My name is Annie. I am a 53-year old mother to 6 beautiful daughters and a Meme’ to 4 grandsons with my daughter (#1) expecting her second child next summer (maybe a girl?). I am married to my soulmate, Mark since 9/22/84. I am an actress in Community Theatre and very involved in my community, but for a very long time, I have been very unhappy with my weight which was reaching dangerously close to 300 lbs. (on my 5′ 10″ frame, it wasn’t really noticeable, but I knew it!). My mom was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer in her mid-50s and I know that I wanted to do whatever I could to stay/get as healthy as I could. I thought that I could deter my increasing weight by exercising (which had always worked for me in the past), but absolutely nothing worked!
I met Kathy Howitt initially in 2013 when she came to the school where I work to talk to me and some of my co-workers about the SHAPE Program. I was not ready at that time (the cost was a big deterrent for me), and I just knew that I would have to stop living the life that I had been accustomed to (lining up my mini chocolate bars up like cord wood and my bags of low-salt chips because they were “healthy”).
I have a very good friend (more like a sister), Kim, who was doing the SHAPE Program in 2013 (at the time that Kathy came to talk to us). Kim was VERY successful at that time and after a few years, Kim decided that she wanted to do the SHAPE Program again. I was intrigued at Kim’s dedication and after a time, I decided that I was ready to change my life. I was SO scared! I am not going to lie, when I had my phone conference with Kathy before starting the SHAPE Program, I was very depressed to know that my life would never be the same as I need to stay away from dairy, grains AND sugar! YIKES!
I started the SHAPE Program on National Donut Day (I can’t make this up folks!), and initially I tried to track my success with a graph. I would lose the same range of weight weekly, my body would adjust and then my body would lose another chunk of the same range the next week. I was shocked beyond belief to see the success that I was having with the SHAPE Program! Thankfully my friend Kim kept track of my success through pictures or else I would have never believed it myself without the visual proof!
My family was/is very supportive of me, and my 9-year old (daughter #6) will tell me that something “is not for you Mommy.” Constantly, my family tells me just how proud they are of me. When school started in September 2017, people wouldn’t recognize me! They thought I was a new staff member.
I thought my transformation was done, but NO! SHAPE wasn’t done with me! I continue to reshape, and I’ve actually had people go by me not realizing that it was me.
I recently finished a play in which I played a nun (again, I can’t make this up), and people who would come to see the play would remark about how incredible I look!
Thank you, SHAPE, for saving my life! I don’t get up with a feeling of dread or a droopy belly. I am a “cheap date” as I marvel at my continuing transformation. I would like to take this time to thank Kathy Howitt, my friends Kim, Claire, and Cindy, as well as my family and friends who have cheered me on! I have lost a total of 80+ lbs. since that National Donut Day of 2017, and I am not afraid to see Thanksgiving come (bring it on!)!
Happy Holidays (you’ve made mine very happy AND healthy)!
Submitted by Kathy Howitt, RD