Jackie Miller is a stay at home mom and a freelance copywriter. She works from home where she home-schools her two children and takes care of all of the needs of the home. It is a busy, but quiet regimen that takes up a lot of her time. Jackie says she is not a very social person and never wanted to join a gym. She found it very hard to avoid temptations in her eating habits since she spends so much time at home sitting in her office chair.
“Sometimes, especially when I have two or three big writing projects,” Jackie said. “I would just eat whatever I want. I would excuse it, because of the urgency of the work. And there was no one around to provide the usual social pressure not to eat badly. I needed something to get me back on track. I had my dream life already, so changing my daily schedule wasn’t going to be in the plan. I needed a diet regimen that would help me overcome these limitations with my lifestyle.”
Jackie has been on the Nutrisystem program for over two years now. We went to her home to ask her about her experience with Nutrisystem.
Q: How does the program work?
Jackie: You’re given a limited amount of food, but they work it out in such a way that it doesn’t feel limiting. Obviously, losing weight means taking in fewer calories than you burn. That means you’re going to feel hungry. There’s really no two ways about it. But Nutrisystem has found some clever ways to disguise the fact that you’re eating less. For one thing, you eat six meals a day. There’s been a lot of research behind that for a long time. People aren’t supposed to gorge themselves. Having light meals keeps your system running at maximum.
Q: How does the food taste?
Jackie: Well, it’s not fine dining, but you get a nice quality of foods to choose from. The funny thing is, there’s a lot of comfort foods on the menus. To be honest, that’s what put me off it for so long. I would look at the menus and Nutrisystem reviews online and I just could not believe it. I mean, there are things on it like pizza and cheesecake. I was sure they were pushing a scam. But lo and behold, they aren’t.
Q: How were the first weeks using the product?
Jackie: To be honest, I was hooked right from the start. I work from home, and I have deadlines at all times of the day every day of the week. That means it’s very difficult for me to plan ahead for special events and outings. If I have to go to the grocery store, you know- if the kids need something specific- I might have to throw on some jeans and race to the store and get back in half an hour. If I want to have a telephone conference with a client, I have to tell them to give me a list of times that are good for them and then I pick one. The point is, Nutrisystem delivers all of your food for the month to you. That means I don’t have to go shopping! I can stay in the house and focus on writing with much less pressure. So really, losing weight isn’t the only thing that kept me going. Convenience was a big factor.
Q: Did you feel any pressure from other people while using the product?
Jackie: Yes. Except for my husband and kids, I don’t see a lot of people on a daily basis. That means if I put on five pounds in a month, there’s no slow graduation. I mean, my sister or the ladies at the book club will notice- because they don’t see me every day. But, in reality- I just realized that after two years into my online freelance career, I was not eating right anymore. I needed something different. That’s where Nutrisystem came in.
Q: How long did it take before you started to see results?
Jackie: Well, I don’t get on the scale every day and I don’t really look at myself in the mirror to check how much slimmer I might be. I’m not a vain person. But I did realize that I was going to have problems with my health if I didn’t impose some kind of system on myself. The program does set you up with a pretty well-regimented diet. So, I found that if I just sort of gave Nutrisystem the authority to dictate my diet, it would remove a great deal of the temptation to eat badly. So, that means, I felt less stress. I began to feel more energetic in the first week. That was the biggest difference- and in my opinion, it’s everything. The extra energy gives me the enthusiasm to go walk the trails with the kids and do some gardening in my free time. Frankly, it’s transformed my life and work from being like a kind of self-imposed prison into more like a permanent vacation. I know that sounds like an exaggeration, but when you’re schedule is dialed down as tightly as mine- it doesn’t take much to change everything.
Q: How has your life changed since you started using Nutrisystem?
Jackie: Staying home almost all the time can be liberating. But if you do it wrong, it can be suffocating. As I suggested, without discipline in my eating habits my energy levels were bottomed out. Once that starts, you need help, or else you’re just going to spiral downward. It affects your relationships, you start withdrawing, and you lose interest in the things you enjoy. I got to a point where I was just sitting in front of my computer working or waiting for work for 18 hours a day. I wasn’t using my free time constructively and I was starting to gain weight. I needed something to break up the stagnation. Surprisingly enough, changing the way I eat made enough difference to change everything.
Q: Have you been able to keep your weight loss results?
Jackie: Easily. I had never had a great deal of trouble with my weight, historically speaking. I mean, I always would have preferred to be a bit slimmer, like anyone. But my weight started to become a problem about a year into my stay-at-home career. I knew the risks; sedentary living, sitting at the desk too long, using my workstation for entertainment, and so on. I had to work out those problems myself. Obviously, Nutrisystem can’t make you eat at the dining room table instead of in your office chair. But the system gave me the boost in discipline that I needed to get me out of the rut I was in. Now, I’m back on track, and I’m slimmer and fitter than I’ve ever been. It’s great.
Q: How much does Nutrisystem cost?
Jackie: Nothing at all. It saves time and money shopping for groceries. Basically, I shop for everyone else except for myself. I think it comes down to about $300 to $350 a month. That’s more than I would spend if I was eating a lot of cheap processed foods, but the way you feel when you eat that way- you just know you’re going to end up in the hospital. It’s no joke. I’ve been using Nutrisystem for about twenty-three months now, and I’m planning to stay on it for at least another year. It’s only a little more expensive than eating normally, but the amount of time and extra energy I get out of it allows me to keep fit and to do more work- so it really pays for itself.
Q: Can you give an example of every meal; lunch, snacks, breakfast, dinner?
Jackie: Well, you can have just about anything you like. I’m a low-calorie person, in general. I mean I don’t do a lot of heavy work, so I’m able to avoid the richer foods- but they are on the menu. You can have potatoes, desserts, pizza even. It’s kind of hard to believe. On an average day, I’ll have two breakfasts, one yogurt, and granola, then eggs; for lunch, I’ll have a chicken or pasta salad- sometimes both; and for dinner, I might have steak and salad or a baked ziti. If I want to go out on the trail, Nutrisystem shakes are a great option. That sounds rich, and it is- but you’re not eating enormous portions, and the entrées are not made with exceedingly indulgent ingredients.
Jackie is an unusual case with her unique work and home life. She needed something to help her to make her unusual lifestyle work within the constraints of family and the rural town she lives in. Nutrisystem provided the structure and convenience that she needed to bring her schedule together and to stop her spiral into weight gain.
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