Susan B. lost 1/2 her size... and still going
Since coming to the Rice House Susan has lost over 250 lbs.
1. What made you decide to attend the Rice House?
I had never heard of the Rice House prior to my coming here on November 24, 2003. I knew that at almost 500 pounds I needed to do something. I searched the internet for weight loss options and miraculously found The Rice House! After thoroughly researching its philosophy, I knew it was the place for me! The gastric bypass was never an option for me. I knew, intellectually, that I needed to "deal with" this issue head on and from a healthy perspective. I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I had my determination and dedication driving me.
2. Was it what you expected?
Truth is, I didn't know what to expect. I came to visit in August of 2003 to see if it was a place that I felt I could be successful. I ate lunch at the Rice House that first day. A bowl of rice and pineapple and an apple. It seemed fine. However, as I was eating the portion of rice I was dreaming about the fast food places that I had just passed only minutes up the road. I really had know idea was I was embarking upon! When I started my first day and I knew that my favorite drive thru's where not my best friends anymore...I was terrified. How was I going to cope with my feelings if I didn't have food to comfort me? In retrospect, it was everything and MORE than what I thought I expected. Learning how to be grateful, learning self-love, learning about a low salt way of eating and meeting the people that I have met here has forever changed my life.
3. How long was it before you felt great?
I felt extremely tired for the first couple months. Coming from an exhausting 10 years, it's only natural that the decompressing was exhausting. Not to mention eating 800 calories a day when I was used to 8000! By the third month I started to have more energy and by the 6th month I had hit my first 100 pound mark and going strong! Feeling great happened when I realized that my life was precious. That I was grateful for all of the wondrous things in my life like walking, talking, smelling etc. I know it sounds corny...but sit in on one Monday night class with Dr. Rosati or one Friday afternoon class with Dr. Neelon and you'll know exactly what I mean. Life is precious, I forgot that..or maybe I never really understood what it meant. The Rice House reminded me and taught me more than I could have ever imagined. I thought I came here to lose weight, but what I really got was a lesson in life management.
4. How long did you stay initially?
I started on November 24, 2003 and never left for any extended period of time. The longest I have stayed away from the program was 5 days at a time in the 2 years that I have been here. This program was a matter of life or death for me, as it is for many of the patients. You have a choice to stay or not to stay. I sold my business, left my family and friends...basically left my old life to start a new one. Trust me it wasn't easy. I've cried enough tears for a life time! However, it was all worth it. Getting to your goal weight, learning maintenance techniques and ridding myself of negative people and negative thoughts helped me be successful. Trust me, I don't miss anyone or anything that was negative in my life. In fact, the people and the thoughts have all been replaced with positive feelings !! Quite refreshing!!!!
5. And how much did you lose?
I have lost 260 pounds in 2 years.
6. What do you do when you are at home to stay successful? How do you remain focused?
This is the tough question! Since I haven't been home for an extended period of time I'll have to qualify the answer to the times I have been away from the program, in general. The easy answer is that I'm addicted to feeling good. That I love myself enough to realize that food is not the answer. That I learned in Jeff Georgi's class that there are four reasons a person eats....H.A.L.T. Hungry, Angry Lonely and/or Tired. Whenever I want to eat something that I know will not make me feel good either physically or emotionally, I say to myself, "H.A.L.T." What am I? If I'm hungry then something nutritious will curb my hunger the same way as something not so nutritious. If I'm angry, I deal with that anger, honestly. If it's directed at someone I speak to them. If it's directed at myself I deal with the reasons why, honestly. (That's a tough one!). A lot of times I've realized that I become angry at myself because I'm afraid of something...success, change etc. If I'm lonely (which has happened quite a bit down here being away from friends and family for so long) I call someone I love. Someone that I can laugh with or reminisce with. If I'm tired, I take a nap. Pretty simple. I use the H.A.L.T. method on a daily basis. It keeps me in check as to the new role that food has in my new life!
The past 3 months, I have been preparing myself to leave the program. I've learned to deal with change and transitions better since I've been here. There will be challenges, I realize that. I'm prepared for them to the best that I can be. I truly acknowledge my success and am extremely proud of myself. I'm looking forward to taking the tools that I learned...along with Chef JR's amazing recipes...and carving out a new life as it relates to food and my emotions around it! I am sure there will be ups and downs. By taking with me tools that I learned at the many classes I've taken at the Rice House, I'm hoping to be just as successful off the program as I was on the program! We shall see!
7. Do you have any general comments?
I would like to take this opportunity to tell everyone thank you. I've been a staple at the Rice House for 2 years and 3 days now. I will be here for a couple more months until I reach my goal. Then I will still have 2 more years of maintenance in order to "cured" according to Dr. Kempner, so the journey hasn't ended yet!
This experience has forever changed my life. Dr. Rosati, Dr. Neelon, Jayne, Kitty, Betsy, Judy, Rochelle, JR, Nancy, Raheem, Susan, Beverly, Betty and all the kids in the kitchen! I could never have been successful if it hadn't been for ALL of you. I came to the Rice House a frightened, morbidly obese, angry young woman. Each of you took care of me in your own special ways. In one way I will be very sad at my last meal (of course it will be spaghetti!!). However, I will have a little piece of each of you in my heart, always. For that, I am forever thankful, loyal and grateful. I am leaving the Rice House truly happy in my soul, at peace with my life and with my curves back to where they were!!