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by Kristie Tedford, Louisville KY

You know, I have tried many diets and trends in my life, all with the promise of losing weight and keeping it off. Truth is, few of them have ever lived up to their promise. Now, maybe it is just my failure to stick with a program or to jump off the wagon when I need to ride it out, but let’s not focus on that today…

Recently I participated in the Bigelow Tea sponsored program called Naturally Slim. The program is admittedly a little unconventional when compared with the other programs I have tried like Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, and Slim Fast, but I decided that I would at least give it a fair shot.  I mean, come on, watch a bunch of videos and still eat the foods I love (and I LOVE FOOD!), drink this watery orange juice stuff and I can still lose weight? Yeah, right….When pigs fly and I give up bacon! I thought, “there is no way this will work, but what is the harm in trying?”

I signed up and anxiously awaited that fateful starting day with my new fitness tracker in hand, just expecting a huge list of exercises and don’t eat this or that’s to rear its head in the first video. A week before the program started I received a package in the mail which had the most uncanny assortment I had ever seen: A small package of Pringles, a small package of peanuts, a bracelet, a measuring tape, and a diary book. Wait… that is it? That is all they are giving us to eat for the entire 10 week program? No wonder we will lose weight, it is an at home starvation diet! You cannot be serious!

Well, day 1 finally arrived and I logged into the site with very low expectations based on that kit I received just a few days prior. Needless to say, I was shocked! The logic behind the plan really made sense. Eat less, but still eat what I want, skip the sugar, drink more water or H2Orange (watery orange juice mentioned earlier) recognize my body cues for hunger and only eat when I am truly hungry. Eureka! The secret of life in one simple program! As I watched the videos over the course of the program, I came to a realization about myself, I am a mindless eater. I eat out of boredom, stress, or even just because it is there. As I began to recognize my body cues and became more aware of my emotional and physical needs, I realized I really did not need or want as much food. My cravings diminished and the pounds started slipping away.

As I sit here today, writing this article I am reflecting upon my journey. One which started as most do with high hopes and low expectations, fear and trepidation, and courage, yet it ended with success. As of the end of the program (10 weeks) I have realized that I am truly a loser and never so happy to be one in all of my life! I have lost so much more than 20 lbs, I have lost bad habits, negative thoughts, and the desire to scarf down any sugary sweet item I can find. What I have gained in place of those things is worth more than anything in this world, I have gained self confidence that I can continue to be a loser and do so fearlessly.

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