JoAnna's Healthy Story, as told by her-
For twenty-eight years I was the diet queen of DeWitt, Iowa. I tried every diet I ever heard of, every one I could afford, and everyone that found its way to my small town in eastern Iowa. I was willing to try anything that promised to "melt off the pounds," determined to deprive my body in every possible way in order to become as thin at last.
I sent away for expensive "miracle" diet pills. I starved myself on the liquid diets. I gobbled diet candies, took thyroid pills, fiber pills, prescription and over-the-counter diet pills. I went to endless weight-loss support-group meetings - but managed to turn healthy programs such as Overeaters Anonymous, Weight Watchers, and TOPS into unhealthy diets ... diets I could never follow more than a few months.
I was determined to discover something that worked long-term, but each new failure increased my desperation that I'd never find it. I ate strange concoctions and rubbed on even stranger potions. I agreed to be hypnotized. I tried reflexology and even had an acupuncture device stuck in my ear!
Does my story sound a lot like yours? I'm not surprised. No wonder the weight-loss business is a billion-dollar industry! Every new thing I tried seemed to work - at least at first. And losing that first five or ten pounds would get me so excited, I'd believe that this new miracle diet would, finally, get my weight off for keeps.
Inevitably, though, the initial excitement wore off. The diet's routine and boredom set in, and I quit. I shoved the pills to the back of the medicine chest; pushed the cans of powdered shake mix to the rear of the kitchen cabinets; slid all the program materials out of site under my bed; and once more felt like a failure.
Like most dieters, I quickly gained back the weight I'd lost each time, along with a few extra "souvenir" pounds that seemed always to settle around my hips. I'd done the diet-lose-weight-gain-it-all-back "yo-yo" on the average of once a year. It's no exaggeration to say that over the years I've lost 1,000 pounds - and gained back 1,150 pounds.
Finally at the age of forty-six I weighed more than I'd ever imagined possible. I'd stopped believing that any diet could work for me. I Drowned my sorrows in sacks of cake doughnuts and wondered if I'd live long enough to watch my grandchildren grow up. Something had to change. I had to change.
Finally, I did.
I'm just over fifty now - and I'm 130 pounds less than my all-time high of close to 300 pounds. I've kept the weight off for more than five years. I'd like to lose another ten pounds, but I'm not obsessed about it. If it takes me two or three years to accomplish it, that's okay. What I do care about is never saying hello again to any of those unwanted pounds I said goodbye to!
How did I jump off the roller coaster I was on? For one thing, I finally stopped looking to food to solve my emotional problems. But what really shook me up - and got me started on the path that changed my life - was Operation Desert Storm in early 1991. I sent three children off to the Persian Gulf war - my son-in-law, Matt, a medic in Special Forces; my daughter, Becky, a full-time college student and member of a medical unit in the Army Reserve; and my son, James, a member of the Inactive Army Reserve reactivated as a chemicals expert. Somehow, knowing that my children were putting their lives on the line got me thinking about my own mortality - and I knew in my heart the last thing they needed while they were overseas was to get a letter from home saying their mother was ill because a of food-related problem. The day I drove the third child to the airport to leave for Saudi Arabia, something happened to me that would change my life for the better - and forever. I stopped praying my constant prayer as a professional dieter, which was simply "Please, God, let me lose ten pound by Friday." Instead, I began praying, "God, please help me not to be a burden to my kids and my family "
I quit praying for what I wanted and started praying for what I needed - and in the process my prayers were answered. I couldn't keep the kids safe - that was out of my hands - but I could try to get healthier to better handle the stress of it. It was the least I could do on the home front. That quiet prayer was the beginning of the new JoAnna Lund. My initial goal was not to lose weight or create healthy recipes. I only wanted to become healthier for my kids, my husband, and myself.
Each of my children returned safely from the Persian Gulf war. But something didn't come back - the 130 extra pounds I'd been lugging around for far too long. I'd finally accepted the truth after all those agonizing years of suffering through on-again, off-again dieting. There are no "magic" cures in life. No "magic" potion, pill, or diet will make unwanted pounds disappear. I found something better than magic, if you can believe it. When I turned my weight and health dilemma over to God for guidance, a new JoAnna Lund and Healthy Exchanges were born.
I discovered a new way to live my life - and uncovered an unexpected talent for creating easy "common folk" healthy recipes, and sharing my commonsense approach to healthy living. I learned that I could motivate others to change their lives and adopt a positive outlook. I began publishing cookbooks and a monthly food newsletter, and speaking to groups all over the country.
I like to say, "When life handed me a lemon, not only did I make healthy, tasty lemonade, I wrote the recipe down!" What I finally found was not a quick fix or a short-term diet but a great way to live well for a lifetime. I want to share it with you!
| current weight: 185.0