HER STORY Although she grew up thin, emotional eating that started in her mid-20s added 150 pounds to her tiny frame. "I had 10 pregnancies but only carried two to term," says Janet Bickel of Holtsville. "Then, my son died before he was 6 months old."
She also had to deal with the death of both parents.
"I would feed my emotions," Bickel says. "I really went overboard when my husband died eight years ago."
"I'd lose some and gain it all back and more," Bickel remembers. "The group just didn't work for me. I needed a more one-on-one approach."
She found it in holistic nutritionist Christie Korth, founder of Happy & Healthy Wellness in Ronkonkoma.
Korth "not only addressed what I was eating, but why I was eating," says Bickel, who also suffers from kidney disease and has to have dialysis three times a week. "She introduced me to healthy food."
DIET "Before, I'd be full and continue to put things in my mouth," Bickel says. "I never gave my body or mind a chance to say 'I feel satisfied.' "
She now breakfasts on a small bowl of healthful cereal and blueberries. Her midmorning snack is a blender drink of kale, garlic, celery, parsley and blueberries or other fruit. Lunch is a salad with turkey or tuna. Dinner is a lean protein and vegetables or a salad.
"If I'm hungry at night, I'll make popcorn," Bickel says.
EXERCISE Before, she spent three days a week in the gym on the weight machines, the treadmill and in classes. "Now, I have a stationary bike in the house and ride three days a week," says Bickel, who also walks regularly and goes dancing every Friday night. "I'm still dropping weight, but without extreme exercise."
ADVICE "Whatever you do, figure out why you're eating and address it," Bickel says. "Christie taught me how to stop feeding my emotions. You need to find someone to help you do that."
Occupation Retired human resources specialist
270 Weight before April 2012
203 Weight after December 2012