Sandy Thompson is the mother of a teenage boy on the autism spectrum and a fire crew dispatcher in Sussex County Delaware. According to Sandy, she has been struggling with her weight for well over thirty years, since she was a teenager. It was during those formative years that she, like many people, recalls gaining weight uncontrollably and not understanding why.
“I felt like I wasn’t eating any differently to anyone else, but I just kept gaining weight, and that’s basically been the story of my life.”
Sandy recently completed a year on the Nutrisystem Turbo 10 system, and she tells us that she was able to drop over 50 pounds in that time. Between the stresses of work and home, that’s a very good result compared to the average dieter. So we decided to ask Sandy about her experience with the program.
Q: How does the program work?
Sandy: Well, basically, you’re limited in the amount of calories you’re able to eat. I think it’s about half what the average person eats in a day. But they figure out some clever ways to help you keep from feeling hungry. For one thing, your meals are divided up into six portions a day. Six meals. So your meals are smaller than they would normally be, but you’re eating more often. It helps keep your metabolism going.
Q: How does the food taste?
Sandy: I liked it. There’s a lot of variety, and there’s also a lot of comfort foods. It’s kind of reassuring, I mean you put your trust in Nutrisystem and then they let you have a pizza or a burger and you’re like, ‘I don’t know about this.’ But it works. But I think the food is of a fairly good quality. They don’t use a lot of heavy ingredients like extra sugary bread, you know. But mostly it’s about calorie restriction that doesn’t feel like your calorie intake is being restricted because of the frequency of your meals and the kinds of meals you’re eating. Actually, sometimes I’m really surprised that it works at all!
Q: How were the first weeks using the product?
Sandy: Really surprising, actually. Yeah. I lost ten pounds in the first month or so, which was really amazing. I could really feel it. After that, it started to slow down to where I was losing between two and five pounds a month. It’s weird though because even if I couldn’t see a difference in the mirror, I could just feel it if I was losing weight. Now I know the feeling very well. It’s like my skin feels tighter. It’s kind of like either the fat valves are turned on and you’re gaining, or it’s not on and there’s a kind of negative pressure in your body that tells you you’re losing weight. That’s not a medical description of it or anything, but that’s how it feels.
Q: Did you feel any pressure from other people while using the product?
Sandy: Well, it’s a little embarrassing really because you have to have your Nutrisystem shakes and all the other paraphernalia with you. You can’t really go out to lunch with people like you would normally do because you’re like- ‘thanks but I have my Nutrisystem.’ I had a lot of support though because you know, everyone at the office knows me. It’s like, It’s not a secret that I needed to lose weight, so they were very supporting. So when I say it was embarrassing, that was really just me projecting.
Q: How long did it take before you started to see results?
Sandy: Oh, right away. Well, I mean- I didn’t “see” results right away. But in the first three or four days, I could tell it was working. I could tell it was working because I felt a little bit hungry, and energized- but not so much so that I was fantasizing about food all the time. The thing is, you’re restricting your calories, so you’re going to be tempted to cheat. But Nutrisystem makes it so that you don’t feel like you’re starving yourself, and you get your fun foods- so there’s no sense that your on some kind of really harsh regimen. But I lost ten pounds in my first month, and that wasn’t like super amazing- but it was enough to keep me going.
Q: How has your life changed since you started using Nutrisystem?
Sandy: Well, I feel great. I mean, it’s been like a huge victory for me. Like I said, I’ve been living with between fifty and sixty extra pounds my whole life. I never really felt as attractive as I wanted to, or could be. I never felt as energetic as I should be. The only time I ever really got to feeling good was when I was hungry and that would only last until I ate. The most important thing is that I learned that weight loss is possible, weight loss that lasts. After being on it for a year, I’m pretty much in the habit of eating in the way you eat when you’re on the program. So, now I pack my own home cooked meals and bring it for lunch at work most of the time and I eat five to six times a day. It keeps me from feeling hungry. I never feel bloated or heavy like before- never. Sometimes I have to remind myself to be thankful for that.
Q: Have you been able to keep your weight loss results?
Sandy: Definitely. Can’t you tell? Yeah, I mean it’s not like it isn’t a challenge. People going into it thinking that they won’t have to exert some self-control are fooling themselves. It doesn’t matter how good your diet plan is, your biology wants to push you to gain weight. Even now, I feel temptations and I’m not always perfect. But something I learned from the program is that if you strain to resist temptations for too long you’ll have a relapse- just like an alcoholic. So what you want to do is manage your cravings very carefully. You say to yourself, ‘yes, I can have a dessert, just not right now and not too much.’ But yeah, I’ve kept it off for two reasons I think: one; because I had been struggling all my life and I was really motivated to finally beat it- and I still am, and two; because the Nutrisystem regimen gave me a model to follow. Sometimes I feel like a religious person, because I’ll say to people ‘Oh no I can’t eat now, or I won’t eat that.’ I just stick to the program. Sometimes, it’s funny- I’ll say to myself, “What would Nutrisystem do?”
Q: How much does Nutrisystem cost?
Sandy: Well, I think it’s about $9 to $10 dollars a day. That sounds like a lot for most people. But I think if you really stick to the program, most people will spend less on their monthly food budget than they normally would- especially if you’re dieting and prone to gaining weight. That’s because you’re going to be eating out, buying what you like- going in for expensive diets and then splurging. I mean it’s like $300 a month for one person. And eating right is expensive. I read a bunch of Nutrisystem reviews online, and I figured out that I could actually save money if I stuck to the program they lay out for you. At first, I couldn’t really believe it. I kept looking for one Nutrisystem review after another and before too long I figured out that I could actually save money. To be honest, when you’re overweight, you have other medical problems that will cost you, so you’re saving there too. I’m not saying everyone will save money on it, I’m just saying- it’s possible. For me, that was my entry point. That was when I said, ‘Okay, Sandy, let’s do it!”
Q: Can you give an example of every meal; lunch, snacks, breakfast, dinner?
Sandy: I don’t know. You’re probably going to think I’m full of it if I tell you what the meals are like. There’s absolutely nothing on the Nutrisystem menu that you wouldn’t have in your everyday life. There’s pasta, chili, lasagna- I know, you’re making a face, but it’s true. For breakfast on most days, I would have an egg burrito with potatoes and cheese. A lunch might be like a pasta salad, and for dinner, it could be meatloaf or a casserole. I’m giving you some of the heavier foods just as an example. But, really there’s nothing that’s off the menu. The secret is they don’t use heavy ingredients that you don’t need, and portion control.
Today, Sandy is 5ft 5in tall and weighs 145lbs. She says that before she started using Nutrisystem, she weighed over 200lbs. She admits that without some determination, and self-control no diet can be successful. She attributes her success to the structure of the Nutrisystem diet plan and her own life experiences which gave her a particular drive to succeed. You can get your plan in the NutriSystem official website. Your body will thank you!