Healthy Directions

Keri Lehman's Success Story

The last straw came when her clothes no longer fit right this summer. "I refused to buy a bigger size," says Keri Lehman, of John Deere Credit in Johnston, Iowa. "I've been up and down and up and down for a long time. The realization sunk in that my body was at its heaviest weight. It was obvious it was time to do something."

After years of fad diets as well as more established weight loss programs, "the weight came back on, plus some," notes Keri. So encouraged by the success of a friend - and "desperate for a solution" to the pounds that had plagued her for 15 years - she walked into LA Weight Loss to hear their plan. And although she'd been down the weight loss road before, she gave it a try - and is happy she did.

What's the difference with this program? As a former "skinny kid," Keri had never focused on how to eat. She's now required to keep a daily food diary, and to eat a pre-determined number of starches, proteins, fruits, vegetables and other foods. "I'd never paid attention to that kind of stuff before. Not only am I not hungry because I get to eat a lot of food, but this program is teaching me how to eat in balance."

Learning about food and nutrition has "been a big education" for her. "I'm more conscious of what I'm buying and eating," she adds. Meeting with a counselor and weighing in three times a week also kept her accountable. "It really keeps you honest if you're going in that often. You're less likely to binge one day and think 'I'll make it up the next.' I'm consistently eating the same amount of food every day, so I'm not starving my body one day and gorging the next."

After five months of consistent, balanced eating, she's nearly two pounds away from her goal weight. Once she reaches that goal, she will step into a stabilization phase for six weeks, and from there, into a 52-week maintenance program. In all, she's lost more than 30 pounds and 21 inches. "I feel healthier than ever," she adds. "I was running around with the kids in the yard the other day, and I could actually run without losing my breath."

The benefits have spilled over to the whole family. Her kids are reaching for fruit instead of cookies, and she and her husband have discovered bicycling. "It's been awesome. I'm not hungry, and I definitely feel better about myself," says Keri.

And as for that wardrobe problem? That's solved, too. "I still ended up having to buy new clothes," she says, "but this time, the size is smaller than ever!"