Before & After

Yasmine F.

Weight is as heavy mentally and emotionally as it is physically! If there were a book titled 101 Nicknames for Fat People, I’d probably recognize every single one of them because I had been fat since I was 5 years old. Some of the names people called me were meant to be terms of endearment (I think?). Others were outright mean.
But, hey, as the old saying goes, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” right?
Wrong! Every time someone called me Miss Piggy, Chubs, or Hippo, it was a sting to my psyche. I remember one incident when I was only 10 or 11 and told someone I wanted to take ballet lessons.  She scoffed, “They don’t have ballet for bears.” Then there were the sympathetic glances from strangers, lectures on weight loss
from the über-judgmental peanut gallery, and questions from family and friends like: “Why are you doing this? Are you at war with yourself?”

The answer was yes, I was at war with myself, but not because I was overweight. It was because I was unhappy and my pick-me-up of choice was food. Most days, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a doughy and dense loaf of bread, or a crunchy (large) bag of chips and a tub of salty and fatty dip. Eating is what I did to try to feel
better. It’s not that I didn’t try to lose weight. I did the cabbage soup diet, the lettuce diet, the apple diet, and the Atkins Diet. Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers were just notches on my yo-yo-ing belt! I’d lose 35 pounds, gain 50, lose another 40, and put 60 back on! Exhausted and fed up, I decided to let go, and embrace the fact that I was fat. Defending my overweight status became my pièce de résistance! I was lying to myself in a big way.

Twenty-eight years of food abuse later, I decided to snap out of it. I have tried over and over again to recall my impetus to change. All I remember is sitting at my office desk on a beautiful spring day, clicking open my browser, and typing in “YELP” and searching for “nutritionist.” Rania Batayneh’s page popped up almost instantly. I
clicked on her website link, and the next thing I knew, we had set up our first phone session.  At that session, I was defensive as ever. I told her: “I’m unhappy, I want to lose weight, but I hate dieting, I hate counting calories!”
Rania’s response: “Great.” She told me I wouldn’t have to count a single calorie and she wouldn’t dictate what I should eat.  Instead, she was going to offer solutions. She explained how her 1:1:1 strategy—one protein, one carb, and one fat at every meal or snack—could change my relationship with food. It was that simple!

I started losing weight right away simply by following the 1:1:1 plan—I lost 13 pounds in the first month! Slowly but surely, I started moving toward changing the habits that weren’t in my best interest.  I began incorporating activities such as long walks with friends, hikes in the hills nearby, and resistance training at the TRX training
center, and before long, exercise became second nature. Soon enough, I was so hooked on being active that my body would actually ache if I was inactive for more than 2 days in a row. Within 6 months, I was down 30 pounds.  The change I saw in myself went beyond my new and improved physique. I had a renewed passion for my own life, and my mental and emotional well-being improved. I learned how to say no: no to the unhealthy food choices; no to the people and circumstances that made me uncomfortable; no to anything that made me unhappy! And I also learned how to say yes: to new experiences, to delicious healthy food, and to anything that supported my ultimate goal of being healthy and happy. It took a year, but I dropped 60 pounds and four dress sizes—and I’ve been at this healthy weight for another year. I’m happier than I’ve ever been. 1:1:1 not only changed the way I ate, it changed my life.