. During that time frame, I just didn`t care how much I weighed. It didn`t matter; it wasn`t important.

My practice just never got rebuilt after the accident. I didn`t have any benefits, and I had no money saved. I`m getting too old not to have any money saved, so about five years ago, I took the job at the hospital. I started working there full-time, and I continued to work as a chiropractor part-time.

In 1999, I got married, but about a year into the marriage, my husband got fired for stealing from his job. I lost all trust in him. I was working two jobs, and he wasn`t working at all, plus I was still doing all the housework. The stress continued. I kept paying off his bills. Eventually, there were more lies from him, and we decided together we just didn`t need to be married anymore. We got divorced in 2003. It was about 2003 or 2004 before I recovered financially from my broken leg. By then, my weight was up to about 250 pounds.

The one thing that bothered me the most over the last several years was my pictures. I hated every picture taken of me because I looked so fat. How could my face be that fat? It was more depressing to me than anything. I don`t think I`ve ever admitted that to anyone. When my dad started taking home movies at the holidays, I would hate to see myself in them. My entire focus watching them would be how bad I looked and not how much fun we were having.

Working at the hospital, I kept seeing how overweight some people were. I didn`t want to ever let myself get that heavy, but I still didn`t do anything about it at that point. I had to have oral surgery in late 2004 and was told that because of how much I weighed, if I wanted anesthesia I would have to pay extra. I couldn`t believe that. I was told I was a health risk. I think that started to make me think more about my weight and what it was costing me, not just health wise, but financially as well.

As a chiropractor, I get nutritional supplements to sell to my patients, and the company that I get those supplements from came out with a new product that was supposed to help with weight loss. It was just fiber capsules that you take a half hour before you eat, and they help you feel full. I decided if I was going to sell it to my patients, I should try it first, so I started taking it. It helped me, and I was able to learn what amount of food was right and what was too much. I used it as a tool in the beginning of my weight loss, but eventually, I quit taking it. I had learned what I needed to learn from using it, and I wanted to know that I could lose weight without it. Now I know I can!

I totally quit eating potato chips, started eating more healthy foods like salads, watched the labels on products, and I started drinking more water and less soda. Now when I do drink a soda, it`s Pepsi One with Splenda rather than regular Pepsi. I have a great support system at work. My friend Paula is always in my corner cheering me on. Once a week, she`ll bring me something sweet. She bakes, and she`ll bring me a piece of something she made. That helps me handle my sweet cravings without having to be tempted by a large portion.

One thing that I haven`t done is give up everything. I don`t feel deprived at all, because if I really want something, I`m going to eat it! I`m really good about not overdoing it. I don`t buy a big bag of potato chips to bring into the house. Once or twice, I`ve gotten one of those little bags of chips like you get from a vending machine. If I see coworkers having French fries, I`ll go up to them and ask if I can have one. That saves me from craving them.

I do some exercise every day. Normally I`ll put in a DVD of a movie and get on my exercise bike and ride for about 30 minutes. Then I`ll do some crunches on the floor and throw in some other toning, too. I also do some of Richard`s videos. My favorite is Mega Mix Blast Off. After I broke my leg, I was afraid to do the videos for many years because I wasn`t sure if my ankle could take it, but I found out that it could! I also burned a few CD`s with some different kinds of music I could listen to when I walk. I take my black lab out with me, and sometimes I have to take her back to the house because she`s worn out, and I want to keep walking!

I joined Richard`s Clubhouse because I wanted some extra motivation while I was at home. I had it at work, but when I was home alone, I needed some help. It has helped when I`ve had questions, because someone else has probably been in the same place you are, and they have great suggestions and answers to your questions. Although I`m one who doesn`t like to share her problems, I`m learning that I can, and the message boards and chats are the best places to do it. Everyone has been great to help keep me motivated, and I hope that along the way, I`ve been able to help or motivate someone else who needed it.

I`m now down to 189 pounds! I want to get to 150 because of my body frame. Yesterday two people tried to guess my weight, and they guessed I was 130. I`m like, "You`re kidding!" They said, "When are you going to quit? Haven`t you gone far enough?" I said, "No, I`m at 189!" Of course, you never quit anyway, do you? You have to keep doing it to keep the weight off.

My next challenge will be to quit smoking. I`ve smoked about 24 or 25 years, and I`ve gone the gamut trying to quit. I have a feeling that will be harder for me than losing weight has been.

If you`re trying to lose weight, believe in yourself! Everybody is different, and you just have to find out what works for you.

People compliment me all the time now. They say, "You look great! Fantastic! Keep up the good work!" The thing that is most different for me now is my sense of pride. I feel really good about what I`ve done so far, and I`m proud that I`ve kept with it. I don`t feel like there is really any reason to go back in the other direction, and I don`t want to. I think it`s funny now, how when my ex-husband used to tell me I was beautiful, I never believed him. How could I be beautiful? But now, if someone tells me how beautiful I look, for the first time in my life, I believe them. Why? Because I finally feel beautiful. Please, take my picture!


1. Even if you have a busy schedule, you can eat right and exercise if you put your mind to it. You have to find times to eat and exercise that work for you. If your job gets too busy and you can`t get a lunch, then make up for it at some point that day, but not too close to when you`re going to sleep.
2. Don`t get mad at yourself for making a mistake. I know that`s easier said than done, but tomorrow is another day. Just do better tomorrow!
3. If you`re really craving something, go ahead and have a little bit of it so it doesn`t burn in your mind and make you overdo it at another point. Just watch the volume. Have 1 candy bar, not a package of candy bars. Have a small bag of chips versus the big family size bag