Melinda joined the Eat Like A Bear! community on February 10, 2019 and delighted us with her progress pictures from the very beginning, and so we have watched her progress down to 145 pounds, a weight she has not seen as an adult. Melinda recaps her story for us here:
From Melinda Troxel:
I have struggled with my weight for most of my adult life. I began to put on weight after college and lost quite a bit right before my wedding. I kept it off for almost three years. During my first pregnancy, in 1989, I gained 65 pounds. I had high blood sugar during my pregnancy but luckily never developed pre-eclampsia. I lost some weight after, but not much. Five years later I had my second pregnancy. I gained 80 pounds!!! Once again, luckily, I had no complications with that pregnancy.
Over the years I tried diet after diet with only minimal success. I did Weight Watchers several times, Nuti-System twice, Jenny Craig, took phentermine, and even got injections of HCG! I never could stick to anything for more than a few months. The most I ever lost was 45 pounds and I always put back on more weight than when I started.
Forward to 2018: I was at my highest weight of 235 pounds. My blood sugar was high, although I had not been officially diagnosed as diabetic, my blood sugar was definitely in that range. I got out of breath with pretty much everything I did. I was tired all the time and was usually asleep by 7:30 every evening. My friend and now fellow Bear, Joann Craft, told me about the Ketogenic way of eating. She helped me with the basics and I began to research on my own.
By the grace of God, I stumbled across Amanda’s videos on YouTube. I had been eating keto for a few months and was happy with my progress, but ready to go all in. I was really intrigued with intermittent fasting. I was already fasting 16 hours without even knowing anything about it and immediately went to 18 hours and then to 20. I followed Eat Like a Bear and continued to eat keto with lots of salads and 20 hour fasts. I was sure I could not fast for 23 hours. After seeing all the success stories, I jumped! I was so surprised at how easy it was and how satisfied I was with all the big salads! I ate RBSs (Ridiculously Big Salads) almost everyday. The only days that I did not was when I went out with the family and could not get a salad big enough! My eating time was from 5-6 pm so that I could have dinner with my husband.
I think that the time that realized that this approach was working for me and that I was actually going to make it to my goal this time was when I made it to 175 pounds. Nothing I had ever tried had gotten me down to that weight.
On November 1, 2019 I hit my one year Ketoversary. I was down 85 pounds and 5 pounds away from my goal of 90 pounds down! I hit that goal a month later.
My life has changed so much now that I am not carrying around nearly a whole extra person. On January 12, 2021, I will celebrate 1 year of maintenance. I have lost an additional 10 pounds for a total of 100 pounds.I can walk without becoming winded and can even chase my grandchildren!
My blood sugar continues to be great and although I still have hereditary high blood pressure, it is no longer medication resistant.
Achieving Fashion Goals
Even at my heaviest, I have always loved clothes, shoes and jewelry. I am an avid thrifter. It is a hobby I share with my mom. But because of my weight, there were certain things that I couldn’t or wouldn’t wear. I needed wide calf boots, and they were very hard to find. I never tucked anything in and sleeves had to be at least elbow length. Now, I have boots, boots and more boots. I am enjoying wearing shirts tucked in with belts and vintage buckles, and hopefully I will even be sporting sleeveless things soon!
I am now sharing my love of fashion with others. I moderate the Bear Threads ELAB subgroup where we share about outgrowing our old clothes, victories of new clothes, and dreaming about our goal clothes. I am learning about Instagram and have started a page called MelindasFashionover55. Even though clothes may not be the best thing about my new life (the health benefits certainly are the most important), the fashion is definitely fun!
The Power of Community
I have wondered for a long time what made the difference this time. Why was I able to accomplish what I had failed at for so many years. It finally hit me when I was asked to share my story here. IT IS THE SUPPORT OF AMANDA AND THE PEOPLE IN THIS GROUP!!!! Never in all the things that I had tried before have I had the support and encouragement of so many people. People I had never met and may never get to meet in person were giving me advice, complimenting me and cheering me on. I firmly believe that community is the most important piece in all of this. Amanda and all my fellow bears have been the difference in my life and I will forever be thankful for all of you!
I love you Bears, Melinda Troxel