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Crystal, weight loss

I got in my car after that meeting and sobbed. I realized I had to give up all the foods I loved. All the bread and pasta. You’re talking to a person who was at the absolute lowest part of her life.

Crystal Portrait: weightloss story

I have always been overweight and tried different diets through the years. Nothing really worked. In 2010, at the age of 37, I got up to 417 pounds and was approved for gastric bypass surgery. I lost 167 pounds from that. But over time, the weight just gradually came back on. It was as if I had been through life-threatening surgery for nothing!

My primary care doctor, Dr. Georganna Starnes, was the first person to recommend the Metabolic, Weight Management and Lifestyle Center in Greeneville, but I didn’t see the point. “You’re just setting me up to fail,” I thought. Every time I saw her I would have either gained a little or lost a little, just back and forth. Then I went to my gynecologist, Dr. Amber Mullins, for my annual appointment and she actually talked me into going. She didn’t give me a choice, really. She just said, “I’ll tell you what, I’ll make you an appointment right now.”

I was 319 pounds when I met family nurse practitioner at the clinic, Laura Doty. She put me on a fancy scale that measured my body weight and body mass index, or BMI. And she ran all types of tests. Then she started educating me about what sugar does to your body and how hormones can trigger cravings. And they she gave me a book to help me chose what types of foods I could eat. They were all very friendly.

But I got in my car after that meeting and sobbed. I realized I had to give up all the foods I loved. All the bread and pasta. You’re talking to a person who was at the absolute lowest part of her life. I rarely ate vegetables. I had no idea what a spaghetti squash was or what a leek looked like. But I reluctantly decided to give it try. I loaded up on a bunch of vegetables at the store, came home and just went to bed.

For about a day or two I was in what I call sugar and carb “DTs.” I wanted to eat all that bad stuff. But Laura said to give the diet a week, so I did. I went back to see her a week later and had lost nine pounds. I was pretty happy about that. So was she. I told her how hard it was and she said it was my sugar and carb addiction. Sugar secretes a hormone that makes you crave more sugar. It’s an awful cycle, but one you can break. I’m proof of that.

I came in the second week and was down 14 pounds. The diet was working. But not only that, the pain in my legs was gone. I always thought I had arthritis. Laura said that sugar can cause inflammation in the joints.

I came in the second week and was down 14 pounds. The diet was working. But not only that, the pain in my legs was gone. I always thought I had arthritis. Laura said that sugar can cause inflammation in the joints. That was my real aha moment. My focus was no longer about the weight loss but about feeling better. Soon, I was able to do things I couldn’t do before, like get down on the floor and play with my grandbaby.

Sixteen months after my first appointment at the Metabolic, Weight Management and Lifestyle Clinic, I was down 138 pounds – my target weight. I’ve maintained that for well over a year now. I also coach others how to lose weight and keep it off through two different Facebook groups – Taking My Life Back…Weight Loss Support Group and Cutting Carbs with Crystal.

I am grateful that I decided to give the Metabolic, Weight Management and Lifestyle Clinic and try. It gave me the strength to get my life back.


Is weight management for you?

If you think weight management might help you – like it did for Crystal – learn more about the Metabolic, Weight Management & Lifestyle Center here