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Susan's Plan For Life 

"I'm wearing clothes two sizes smaller than I was last winter, and I love the compliments I've been getting!"

When I was a child my weight was average, although like most girls I spent my teenage years thinking I was fat when I wasn’t. After I had my second child I began gaining weight, but even then I had a healthy BMI. My third child, however, really changed my body. I couldn’t lose all the weight I gained during that pregnancy and I found myself suffering from what I call hormonal hunger — the tendency to feel famished during certain times of the female monthly cycle.

I tried many different diets, but I would only lose some of the weight, and then I’d gain it back, plus some. This "hormonal hunger" continued until I went through menopause, but I’d gotten into such a bad habit of overeating that I still had trouble keeping my weight under control. I got so discouraged that I refused to get on a scale, even when I went to the doctor. During those years, I didn’t know what I weighed, but I knew it wasn’t good. Last December, I allowed myself to be weighed during a visit to my doctor. When I found out just how overweight I had become, I finally decided to do something about it.

Making a Change
I read about The Sonoma Diet in a magazine while I was at the hairdresser, and it sounded like something I could actually follow. When I began the diet, I used the meal plans suggested on the Web site. I missed having fruit and wine with dinner during Wave 1, but I knew it was only 10 days so I stuck with it. Once I reached Wave 2, I understood how the diet worked and was able to vary my cooking. I know that I need a protein, a grain, a vegetable, and a fruit to feel satisfied at dinnertime so now I make whatever I feel like having. I also use recipes from the site — I really love the Sicilian Tuna Steak!

Seeing Results
Now that I've lost 36 pounds, I’m wearing clothes two sizes smaller than I was last winter. I have a lot more energy because I’m not carrying around all that extra weight. And I love the compliments I’ve been getting — last week, one of the employees at my gym (I work out regularly at Curves) didn’t recognize me because I had lost so much weight. That’s probably the best compliment anyone could give. Even my back feels better! I used to blame my backaches on age, but now I know that the problem was my weight.

Staying on Course
To stay motivated, I’ve given myself little rewards along the way. At the half-way point to my goal, I treated myself to new clothing — in sizes that actually fit! (I love being able to wear smaller sizes. There’s so much more selection in size 8 than in size 12 or 14.) Then, after losing two thirds of the weight I wanted to lose, I bought some new dishes. Mine were 20 years old, so it was time for a new set. When I reach my ultimate weight goal, I’m going to get a pedicure — I’ve never had one.

The hardest part of a diet is sticking with it for the long haul. We all have times when we lose our resolve and "cheat." The important thing is to get back on track. It helps to think of The Sonoma Diet as a way of life, and not just a diet. I plan on eating this way for the rest of my life. I also plan on weighing myself regularly so I never let myself get to the weight I was before.

Susan’s Tips and Tricks

  • Favorite Recipe: Greek Pizza
  • Advice for Eating Out: I’ve learned to ask the waiter to please make my meal without butter — I think they put butter on everything! And I always divide my entree in half and take the other half home. I eat out once or twice a week, and this works well.
  • Celebrating With Sonoma: Most of the time, there are things you can eat at parties — just make yourself aware of what’s available. For example, I will eat veggies without the dip, and while lots of people put out nuts, I just make sure I don’t overdo it. And I try not to sit near the food!
  • For a Quick Lunch: I make the Sonoma Express wraps a lot. I use leftover meat from Sunday, and put the meat, some greens (usually spinach), and some olive oil on a whole wheat tortilla. It packs well and I can make it the night before.
  • Smart Snacking: My favorite snack is almonds and I eat only eleven, according to The Sonoma Diet guideline. It may not sound like a lot, but it really helps me make it through to dinner time.

*Participants can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.

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