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Atkins helps Medford assistant manager lose 145 pounds

Jaime Dellipizzi, 36, of Medford, is pictured in

Jaime Dellipizzi, 36, of Medford, is pictured in January 2017, when she weighed 397 pounds, and in a more recent photo, showing off her 145-pound weight loss. Credit: Nita Elezi; Newsday / John Paraskevas

Jaime Dellipizzi

36, Medford

Occupation Construction company assistant manager

Height 5-foot-4

Before 397 pounds, January 2017

After 252 pounds, November 2017

Jaime Dellipizzi described herself as pleasantly plump growing up, but says after turning 25 her weight spiraled out of control.

“I tried all kinds of diets and exercise but didn’t have the willpower or the patience to follow through. I’d diet for a while, lose weight and then fall back into bad habits. I resigned myself to knowing that I’d always be big,” says Dellipizzi.

Although her doctor said she was morbidly obese, it was the tough-love treatment from her gynecologist that got her attention. He told her, “I’ll tell you why you’re constantly sweating, it’s not your hormones, it’s because you’re carrying 400 pounds around and you’re going to die from it.” He gave her a referral for weight loss surgery.

Dellipizzi says a bad experience at a seminar to explore surgery options launched her in a different direction. During her two-hour car ride home spent in self-reflection, Dellipizzi acknowledged food was controlling her life. She didn’t go to holiday gatherings because she couldn’t fit in chairs, she didn’t shop for clothes, and she avoided spending time with nieces and nephews, uncertain there’d be a place to sit.

The next day Dellipizzi began phase one of the Atkins diet, which for her meant no sugar, no carbs, no starches and “no lip,” her own message to just do it and shut up. She lost 20 pounds in two weeks but struggled exercising.

“I couldn’t walk 250 feet. I was out of breath and my knees and back couldn’t take it. I was mortified to be seen struggling by my boyfriend who never had a problem with my weight. It was my “That’s it!” moment.

She started following Ketogenic diet guidelines: low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat eating that forces the body to burn fat rather than carbs. Dellipizzi has lost 145 pounds in 9 months and wants to lose another 87 to reach her goal of 165. She says her doctor is pleased with her achievement and her blood work.

Dellipizzi has coffee, two scrambled eggs, a slice of cheese and a few slices of bacon for breakfast. Lunch can be a can of tuna and mayonnaise, a dill pickle and a slice of cheddar or American cheese. Dinner can be a bunless burger with cheese and a green salad or broccoli or riced cauliflower with a little butter. She snacks on vegetables she’s prepped in advance, a pickle or a tablespoon of sugar-free peanut butter.

Dellipizzi goes to the gym 4 to 5 days a week and works her upper and lower body with light weights, but at high repetitions, for 30 minutes. She does cardio work by swimming 72 laps. It’s one mile of swimming, which she says is equivalent to 10 miles of walking.

“If you’re 99 percent sure of something you want to do, that remaining 1 percent is too much room for error. You have to get to the point of “That’s it, I’m done!” and make the decision. My choice was to live or die, and I chose to live my best life. Once at goal, I want to spend my life motivating others to be their best self,” says Dellipizzi. She likes to say, “Time is going to pass anyway, it may as well be productive.”