It’s the most gratifying birthday present Jane Leonard has ever received.
After 241 days, hundreds of meals prepared and dozens of unsolicited compliments, she reached her body weight goal: 134 pounds. It was the morning of Oct. 26, 2016 – her birthday – and she was 96 pounds lighter than when she started the ChiroThin Weight Loss Program.
The lightness wasn’t just in her body, either. When responding to congratulations that afternoon, the delight in her voice floated on a cloud.
“It’s exciting,” she said in a massive understatement. “This whole experience has solidified that I am worth it and I can do it.”
The magic number of 96 was actually her second target. Jane set the first goal, to lose 75 pounds, before she began the program on Feb. 28. When she blew through that in August, she decided to keep on going.
Over a little more than 34 weeks, Jane harnessed her self-discipline, channeled her inner strength and stuck to the program. When she stepped on the scale that birthday morning, the gift was something she’d given herself.
A New Plan
Jane’s was a familiar story. A bunch of different weight loss programs and promises, months of struggle, hundreds of special meals and supplements, thousands and thousands of dollars. Some success but mostly disappointment, and always back to where she started.
One day, a girlfriend told Jane about Dr. John and One Light. The friend’s daughter and husband were in the ChiroThin program, and it was really working. Jane went online to check it out.
“It looked good, but it was a little scary, too, because, you know, money is always at the front of your mind in these things,” she said. “How am I going to tell my husband I want to try yet another diet plan? What if I fail? What if I spend more money just to wind up at the same weight again?”
She plowed through the negative self-talk and finally decided there was nothing to lose with a phone call.
“Oh, my gosh, we had the best conversation,” she said of her first contact with Dr. John. “He was so nice and made me feel so comfortable. I was really excited.”
When she told her husband, Bob, about it, he was on board right away. He encouraged Jane to call back for more details. Next thing she knew, she had her starter kit was taking the first steps of her weight loss journey.
The Expanding Shrinking Team
Jane kept her support team small to start with – Dr. John, Bob and herself. She doesn’t like being the center of attention, and she wanted to see results before telling people what she was up to. As the structured program kept her checking off steps, Jane kept her progress to herself.
Whenever she hit a plateau, or a “stall” as they’re called in the program, she talked to Dr. John. In some cases, he recommended a plan modification to get past physiological challenges. Other times they’d go through a “thought re-patterning” session to address emotional issues that were working as barriers to Jane’s weight loss. They tackled everything from daily frustrations and relationship snags to decades-old concerns she didn’t even realize were still in her mind.
While other programs miss the emotional aspect entirely, Jane said, it was crucial to her success. “I didn’t feel like I had a lot of turmoil, but Dr. John helped me work through a lot of things to keep me on track.”
The program’s Facebook support group helped, too. “It was a great tool to refer to if I was in doubt, or maybe even to find a new connection,” she said. “I just feel like that is so important and so needed on the journey.”
As pounds drifted away and jean sizes shrank, it got harder not to spill the beans.
“Mom, what are you doing?” her teenage daughter asked suspiciously early on, when she noticed Jane was cooking two meals for every evening dinner. Her two grown sons noticed, too. So did friends and acquaintances, who became unknowing support team members when they praised Jane for how great she looked. And her father-in-law became one of her most enthusiastic cheerleaders, always staying positive and encouraging Jane whenever they saw each other.
The kudos were great, but they weren’t the most important thing.
“This program has taught me a new way of life,” she said. “I feel good about myself, and this is who I am now.”
Weight Loss, Personal Gain
It’s always been about more than a closet full of new, much smaller clothes, even if that’s what she now has.
“Everybody says I must have tremendous willpower, but I’m not looking at it that way,” she said. “It’s something I want, and I know I’ll get back what I’ve invested threefold because I’m going to be healthy. There are illnesses and doctors’ bills I don’t want, and now I’m in better shape when it comes to avoiding them.”
She’s also doing more with her husband, kids and friends. Not that she didn’t do those things before, but with her renewed confidence they’re more enjoyable now. Her relationships with everyone in her life are getting stronger, too.
Those are just a few of the reasons Jane calls the ChiroThin program a “no-brainer.”
“All it takes is a little bit of planning,” she said. “Sure, it’s been work, but it’s been really fun, too. Actually, it’s the easiest thing I’ve ever done, and that’s God’s honest truth.”
The greatest birthday present Jane has ever received is being smaller than she’s been in a long, long time. And now she’s writing a new, much lighter story.
Recently, when she met up with an old friend who hadn’t seen her in many years, her weight loss was the first topic. “I asked her, ‘Do you recognize this girl?’ and she said, ‘Yeah, I recognize her. You’re back.’”
“And you know what?” Jane said, “I am.”