*Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan® is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks.
When Colleen's best friend from college asked her if she wanted to "do this" with her, she wasn't quite ready to commit.
At 333 pounds, Colleen was big, but active. She thought of herself as a "gym junkie" because she was always in spin class or some other activity. Even her doctor reported good blood work in her labs. But she did want a change. Never able to lose more than 50 pounds, she started talking to her doctor about surgery.
But after watching her friend shed 30 pounds* with the help of her OPTAVIA Coach Shannon (who also had success on the plan), she wanted in. Colleen began to feel that this was her time; she was now ready. A week before Thanksgiving 2014, she got on plan with her Coach, and the weight poured off. She never looked back.
At 100 pounds down*, Colleen started running. This was a huge accomplishment for the heavy child who got out of running the mile at school with a note from her father's medical practice partner excusing her from the run.
After 16 months of love, encouragement, and support from her Coach and the OPTAVIA community, Colleen reached her goal: She had lost 180 pounds*. She celebrated being half her previous size by running a half marathon.
It was Colleen's inclusive enthusiasm that motivated Shannon to tell her she should become a Coach. Colleen was already helping and encouraging other people. Becoming a Coach herself was the obvious next step.
"You can be as involved as you like, and help others on your schedule," she says about coaching, which works well for her since she works full-time as a data analyst.
Colleen has learned so much on her journey with OPTAVIA and the community. Most helpfully, she's learned the "why's" behind so many of her previous struggles. Through Dr. A's Habits of Health and the education and information OPTAVIA so freely shares, Colleen has learned how to identify those triggers that kept her eating emotionally, and how and why carbs and sugars can sabotage her plans.
"There's no blame or shame in OPTAVIA," Colleen says. "Just empowering encouragement. I had to figure out the WHY behind the problems. Not knowing why I was eating or couldn't lose weight was what kept me in the endless cycle."
Providing the critical knowledge of the Habits of Health to her own Clients keeps Colleen motivated. She says, "The great news is there's no end date on the Habits of Health. You keep the habits that you learn in this program. Being healthy is not just about a number; it's about a lifestyle of good habits."