Anne Seacrist | Monte Sereno, CA
262lbs – 165lbs
On the worst day of my life I weighed 262 pounds. I woke up feeling sick to my stomach and exhausted. My husband was already up, so I mentioned that I was going back to bed. I felt like I had the flu. I mentioned that I felt some pressure, like a newborn baby was sitting on my chest. My husband insisted that we go to the emergency room.
I resisted. I did not have pain shooting down my arm. I did not have ANY pain. I had slight pressure on my chest and nausea. I had felt sicker in the morning during my pregnancies. But we went off to the ER. It turned out I was having a heart attack, and within an hour I was in an ambulance heading to a major trauma center for an angioplasty and stent placement. I am going into detail here because I want people to know that seemingly simple, minor symptoms can be very significant. My husband’s decisiveness helped save my life. I will always be grateful and cherish him.
Then I went on what I called the “Scared I Was Going to Die Diet”. I lost 20 pounds but stalled. Before my heart attack, I considered myself a professional dieter. I have a Lifetime Membership in Weight Watchers. Really, I do. I once lost 50 pounds on a doctor supervised liquid diet, and I did well on a low carb diet. But I was never able to keep the weight off.
Fast forward to February 2014. My youngest son became engaged and was planning a June 2015 wedding. I began my “Must Lose 30 Pounds Before the Wedding Diet” (they all had names). I failed completely. On the day of the wedding I still weighed 262. My “before” picture here is from the wedding day. When I came home from that event, I was disgusted with myself.
At my lowest emotional point, I remembered my husband talking about his friend “Big Tony”. He came home from his duck club talking about how they can’t call him Big Tony anymore because he had lost over 200 pounds. My husband arranged for me to call and talk to “Big” Tony Perkins. Tony told me about Belldon Colme and his Core Health program. He encouraged me to email Belldon and look at his website. Tony is one of my heroes; I believe he helped save my life that day. He was the spark that gave me hope. Thank you, Tony.
That was the beginning of this journey; the journey that worked. On July 25, 2017, I reached my goal of 165 pounds. I hadn’t seen that weight since my wedding day in 1970. My original, in-my-head goal was 199, and I never thought that would happen! I thank Belldon and I have emailed almost every day. Belldon’s words and mentoring have helped me stay the course and learn to eat healthy through life’s ups and downs.
During my journey, my twin brother became seriously ill, and passed away in September 2016. I made many trips to Las Vegas to help care for him. Belldon taught me how to manage food and emotions through all the stress and sadness, and many weeks of overwhelming emotion.
I bought a travel scale that Belldon recommended and take it whenever I travel. I have learned to use it to make better food decisions on the road. I love to go to our family cabin with our extended family, where eating steak and pizza at the same meal is the norm. We have taken other vacations, too, and with the strategies I have learned from Belldon I have stayed the course.
My major struggle this past year has been my sudden hearing loss, and a diagnosis of Meniere’s Disease. To date I have lost almost 60% of my hearing. I am learning to cope with zero salt and zero caffeine (not even decaf coffee) to help with my hearing. I am learning to lip read and I am grateful for my hearing aids. I am adapting and adjusting. Again, Belldon has been right here to help with my transitions, and to help me maintain balance in my health overall.
I am now down to two heart medications and three for the Meniere’s Disease. My cardiologist does the happy dance when she sees me! During the emotional times for me, Belldon kept me sane and kept me tuned into what I need to do to take care of me. Belldon has been a steady constant, and he saved my life.
I no longer have any interest in processed food. When I go into the supermarket and see aisles of it, I now see what seems like poison to me. I would never have thought I would write that sentence!
I can’t say enough good things about this program. About a year ago, a friend emailed me and asked what I was doing to lose weight. She started with Belldon, too, and has already reached her goal. I hope I was a little spark for her.
I am no longer dieting. Instead, I am eating healthy. The right healthy for me. I am grateful and happy.
Thank you, Belldon
PS: Belldon asked me to write how things are different for me now than before I started. Well, this is easy…. I have confidence. For the first time in my life I feel good enough in my own skin. I feel joy. I am doing art again after putting it away for 30 years. I am learning to knit and lip reading. I quilt. I started and organize a watercolor journaling meetup group that meets once a week to paint outdoors. I am amazed that I have energy to enjoy all my hobbies!
Most important, I can carry my new granddaughter and I am able to take care of her. I can play and have fun with my older grand kids. I have a large backyard garden and when I was 262 pounds I had just about given up on gardening. Now, it brings me much joy to be in the garden almost every day! I can hike at our family cabin and I even rode the zip line! I took a two week vacation on an airplane and enjoyed myself; I hated flying before when I had to ask for a seat belt extension. At my niece’s New Orleans themed wedding, I walked and had fun in the second line (parade) from the wedding to the reception, and it was a hot day! I do not think twice about wearing my bathing suit in public. I have always been a swimmer 3 to 4 times a week, but before I was uncomfortable getting in and out of the pool. Now I enjoy swimming.
I could go on and on, but I think this might be enough.