‘Dieting is never easy, I don’t care how easy some make it sound. It took me 2 years because I cheated quite a bit.’

As a 169-pound woman it’s not easy being the sibling of a 109-pounder who also happens to be my twin! She is my fraternal sibling, like it or not.

Oh, I LOVE HER…. it’s that 4-letter word I didn’t much care for.

Pick a DIET, ANY diet and I can tell you if it worked or not for me. That’s where things got complicated. “Will-power” is, after all, just a figure of speech and can’t be relied on.

Most diet gurus and websites will have disclaimers that tell you “check with your Doctor before beginning.” That’s it! The doctor can tell me why everything I ate felt so at home in my fat cells and choose to stay there!

A picture of the author with her twin sister
Courtesy of Shirley Hutton

The prognosis was grim. The doctor warned me of getting plastic veins (whatever THEY are) by the time I was 50 if I didn’t get down to 115-pounds and stay there. Worse yet, I didn’t appreciate being compared to a perfect model for a Renaissance painter.

Have you seen the images gracing the Sistine Chapel? I’d never get out of the diet section at Boarders hanging’ with those broads! I DID, however, add the latest calorie and carbohydrate counter to my cookbook collection. Even at 165 lbs., I have a 28″ waist. (An hourglass figure, but the numbers were off the chart.)

Co-workers rolled their eyes in a “She’ll never do it” way. Eight months later, I reached 135lbs. I was happy and thought the doctor would be too. He wasn’t.

It was going to take a new incentive to get the ball rolling again. Was just one “wolf-whistle” too much to ask? I thought about finding a crowded construction site and slipping a hard-hatted hunk a 10-spot to ‘make my day.’

The diet that worked for me was the LOW CARB regimen.  I read labels religiously and if the carb number was high, I looked for a substitute, so as not to feel deprived. 

I discovered I loved cottage cheese.  A Carbohydrate Counter is a must.  Mine was a “brand name” carbohydrate counter, in fact.  If it wasn’t in my counter, I didn’t eat it.

The author after a successful weight loss journey
Courtesy of Shirley Hutton

Dieting is never easy, I don’t care how easy some make it sound.  It took me 2 years because I cheated quite a bit.  That was 43 years ago and I still remain at 115 lbs.  My Doctor’s nurse thought I was 59 years old.  I’ll be 75 this year.

It had taken almost two years to reach 115-pound, I cheated so much. THIS time, the doctor was thrilled. He said I wouldn’t get plastic veins after all. I even forgave him for the Renaissance painter comment.

This meant, of course, it was time to shop for clothes that fit my body. (I looked like a poster for “Send this kid to camp”.) Starting off with size 14 (surely, I’d dropped two dress sizes,) and many trips back and forth to the dressing rooms, I worked my way down to a 7. I hadn’t worn size 7 since you bought clothes by how old you were!

This life-changing achievement deserved a reward requiring two hands to carry. But instead of a 40-oz. deep-dish cherry pie, I opted for designer frame glasses to accompany the new, improved me.

The technician rolled narrow temples in warm sand and when they fit just right, sat back in his chair and said, “What a doll.” No one had ever called me that before.

I must add that this isn’t the first time I’d tried to diet.  It was a lifestyle.  But, this time, a health scare was, in part, my incentive.  What’s YOUR incentive?  Whatever it is, it will carry you through, no matter how long it takes. 

About the author:
This story was submitted by Shirley Hutton to Positive Outlooks. She said this is not a diet recommendation or ‘what works better than what’, but just her own story of losing weight.

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