Success Story
Lee-Ann's Story

I have been overweight/obese my entire life. From the time I can remember, food has always been my comfort zone. When family and friends would gather, we were surrounded by food. I would eat when I was happy, sad, stressed or bored; and it was never the "good for you" vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean proteins kind of foods. It was always high calorie, high sugar, high sodium, and high fat foods. You know the kinds; pizza, ice cream, cake, French fries, and fast food drive through. I wasn't an active child, thus resulting in me not being an active adult. I was happiest sitting in front of the television, eating an entire family size bag of chips, watching my favourite shows day in and day out while my butt grew bigger and bigger.

I used food as a coping mechanism to function in life. I wasn't depressed or didn't enjoy my fat life.

I used food as a coping mechanism to function in life. I wasn't depressed or didn't enjoy my fat life. For the most part I was happy and content. I never really paid too much attention to my size. People would say things like "you have such a pretty face" or "you have such an amazing laugh". At the time it never occurred to me that they were probably thinking "if she only lost the weight..." or "damn that girl is big!" I was oblivious to my size. As I got older, the weight kept pouring on with every cream cheese stuffed bagel and extra-large bowl of fettuccini alfredo I ate.

I can remember being as young as 12 and my grandmother wanting me to join her weight loss group T.O.P.S. I begged and pleaded with my mom to not make me go. What 12 year old honestly wants to spend her Tuesday evenings with a bunch of 70 year old ladies gossiping about whatever it is that 70 year old ladies like to gossip about? Not this one! I did eventually join Weight Watchers when I was 22. It didn't work. I wasn't committed to it and I made excuses for continuing to eat badly. I would eat a Dairy Queen Blizzard and say it was ok because I counted it in my points or save up extra points all week and binge on take out, wine and candy all weekend. Week after week I would go to the meetings and not lose any weight and not understand why?

Frustrated with not making any progress I quit, thus resulting in my butt growing even bigger (as if that was possible). At my heaviest documented weight I tipped the scales at a portly 300lbs. I was well over that mark but never had the guts to step on a scale to find out what my heaviest truly was. If I knew how much I weighed, it would be real. My problem would be real and I would have to do something about it. And it would be hard. And I would have to give up all this yummy junk I ingest on a daily basis and I would probably have to work out and well...I don't run! It never occurred to me that I was unhealthy. I didn't have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes. Those are all fat people diseases right? I was a healthy chunky, big boned person, or so I told myself.

My breaking point came one cold April morning in 2011. I was walking past a full length mirror in my hallway and noticed my arms. They were HUGE. Scratch that, they weren't huge, they were ginormous. They were so ginormous they had rolls. The rolls had rolls. I had never noticed this before. I was flabbergasted. I couldn't believe that I had let myself get to this point. It was 4 months before my wedding and my dress was sleeveless. My first thought was, "how do I sew sleeves on this puppy?" My next thought was, "My wedding is in August, I can't wear sleeves. It's bad enough I sweat when I'm sitting on the couch, I'll be sweating for sure in the humid August heat." I didn't want the most important day in my life to be permanently remembered in photographs with me having rolls over my elbows. It was at this exact moment that I picked up the phone and contacted Diana.

I made an appointment to meet with her the following week. After discussing it with, my then fiance/now husband, Chris, we decided we would do this together. Chris didn't have nearly as much weight to lose as I did, but he wanted to be a support system and if we learned it together we could work together to stay motivated to succeed. We met with Diana the following week and it was instant chemistry.

She understood us, never judged us and sincerely wanted to help us. Diana was my saving grace. Not only did she teach me about proper nutrition, label reading, portion sizing and how to pair foods, she helped me understand why I was the size I was and how to succeed at becoming a healthy person. We went through the 6 week Sana program and learned everything we needed to become healthy.

She understood us, never judged us and sincerely wanted to help us. Diana was my saving grace.

She re-enforced that we had to become active; diet alone wasn't going to give us the results we needed to see. So, I hired a personal trainer and started attending regular "bootcamp" style classes. Chris went so far as to take a personal training course and we've converted our garage into a workout studio (totally to my benefit, but don't tell him that).

Once we finished the 6 week program, we continued to see Diana for support and what I like to call my "therapy" sessions. She listens to our daily stresses and obstacles and helps us to come to solutions on how to deal with everyday life that doesn't involve eating every-single-piece-of-food-in-the-house-to-feel-better. She taught me that it's ok to succeed and to not feel ashamed by it. I think that was my biggest worry about the entire process ...I was afraid to succeed. It was so much easier to fail and not have any expectations to live up to. Now, I want to succeed. I want to see the results and week after week I'm astounded at how far I've come and how much better my life is in every aspect.

It's been a very long, hard journey. In fact, it's the hardest thing I've done in my life. It's been just over a year and a half and I'm proud to say that so far I've lost 110lbs, more than 55" overall and I've gone from wearing a size 24 to a size 10. I still have a little way to go, but I know I can do it because I have a great team on my side cheering me on the whole way. Also, remember when I said "I don't run!" well, I ran my first organized 5km run last September and I'm proud to say I ran the entire Skm and finished in a decent time.

Now, nutrition and fitness are a part of our everyday life. People aren't saying "You have such a pretty smile" anymore, they're saying "Wow lee-Ann, you look amazing I" It's such a great feeling.

Thanks Diana, for being such an amazing support and such an inspiration for me to become the person I was always destined to be.

Thanks so much,
Lee-Ann Cormier

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