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I am 39 year-old mother of nine, homeschooled children. Our family has two boys whom we adopted from foster care that exhibit Reactive Attachment Disorder, and seven biological children. Through my 20s and 30s I gained a lot of weight. The bulk of this came from eating a typical American diet, multiple pregnancies, and a huge amount of stress. I had finally had enough in 2012 after a vacation to the beach when I could barely walk across the sand. I was on medication for high blood pressure and was so embarrassed when I had to buy new jeans in a size 18; and, even those were tight. I started my journey then. In April 2012 I weighed 222lbs.
I signed up for a popular MLM weight loss diet and supplements program. It was a low-carb, low-cal, low-fat program that worked for a while. I lost 50lbs pretty quickly and then weight loss stalled for months. I started searching for something else to try and found Trim Healthy Mama (THM). I loved the food, freedom, and community. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough and I only lost 15lbs. (I will forever be a THM at heart and still continue to use the recipes for maintenance.) Although I felt great, I still wanted to lose more and continued my search for the key to success. I became pregnant with my 7th child at the end of 2013, weighing 157lbs. I had a very healthy pregnancy gaining an average 25 lbs. After my son’s birth in the summer of 2014, though, I struggled with nursing for the first time and the pregnancy weight would not budge. It didn’t matter how healthy I was eating or how much I increased exercising, I kept gaining and gaining. In January 2015, my husband sought a drastic change in careers and left for the Police Academy, which left me at home alone with nine children for several months. The stress was unbelievable! By the time he graduated, I was nearing 190lbs. I tried literally every diet modification I could think of including all kinds of supplements, HIIT training, heavy weight, EVERYTHING! I was starting to panic seeing that number on the scale approaching 200lbs. After seeing a picture my mom had taken of us one evening, I about died of shame. I couldn’t believe I was almost back to where I was when I started my weight loss journey. I didn’t want to leave the house. My clothes no longer fit and I had given away all my “fat clothes” because I knew I would never go back. I was UTTERLY HOPELESS!!
I had read reviews for AlternaCare from a respected Facebook friend and I decided I had to look into this. I desperately wanted to find the root cause of why I was gaining weight. It was my last hope. Although weight gain was the #1 symptom that drove me to find help, I had a whole host of others including depression, inability to handle stress, low libido, irregular cycles, PMS, very heavy periods, gall bladder attacks, and many more. I contacted AlternaCare in October 2015, had holistic labs run, and discovered I had adrenal fatigue, severe hormone imbalance, and intestinal dysbiosis. I started making slow changes according to the plan Dr. Rob had created for me. After the holidays, I started a cleanse and committed to healing my body. I won’t lie – it was HARD! the hardest thing I have ever done. I didn’t realize how much food controlled my life and emotions. Even though I had eaten very healthy for several years, I still sought happiness through food. I worked through both a physical and an emotional detox, and finally made it through to the other side!
Discovering things about my body, and why it had responded the way it did to exercise and extreme dieting, has been an eye-opening experience. I had always heard, “It’s diet and exercise. If you are still fat, you are just not working hard enough.” However now, it has become clear that people are not properly educated on just how much hormones can affect their weight, or that stress can do so much damage to our bodies.
Each stage of healing has had its own difficulties. New symptoms would pop up and adjustments would have to be made. The journey has begun to align my mind, body, and spirit and I am feeling great progress. Throughout this last year, Dr. Rob endured my constant questions, impatience, and stubbornness. He was always supportive and very understanding of my struggles. He encouraged me and I never gave up! I am now in the low 130s for weight and have a final goal of 125lbs. I do confess the last 10lbs have been harder to work on just because it’s easy to get relaxed when you feel so good and look good too. I have regained a life I never knew I could have. I now enjoy shopping for clothes, which is something I never did before! Out of habit, I will choose a bigger size to try on and can’t believe when the words come out of my mouth, “Do you have this in an XS?” Depression is no longer a part of my life I am able to handle my high-stress life in raising nine children much more effectively than I had before. I am even back into riding horses with my daughters again! Horses have always been a true love of mine since I was a small child and once I became overweight, I pushed it ‘to the back burner’ having completely lost confidence in myself. It is an incredible feeling to put on my fancy little jeans and boots and get back into the saddle!
My husband is over the top excited with the new me and has been so supportive throughout the entire process. I am sure it was not an easy job! I am sure my children will tell you they love having a more energetic and less stressed mom around, too! I cannot thank Dr. Rob and his amazing staff at AlternaCare enough for helping me find myself again and for regaining my health – for my entire family’s sake!