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My Weight Loss Miracle

From eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource

Never say never again to Kathe Ratka.

When a physician told the mom of three she’d probably never lose the extra weight triggered by a hysterectomy and hormone replacement therapy (HRT), Kathe refused to accept the pessimistic prediction. Instead, the determined 35-year-old shed an incredible 41 pounds with help from the leading online weight loss and fitness program.

It's been a long, satisfying road for 5-foot-2 Kathe who's watched her weight dropped from 184 to 143 pounds since joining eDiets in March of 2001.

Kathe battled weight woes prior to her hysterectomy, but she says the problem escalated once her doctor prescribed HRTs. A series of ineffective diets (including one that caused her hair to fall out from lack of protein) left Kathe bloated and befuddled. She didn't know where to turn for lasting weight loss.

So she exercised... and exercised... and exercised some more. Kathe had convinced herself that fitness was her ticket to slim and trim. But after a year of working out religiously three times a week, she hadn’t dropped a pound. The physical activity had lowered her blood pressure and eased the pain of her aching joints, but Kathe's weight remained unchanged.

She nearly gave up and accepted her doc's depressing diagnosis: the extra weight was there to stay. But "something" told her to push on.

"I was on my computer and saw the eDiets banner and thought, 'what do I have to lose?'" recalls the wonder woman from Wisconsin. "I thought if I lose weight it will be a miracle and if I didn’t at least I would know I was doing the right things and I would accept being this weight."

In the first month, 6 pounds grudgingly came off. In the second month, 10 more pounds took a hike. It was soon apparent that it wasn't the hormone therapy or the hysterectomy that was to blame for her weight gain. No, somewhere along the line Kathe had developed bad eating habits.

Kathe is a vegetarian so it wasn’t necessarily WHAT she was eating. She came to realize it was HOW MUCH food she consumed. One major no-no: polishing off the food her sons (Andrew, 10, Benjamin, 8, and Jeremy, 6) didn’t eat.

Kathe always figured a few bites of macaroni and cheese every now and then wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans. But the extra calories and fat did indeed add up... to extra pounds.

"I figured it’s just pasta, which is something I normally eat anyways," says our enlightened eDieter. "So whatever was left in the pan, I would eat. And whatever was left on their plates, I would eat that too. You figure it’s only a little bit left in the pot, but if I were to put it in a bowl, it would probably be another bowlful.”

Once Kathe joined eDiets, she no longer needed to nibble. In fact, she didnt know if she could finish the great food on her personalized meal plan!

Learning what foods to eat (and how much made up a proper portion) laid to rest some of the misconceptions that had hindered her weight loss endeavors for too long.

"When you think of eating right and dieting on your own, you think you shouldn’t eat that much. But it’s the opposite," Kathe says.

When it came to following the meal plan, Kathe became a stickler for precision. Kathe measured out every teaspoon, tablespoon and cup called for in the tasty recipes she selected. Determined to get rid of the extra weight, she never deviated from the meal plan. Despite the fact that she doesn’t eat meat and can no longer eat raw fruits and vegetables due to a medical condition, Kathe still manages to stick with the program.

After getting down to 150 pounds last December, Kathe thought she could do it on her own. But after having a bad reaction to fresh fruit and realizing she needed guidance to retain her new eating habits, Kathe rejoined eDiets and quickly lost another 7 pounds. Now, she has no plans to go anywhere... except to a lighter weight!

She continues to do 45 minutes of strength and resistance training three days a week. She also has the energy to play with her kids, inline skate and power walk. Over the last year, Kathe has gone from a size 16/18 to an 8/10. Talk about diminishing returns: her hip measurement has gone from 47 to 38 inches and from head to toe she’s said bye-bye to 37 inches.

Kathe speaks from experience when she says you have to eat right and exercise to lose weight AND keep it off. She feels like a new person... someone full of confidence and energy, thanks to the one-two punch provided by eDiets.

"My life is so much better," she says. "I have energy. I wake up in the morning and look forward to the day.

"I always thought of myself as active. I had played soccer and been a cheerleader in high school. I never wanted my boys to be saying ‘that’s my mom sitting on the bench.’ I wanted them to be saying ‘that’s my mom over there -- isn’t she cool?’ You never want to grow old and you never want to feel like you can’t get out there and play with your kids."

Before gaining weight, Kathe had enjoyed entering beauty pageants. Just recently, she summoned the courage to strut her stuff once again. This time around, she felt more confident than ever up on stage.

"I never thought I’d ever do a pageant again in a million years," Kathe says with obvious joy in her voice.

"What made eDiets different for me was having to go and own up to what you are eating. You had to look it in the face every week when you checked in. If you lost weight, you got a congratulations. And if you didnt, it asked what you did differently this week.

"It was kind of like someone confronting you. That’s what I needed to discipline myself."

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