Kathie Van Loh
Nine months to realize it wasn't about the weight but more about her relationship with food
Western Oregon University Master degree candidate in rehabilitation counseling
60, married, one daughter, two sons, and two teenage grand kids
From a shirt size 20 to 8
"When I eat out, I prepare carefully. I bring an ice chest with me and bring home half of [my meal]. I enjoy it because I get to eat out twice!" And before she goes to buffets, she creates an action plan of which fruits, vegetables and protein she will eat and does not go back for seconds. Kathie also exercises every day for 40 minutes to an hour by taking walks in a nearby forest, doing aerobics or lifting small weights.
"I don't forbid myself any foods. If I forbid myself food, say I can't eat that, it creates a desire for it. It creates a position of weakness. On the other hand, if I say I choose not to eat that, that's a position of strength." Nevertheless Kathie does have a weakness for cakes, pies, donuts and sweet rolls. And even though she considers it a healthy item, she says a baked potato with cottage cheese is one of her trigger foods that she avoids because she can't just eat a single portion.
Her belief system, her actions and her mindset. Kathie made a commitment that maintaining a healthy lifestyle was for the rest of her life and that if she made a mistake, like eating something unhealthy, that doesn't give her an excuse to give it all up.
Kathie likes to eat a variety and strives for organics when she can, including tofu, flax seeds and some vegetables. She even concocts her own salad dressing made with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and tomato sauce. She loves it but warns it's an acquired taste.
Sense of failure with previous attempts; "I would try so hard and I couldn't do it and then I'd feel like what was wrong with me, why can't I do this? It was just a continual put down."
: After trying diet after diet, Kathie met a woman who had succeeded with her own weight loss for nine years and realized she wasn't doing anything that Kathie couldn't do. Kathie eventually concluded "What I looked like didn't have so much to do with how I felt, but how I dealt with food."
Kathie realized that she was numbing herself with food instead of dealing with her issues. Once she dealt with them, she felt she grew.
Freedom regarding her food choices, what she wanted to do with her life and the positive feeling of accomplishment.
Kathie enjoys the newsy items, such as learning about different kinds of foods, what's considered to be healthy and the reasons behind it.