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Name: Lori and Ed Olson
Age: Lori: 45, Ed: 48
Height: Lori: 5'2", Ed: 5'11"
Before Weight: Lori: 298 pounds, Ed: 310 pounds
How We Gained It: My husband, Ed, and I had always been overweight and after we got married, we tried a few different diets. We lost weight, but then always gained it back. After we started having our kids, I was too busy being a mom and taking care of everyone else to take care of myself. I cooked mainly quick easy dinners, or picked up packaged or fast food. We continued to put on more weight throughout the years. I was told by a doctor that my blood pressure was going up along with my cholesterol. I still didn't make any changes because I felt so overwhelmed with the idea of losing more than 100 pounds. Just getting up out of a chair and walking around the house left me out of breath. I dreaded going up and down the stairs because it left me short of breath as well. I carried so much weight around my stomach area that sitting was very uncomfortable. Restaurant and movie theater seats were very uncomfortable, if I fit in them at all. I felt like it was hopeless.
Breaking Point: Ed was watching Bill Maher one night in December 2010. Dr. David Kessler was on his show, promoting his book, "The End of Overeating." Ed thought the book sounded interesting and decided to order it. He read it and started making some changes in his eating habits and exercise. I noticed he was losing weight and feeling better and wasn't starving himself! A few months later, I began my journey.
How We Lost It: I cleaned out the fridge and the pantry and replaced all the unhealthy food with fresh veggies, fruit, whole grains, lean chicken and fish, and healthy fats, such as nuts and avocados. The first four to six weeks were hell. I didn't know if I was going to be able to do this. I had not eaten healthy or exercised in many years.
I joined the gym that our son, Kyle, went to and began walking on a treadmill for 20 minutes, four days a week. The weight started to come off, and I started to feel better. At the end of the first year, I lost 99 pounds. At that time, I stopped going to the gym and began working out at home using fitness DVDs. Ed continues to walk or jog outside, three miles a day.
It really kept us motivated to know that we were both working toward the same goal. We were very supportive of each other when we reached small goals along the way. We continue to support each other daily. We talk to each other a lot about how different life is now. Ed is a pharmacist and is on his feet all day. He used to suffer from sore hips, legs and feet when he was over 300 pounds. He can stand for hours with no pain now. He says he gets mentally tired, but not physically like he used to. He runs and jogs now, which he never thought he'd be able to do.
We bought a new bed recently, and it looked so small compared to our old bed, but we fit just fine! Sleeping is so much more comfortable. We no longer snore, it's easy to get comfortable and we don't have aches and pains. I flew to California recently, and I had to smile to myself when I sat down in my seat. I did not need a seatbelt extender like I did the last time I flew! Having the armrest down didn't bother me in the least. Sitting is more comfortable, I can cross my legs, I have a lap! I can walk long distances and not get out of breath. My energy level is so much higher than it ever was when I was heavy. Life is so much brighter all around. I feel like I'm a better wife and mother.
We want people out there to know that losing weight is not impossible. You don't have to starve yourself and you don't have to overdo it with exercise. It can be very overwhelming when you have a lot of weight to lose, but you can't look at the big picture. Take it one day at a time. This is a lifestyle change, not a race.
After Weight: Lori:, 143 pounds Ed: 170 pounds
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