Stephanie Devaney, ARNP, and Jessica Cook, MS, RD, LD/N, CDE, deliver a Weight Loss Program that works! Of course, it only works if you do! Fat and fed up in July 2020, I saw the notice on Kathryn Reynolds, M.D., (my endocrinologist’s) wall. I asked her if the program worked. She said, “It works if you do. Stephanie and Jessica are really good at this and it will work for you if you cooperate.” Truer words were never spoken; however, I didn’t quite get “the whole program” the first month.
I went to the initial meeting with Stephanie, a compassionate, but no-nonsense professional, who explained the nuts and bolts of the diet and exercise program; how the body loses weight and gains muscle and what would be required to succeed with this weight loss program. I told her I didn’t think I would have any problem with the liberal food choices. She reminded me that I needed to exercise every day. I said, “Sure, no problem. Does it matter what I do?” “No, just do it.” So, I left with my mind convinced this would be “easy.”
Next, I met Jessica, who is genius with diabetic nutrition, low carb eating, high protein snacks and she is overwhelmingly the most honest professional I have ever met. She makes you want to succeed. She never says, “No, you can’t.” Rather, she says, “This would be so much better on your program. Why don’t you try this instead of that? In the meantime, she is building you up and telling you that you have this, you can succeed even if you have never succeeded before, even if you feel overwhelmed in a pandemic with diabetes, primary hypopituitary disease, hypothyroidism, insufficient cortisol function, and a host of other challenges including a pacemaker. “You can do this!”
That’s what I love about the three of them: Dr. Reynolds, Ms. Devaney and Ms. Cook— they are there to tell you that you can do this and if you are feeling overwhelmed you can just call or email one of them. Then, the first weigh-in came and I was thrilled, I was down 8 pounds. Life was awesome until Stephanie innocently asked, “So what are you doing for exercise?” it was just a routine question. She’s a nurse. She was charting my results in every category. She was just asking out of curiosity, but for me, it was an awakening. “Ah, exercise, well, I haven’t really worked that into my schedule yet.” Then, Stephanie said, “but you promised.” Now, I don’t know about you, but when I make a promise, I like to keep it and I do not ever want to break a promise.
There it was, the reality of my life. I was only following the food program. I wasn’t walking, moving, or doing anything new that would help the weight loss become a permanent part of my life or improve the muscle tone in my body. You could actually look at my social media pages and know immediately that I was not the exercising type—I always avoided exercise. I’m sure you know the type—why walk if you can ride; why stair climb if there is an elevator; why bike if there is a car . . .
The thought of breaking a promise was enough to catapult me into the reality of all of the “other times” that I have tried and not succeeded. So, that day I started walking and it was the middle of summer and I hate to walk, and I hate the heat, but I was not going to ever break a promise to Stephanie, again. By the next day, I figured out that swimming was a cooler activity than walking and I “didn’t mind” doing laps in the pool, so I was off doing laps. Then, I had my husband dust off one of my adult children’s bikes. Did I ride it at first? No, I took it and had a complete overhaul. (Always—there is a delay tactic with me!) Then, I was riding, again. I had totally forgotten the freedom of riding a bicycle. (Yes, I fell off twice and suffered minor cuts and abrasions, but I got back up just like I would have done when I was 10!) I probably hadn’t ridden a bicycle outdoors with any regularity for more than twenty plus years. It’s amazing what we forget! What I discovered was I loved it and when you find out what you love, you will actually do it!
Here’s what I discovered along the way of this weight loss program: each of us can succeed when we give ourselves permission to succeed. There are people along the way who will help us if we just ask and listen, i.e., Stephanie and Jessica and if you are like me, you need a doctor to supervise it. We are never too old to learn something new. Exercising is not as hard or as inconvenient as we make it out to be. Depending on our lifestyle and our likes and dislikes, we can all find something to do to move our bodies to improve our shapes, our muscle tone and our strength. We are all much more powerful than we can imagine. Our bodies are miraculously healable with the right food and exercise despite the abuse we have done to them!
Here’s what the twelve-week results are for me and you should not compare because each of us is unique: I’m now my own age, instead of ten years older! I’ve lost 13% of my original body weight or 32 pounds. I have lost more inches than I can count from my arms, waist, hips, thighs and calves—about 3 dress sizes (that’s what exercise does). Much more importantly, I have the CONFIDENCE and the KNOWLEDGE and SUPPORT to continue to succeed. So, thank you Stephanie for asking me what I was doing for exercise because now I’m starting to feel like someone training for a triathlon, but I’m way too smart for that! Thank you, Jessica, for finding me 9,000,000 snacks that are high protein and low carb. Thank you, Dr. Reynolds, for telling me that I could succeed if I worked the program.
What’s the program? Consume less than you expend! Make sure you get Jessica because she knows every “cheat” to feel full! Be sure to get Stephanie because she is the great sympathizer, but she will hold you accountable. We need them all!
For the first time in decades all my blood tests are back in the normal range! I’m not at goal yet. Here’s what I want to accomplish . . . I actually want to keep achieving to get to goal. I’m 39% of the way . . . sounds like a lot to go? Not really, just take it one meal at a time, one snack at a time, one exercise choice a day. When we break it down, it’s achievable (especially if you take Stephanie and Jessica with you)! Then, the winds will always be at your back helping you cruise along!