What does it take to lose 105 pounds?
Dedication. Discipline. Drive. And a little bit of direction and guidance.
Engineer Noel Dasta started her relationship with WellnessFX as a member and became an employee. Her customer experience not only helped her achieve a life-changing goal, but also taught her about her body and living a life of wellness. This is the story of how one woman took her life and her health into her own hands and made a lasting difference.
The Weight Gain
For most of her life Noel has been extremely athletic. She competed in martial arts, soccer, running, and boxing, consistently beating out the competition. This all changed after a serious knee injury. Though Noel continued to compete, she found she couldn’t perform anywhere near the levels she had before. This led to depression and depression led to weight gain.
Noel’s weight gain was so severe that in 2008 her doctor told her that she was eligible for gastric bypass weight loss surgery; her body mass index (BMI) had grown to such a level that insurance would likely cover the costs. This became a turning point for Noel. She wanted to fix her weight issue, but she also knew that surgery would only deal with the symptom and not address the real problem. It would teach her nothing about how to eat right, keep the weight off, or to be healthy overall. Noel didn’t want a quick fix: she wanted to turn her life around.
“I made a decision to change my life on my own, without surgery. I knew it was the harder road but I felt that, in the end, it would be more worthwhile. It was my goal to find a ‘diet for life,’ a way of eating and exercising that was healthy, sustainable, and fit my lifestyle. I changed almost all of my habits, educated myself on nutrition, fitness, and diet, and slowly began to lose weight.”
The Weight Loss
Noel spent the next four years researching nutrition and fitness. She started by walking more than a mile to and from work each day, and after the first 20 pounds she became increasingly more active. She tried out various health programs and consulted with different nutritionists. Her discipline became so ingrained that soon she could just look at a food and know its caloric content.
Noel realized that one of the biggest factors contributing to her weight gain in the past were her habits: they had to change! Instead of eating food straight out of the bag/box, she put her portions on a plate so she could see exactly how much she was taking in. In the same light, she stopped eating mindlessly in front of the television (the more we pay attention to our food, the more our body registers that we’ve eaten and the less hungry we feel later). She tried different ways of eating, such as smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day instead of a few big ones, and choosing whole wheat over white.
While she was well aware from her research that counting calories isn’t the end-all, be-all of dieting, she made it a habit to know exactly how much she was taking in on a daily basis. Her suspicion that she was eating more than it seemed was right and she made the proper adjustments. Good research became a staple of her weight loss regimen: she did an immense amount on foods, including the best foods for you, the benefits of each, how fat is broken down, and healthy alternatives to junk food.
For Noel, another significant component was having a support network. She surrounded herself with people who continually encouraged her and respected the lifestyle changes she set out to make. She sought out friends who were also trying to lose weight and used them as “friendly competition”. They set goals together, provided emotional support during rough spots, and even kept each other in check. The four years Noel spent changing her life weren’t easy–she hit plenty of plateaus, sometimes lasting 4 weeks, others 4 months. But she was able to stay positive and kept going.
“I learned to better monitor what I was eating and to stopping eating, not when I was full, but when I was ‘no longer hungry.’ I ate more frequently so I wouldn’t feel like I was starving, eat quickly, and end up having too much. Now I don’t need to do that at all. My body and mind have learned how to eat without having to record everything. It took YEARS to train my body and mind and to change my bad habits.”
The Last 15 Pounds
Noel’s dedication paid off tremendously. She lost 90 pounds and knew she had made the right decision. Still, she hadn’t yet reached her ideal weight and had been stuck without any movement on the scale for months. She was eating right and exercising regularly, so why couldn’t she get her body to fully exemplify how healthy she felt? This is when she came to WellnessFX.
Noel consulted with one of our physicians about her blood panel results. She found that her blood sugar and vitamin D levels were very low. Together, Noel and her WellnessFX practitioner figured out that the problem with her diet was more the HOW than the WHAT. Noel had a tendency to go long periods without eating and then would eat a large meal. Her practitioner also observed that she wasn’t consuming enough protein.
It should be noted that Noel is a vegetarian. She made the choice a long time ago for both ethical and health reasons, so it was very important for her not to stray from this, but it meant obvious restrictions. There was another snag: Noel discovered she had a dairy allergy and a slight intolerance to gluten. Noel and her WellnessFX practitioner came up with a diet that worked for her: lean-protein in every meal with small snacks in between. She eliminated almost all dairy, decreased her carbs and replaced them with lean protein. Finally, she was able to cross the finish line and reach her 105 pound weight loss goal.
“I am so glad that I lost the weight on my own. I have learned how my body works, how to stay healthy, and how difficult it is to lose weight once you gain it. Since then, I have never been so happy, energized, confident and proud that I accomplished such a difficult task.”
Beyond Weight Loss
Noel set out on her journey to drastically improve the outlook for her health; the weight loss was just a bonus. With periodic testing and consults, she now works on fine-tuning any other biomarkers in order to optimize her health. For example, since starting with WellnessFX she has been able to increase her energy and sleep better. She’s also begun to participate in competitive sports again. Most recently? Ice hockey.
The best part of Noel’s weight loss, newfound energy, and vitality? The ability to kick butt in WellnessFX’s daily physical challenges, of course!
“It took 4 years, but I am proud to say that I lost 100 pounds and dropped 12 sizes. I know how difficult and overwhelming it can be to lose weight, especially when you need to lose a drastic amount. Whether you’re looking for help getting started, trying to get over a weight loss plateau, or just looking to drop that last 10 pounds, WellnessFX will give you much more than you could imagine; they taught me that health goes far beyond what you can see. Optimizing your health is a life long journey that is a constant work and progress. I am so thankful to have been blessed with the opportunity work with WellnessFX, both professionally and as a user.”
The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.