The Story of a Lifelong Dieter

Why was it so important for me to give health coaches a responsible diet?  You’ll find the answer here.There are all kinds of dietary theories out there. If followed, almost all of them will work…for a little while.

There are all kinds of dietary theories out there. If followed, almost all of them will work…for a little while.  You may lose weight and then, it comes back.

Have you experienced that?

Have you watched other people go through it?

Mindset is important.  You must have a strong enough why that you can continue to do what you need to do, even when something more important comes up, or something upsetting happens or despair arises.

Weight loss needs to be through permanent, sustainable lifestyle changes.  It’s not realistic to get into a situation where a person is undernourished, overworked or deprived.  Quick weight loss leads to quick weight gain.

This is one of the first issues many of us run into as health coaches.  People who want to lose weight fast and because they’re paying you, they expect you to make that happen.  Most people today expect immediate gratification and they’ll deal with the fallout from it later.

Cathy Sykora

Cathy Sykora

Founder, The Health Coach Group

Cathy helps health coaches build and maintain successful businesses that improve the lives of others.

My First Diet

First Grade

I went to a parochial school.  The bus took the kids from our neighborhood to school and got there way ahead of the other kids.  We went to church and then ate breakfast at school.  After eating cereal every morning for all my life, hard boiled eggs and yogurt started showing up in my little brown bag.  I didn’t like boiled eggs or yogurt and didn’t think I was overweight….but it got me thinking about deprivation and weight loss at the age of 6. I disliked it all so much that I threw it away and went without breakfast.

My mom meant well.  At the time, those were considered two good, healthy choices.  I am allergic to dairy and egg whites, so there may have been a reason that I felt so strongly about not eating them, that and the fact that I didn’t want to diet at 6.  I wanted yummy food.

Diet #2

Diet Pepsi

My family switched to diet pop when Diet Pepsi first came out.  I can still remember, my whole family was on the back porch when I had my first one.  I didn’t like the taste, but we were a big family and only allowed soda once a week (on Friday), so I got used to it.  I was 7 when Diet Pepsi was introduced.  I gave up Diet Pepsi for delivered pure water when I was 27.  The oncologist has told members of my family to give it up right now.

Diet #3


I fasted for 30 days when I was 20.

I went through a pretty hard time at the age of 18.  I gained weight during this time.  I fasted for 30 days.  I lost weight fast and felt euphoria during a time that the euphoria came in handy. It helped me get through it, but it probably messed up my metabolism forever.  Of course, the second I ate something, I gained 6 pounds.  It also taught me I could quit eating and lose weight fast.

Diet #4


Hormones were a problem and I gained weight at 35.  I went to a doctor who was advertising pills for weight loss.  I guess I was lucky.  I didn’t end up with heart problems.  This one was like magic.  I lost weight, felt good and was never hungry.  I had to take sleeping pills to sleep.  When the news came out with people dying, I had to go to phentermine alone and gained weight back slowly. I stayed pretty active, but I couldn’t eat over 800 calories a day without gaining weight.

Someone who worked for me at the time started taking it too.  I wasn’t aware until a couple years later when he had a heart attack.  He was younger than me.

Diet #5

Body for Life

That was 50/50 – carbs and protein and three days of strength training and three days of HIIT.  I’d spent several years gaining weight with hormone problems, and this was life changing.  

I started running, got off water pills, diet pills and sleeping pills. I quit drinking wine at night because I noticed it didn’t make me feel good when I was training for a 1/2 marathon.

I felt magnificent…until I didn’t.  I found out I had leaky gut.  I was eating a lot of the foods over and over day after day, and my body was treating it all like it was poison.  The protein drink I had three times a day was particularly hard on me.



Eating to Live (not the diet)

I’d gone through all the tests with the doctors, and they couldn’t find anything wrong.  Well, except I had c-difficile from all the antibiotics I’d been taking for sinus problems.  The doctors sent me home and told me not to come back again because they couldn’t diagnose me and therefore, couldn’t treat me.

So, I finally took it into my own hands. I had food allergy tests done, and I gave up dairy, wheat, meat, sugar and all processed foods. Within three months I was eating 95% raw because it just felt better.  I started eating to live a long, healthy, energetic life.

I didn’t lose weight, but I lost inflammation, and I felt good.  My sinus disease (and I have the medical diagnosis from MRIs) is CURED.

Since then, I’ve started eating a few animal products.  I occasionally have a treat, but not very often. I NEVER eat dairy.

For me, food is essential to my health and it’s not connected to weight loss for me.

Exercise, stress reduction and sleep are the keys to weight loss for me.  Everyone is different; there are a lot of ways to lose weight, that doesn’t mean that anyone should do them.  It would be a HUGE step forward to change the value about exercise and make it about feeling good and strong instead of losing weight.

Healthy Habits create a lifestyle that encourages sustainable change. If parents learn, they can pass it to their kids and their kid’s kids. The Healthy Habits Weight Loss Program was designed to work with any dietary theory, and it is physician approved. It will change the businesses for health coaches, doctors, nurses and chiropractors and the lives of their patients/customers.  It will prevent a lot of people from going through the lifetime of diets like I did.

Lifestyle changes can turn lives around. A person can go from sitting in a house avoiding life to getting out and living it to it’s fullest.  That’s what we’re here for.  To coach people from their living rooms in the dark to the park or the art show or the church picnic or….even the 1/2 marathon for the first time at age 50.  It can happen and most people don’t even know how close they are to having a full life with the help of a few lifestyle changes and a small portion of their time.  It’s been especially rewarding to me to hear about the people who are turning their lives around using these programs.

What effects have diets had on your life?

What lifestyle changes have you successfully made or helped others to make?

Share in the comments below.