OneStepStories-JanCI was not one of those people who are heavy all of their lives. I was very thin as a child and equally slim as a young adult. After a couple children and what I think is just plain laziness and bad eating habits, I was far closer to 300 pounds than 200.

Because my husband is a type 2 diabetic, I cooked decent meals, but we still ate too many carbs and I ate too much sugar.

Stairs were a problem. My right knee was a source of constant pain. I was taking something for it every day and every night so I could get some rest. My asthma was a constant reminder of how out of shape I was. I was pre-diabetic. My cholesterol was not great, either. Buying clothes was horrible.

I was on vacation and between my knee and my weight, I could not hike with the rest of my family. At Disneyworld, on some rides I had to sit in the seats for larger people. The airplane seatbelt just fit. I realized I was getting older and there was nothing I could do about that, but I could do something about being an old FAT person!

We eliminated carbs from our diet first and by the time I found the diet I wanted to pursue (Ideal Protein), I was already primed for extremely low carbs and sugar, so the withdrawal period was very easy for me.

Within weeks, I lost enough weight to fit into what I called my “not as fat” clothes. Within a month of starting this diet, I was off my high blood pressure meds. My asthma seemed to go away and my allergies were less severe.

When I went to the doctor, six months into my diet, she came rushing into the examination room and was so happy that my A1C was back to a normal level and that my other lab results were in the “perfect category.”

My biggest supporters were my friends and family. My Whirlpool friends were extremely concerned at first, since I had not told many people I was on a diet. They worried that something serious was causing me to lose so much weight. When I told them all that I felt incredibly good because I was on a diet that worked for me, they were incredibly encouraging.

Losing this weight has been a wonderful thing for me. My doctor tells me that my lab results look like those of a young person. My knee that caused me so much agony does not hurt at all. I’m not running, but walking is painless. Overall, I feel wonderful; my joints do not hurt, my muscles don’t ache. I am far more active and have so much energy now. I can keep up with our new puppy and my four grandchildren. The last vacation we went on, I was leading the way on hikes up into the mountains.

My husband is thrilled with my transformation. We both feel like our lifestyle has improved tenfold.

Now, I feel like I’m in better control of my life, I want to do more, I have a much more positive outlook and I feel incredibly good all the time. I look in the mirror and recognize that person. (I just wonder when she got old.)

If I can lose weight, I think anyone can. I still have 30 pounds to lose to reach my goal weight. And I am on the struggle bus with these pounds. I lose some, I gain some. I am really tired of salads when I want Silver Beach Pizza! But I set little goals as I go and hopefully, by summer, I will be down to my goal weight.

I will start adding some strength training in the near future to keep my muscles and bones as strong as I can. Staying healthy is so important as we age. Insurance costs are getting crazier every day and I see the day when being overweight will cause our premiums to be higher and higher. I went from taking meds for blood pressure, cholesterol, acid reflux, asthma and allergies to a very low dose of Cholesterol meds and just vitamins.

Jan Coy, St. Joseph, MI

March 29, 2016