Saturday, July 13, 2013

Slim Down Saturday: How I Became A Human Guinea Pig

This is my first in a series of Slim Down Saturday blog posts.  

On July 9, 2013, I officially enrolled in the Nature’s Sunshine Slim Down Challenge -- a 90-day diet challenge with some tempting prizes (sort of like The Biggest Loser, but on a smaller scale, and thankfully not on TV!).    Each Saturday, I’ll be “fessing up” on my progress or lack thereof on the blog.  My new scale (pictured above) doesn’t lie. 

As of Day 5, I have lost 4.8 pounds!

I won’t disclose my starting weight or post my “Before” picture.  Let's just say it isn’t pretty, and I have a LOT of excess weight to lose.

I’ve yo-yo dieted since 1976, when I joined Weight Watchers (for the first time – I’m a recidivist) to lose some of the extra weight I’d gained after the birth of my first child.  Over the years, I’ve tried several diets with some short-term success:  Weight Watchers (4 or 5 times, I've lost count), Diet Center, Jenny Craig, South Beach.  But I always regained the weight.  For the past few years, frankly, I’d pretty much given up.

But then the realization hit me.  I have no health insurance.  I won’t be Medicare eligible for five years. 

Staying well is my only real option.

And even though I am quite healthy for a fat old lady, obesity is undeniably a health risk.  It is time to fight the battle of the bulges one last time.

My cousin Jeannie, a Certified Natural Health Consultant, has worked as a natural health consultant for Nature’s Sunshine for the past 15 years.   She and her daughter co-manage their Family Herb Shop. Jeannie is an inspiration in many ways.

My Cousin Jeannie 

How old do you think she is?  When we attended a meeting together on July 1, my tax office leader asked if she was my NIECE!!!  She is 13 months older than I am!  Yes, she is 61 years old, but I think she looks 15 to 20 years younger.   And it’s not just because of her cowgirl tan and the lack of gray hair.  It's all those herbs and her health-conscious lifestyle.

When Jeannie cared for her elderly mother, who died in her sleep on her 99th birthday, doctors were amazed that her mom had stayed so healthy and alert using natural herbs and supplements.  And when I was going crazy with hot flashes during menopause, the only thing that gave me any relief was an herbal formula called Flash Ease. I’ve since recommended it to several friends who, like me, were skeptical at first, but totally amazed at the results.

So, when I learned about the Nature’s Sunshine Slim Down Challenge, a promotion for their new line of diet supplements, I was ready to sign up.  Since Jeannie is too skinny to try the new diet products herself, she’ll use my feedback to help when advising her clients. I’m a volunteer human guinea pig.

Jeannie has also encouraged me to stick to a Blood Type A diet during the challenge---mostly fish, nuts, fruits and veggies, with occasional chicken or turkey allowed.  No red meat or wheat products, and limited dairy (yogurt and string cheese only).   Dr. Peter D'Adamo created the blood type diets, which are not generally accepted by dietitians and physicians -- or my daughter, the Harvard Magna.  So I guess I’m a guinea pig in that respect as well.

Given my previous dismal weight loss record, if I can lose weight on this plan, it's got to be good.  For more information about Nature's Sunshine products, here's my web link to Granny Be Well.   

Yours sincerely wasting away (The Beatles - When I'm Sixty-Four),



  1. Good luck, LeAnn. I no longer "diet", but do try to eat a healthy diet which starts with juicing in the morning. It has really lowered my blood pressure. Can't wait to hear all of your progress. xo Laura

  2. Wow! I showed my man the photo and he couldn't believe her age! Anyway, congrats on your loss so far and keep up the awesome work!

  3. Good for you for taking control! If it helps, I'm fighting this same battle with you. I have my sister and my daughter checking in with me daily on my daily progress. It's becoming annoying, but they love me and want me to succeed.

    Thanks for the link for the Flash Ease. I'm sure to check it out and give it a try.

    1. It really does help to know that I'm not going through this alone.


  4. LeAnn, best success to you!
    Jeannie does look fantastic! It's great that someone who cares for you is helping you.

    1. Thank you, Margaret. I got a little pep talk text from Jeannie yesterday.

  5. Congrats on your success already and I look forward to reading about your journey.