2011 MA Division 7 1st Place Female
Maryann Sullivan

from MA 456 Athol with a loss of 53.25#
At my highest weight, I was 410 pounds in October, 2010.  I have been overweight for as long as I can remember.

Growing up, I think I was on every diet known to man.  The worst had to be a banana diet my mother had me on.  I ate nothing but bananas for two weeks.

Counting calories never seemed to work for me.  The only time I really lost any weight was when I followed the Atkins diet.  However, when I went back to eating the "normal" way, I gained that weight back and more to go with it.

About two years ago I asked my doctor about the possibility of finally admitting I needed surgery.  Although I really did not want it, I finally realized I had to do something, or I was going to die. Luckily, he did not recommend the surgery because he felt there were too many unanswered questions.  However, he was confident I could do it on my own by making small changes.  He explained that I could continue to eat anything I wanted to, just not every day.  For instance, if I wanted ice cream, change from eating it every day to once a week.

I do not remember anyone every putting it in those words before.  The focus of previous doctors always seemed to be calorie counting.  They never really seemed to explain the different food groups and how to focus on consuming the right kinds of calories.

After seeing the number on the scale that day, I really started trying to change.  I tried to make small changes that did not leave me feeling denied.

A few of my cousins have been members of TOPS for years and encouraged me to join.  The TOPS web site helped me find a meeting of chapter 456 here in Athol.  The support that the group offers and the accountability of having to get weighed in once a week, seems to motivate me.  As of last Thursday, I have lost 65.6 pounds.

I seem to have plateaued since the first of this year.  I am now trying to adjust my eating habits to kick start my metabolism.  I am also going to try to dig out a friend's recumbent bicycle in her garage so that I can start getting some more exercise.  I am limited to how much I can walk, so hopefully the bicycle will help.