rock-climbing-victory-1311775Sharon Alvarez was facing death. She was on oxygen 24 hours a day, on numerous medications, and could only get around using an electric cart. As Alvarez explains, “Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with COPD with Emphysema, which stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. I qualified for a double lung transplant because I was under the age of 63.”
However, Alvarez had a problem. “Before the Cleveland Clinic would even talk to me, I had to be a minimum of 215 pounds, which I was not. I weighed 264 pounds. They would talk to me at 215, but would consider me at 198. I knew that if I did not lose the weight, I was not going to be here. I had no choice. It was a life or death situation.”
Alvarez was so depressed that she didn’t care what she did. “This was what I was, this was my life.” Her husband, however, was at his wit’s end. He began researching everything he could get his hand on to try and help his wife survive. “Dieting” was not the answer. Like many, she had been on countless programs, riding the dieting roller coaster; lose, gain, lose, gain, lose, gain. She could lose it, but could not sustain the loss. As Sharon explains, “ (my husband used) the insurance broker where he works, which is Oswald, to find out if there were any programs out there that the insurance would pay for, a nutritionist, anything, anything! He was more desperate that I was.”
He brought the information home that night to look through with Sharon. Alvarez’s husband said, “Read this.” Sharon read the information and kept saying to herself, “This does not make sense. No Diet Weight Solution? It does not make sense.” Her husband chimed in and offered, “Let’s just try this. We have tried everything else, let’s just try this.”
When Sharon started working with Dee Wolk, the creator and founder of No Diet Weight Solution, she weighed 264 pounds. “I really listened to what my instructor was telling me. And it worked! I lost weight. I went from 264 to 183. And the journey’s not finished yet!”
One of the milestones on Alvarez’s journey was when her doctor told her, “You need to reconsider this lung transplant. You are physically, mentally, and emotionally in better condition than you were 2 years ago.” She is no longer on oxygen 24 hours a day. “Now I can go off it in spurts. Before I lost weight, I was in an electric cart wherever we went. Now, I walk.” Sharon also looks at food completely differently because of No Diet Weight Solution. “Yes, I have to have it, but I don’t live for my food. One of the ‘Dee-isms’ I am always told is ‘food is fuel.’ And it really is!”
The life changing ‘journey’ that Alvarez speaks of is about being back in control. “I know now that I can make choices, because of the program. It’s up to me, no one else, it’s me. With the other programs I have been on, and I can certainly list them, you do their program until you lose your goal weight and then after that, you maintain. Well that’s the problem. Maintain? That’s when everybody gains weight because they don’t know how to maintain.”
Alvarez says this time she learned how to maintain at the very beginning. “To maintain, I have to focus while I am eating. I’ve learned to focus on and listen to my body. When it tells me that I have had enough, I stop.”
This story has a happy ending. Sharon lost over 80 pounds using this new mindset. She went from a size 26 to a size 12. “When I shop, I am still going to the plus sizes and I will go and I will put something on and it’s like, what is this? I forget! I mean I really forget.”
One of the major transformational shifts that has occurred for her has to do with one word…‘enough.’ Sharon explains, “When I eat food now, I know because I am focusing on when I have had enough, when before I would eat until I had to unbutton or push myself away and waddle away from the table. And I focus constantly when I am eating. I’ve had enough. I know when to stop.”
Sharon shares the three types of hungers she learned about – physical body, emotional mind, and clock dictated. Alvarez explains, “One example, after listening to all the tools given to me in this program, and this really does make sense, is this; I love chocolate cake. But do I have to eat the whole chocolate cake to know that I love it No! I can have 3 bites of that chocolate cake and am in my glory. I still enjoy food, but I don’t have to have it all the time. Once you get your sense of the taste, that’s really all that you want. Appetite is (in your head). It’s not (in your stomach). And Dee will tell you, (your brain) is your appetite.”
Alvarez no longer thinks about food from a clock dictated standpoint, either. “My body tells me when to eat. I’m the only one I need to worry about. I don’t have to worry about anyone else’s eating. So, for me, it’s just very easy.”
This has not just been a physical journey for Sharon Alvarez; “I wore a coat here today. It’s a leather jacket. We lived in Europe for four and a half years and during that time I bought my leather jacket. I was so cool and hot in this black, leather jacket. It’s a European size, which is equivalent to a ten or a twelve. When we came back to the States, I started getting bigger and bigger and finally the coat (wouldn’t close over my body). As we were cleaning clothes out and taking clothes downstairs for storage, I could not part with this leather jacket. I couldn’t part with it. It represented so many good times. I kept it after all of these years. Recently, my husband brought it upstairs and he said, ‘Here, let’s try this on.’ The coat I was wearing was way too big. I put the coat on and I had to sit down on my kitchen chair. I was sobbing. The coat fit. The coat fit! I am wearing that coat now. I am so glad that I hung onto it. That coat represented a happier time, it represented a thinner time, and I am wearing it again. And I am wearing it with a smile because it made me happy.”
Knowing there are a plethora of weight loss programs out there, anybody can lose weight. But Alvarez says, that is where the game changes. “That is the point at which it becomes an individual thing. How bad do you want it? If you want it bad enough, you can do it. Where, for me, it was my health. It was a life or death situation. I had a choice. I couldn’t get any lower, I didn’t know what it was going to be like for Christmas the following year. So, for me, I had to lose weight. I had three beautiful children, I six beautiful grandchildren, and a husband. They couldn’t do it for me even though they wanted to. I had to do this. It was a very easy decision for me to do it once I said, ‘I have to.’ There are too many people who depend on me, that love me, that want me to be in their life and I’m not going to be in their life if I don’t take matters into my own hands. That’s when Dee gave me the tools to take matters into my own hands and that’s what I did. There hasn’t been an opportunity to gain weight. There’s no reason to gain weight when this is how you eat from the beginning.”

For assistance with establishing healthy eating, shopping and cooking patterns for your family, contact No Diet Weight Solution® 800-770-4336 or visit us at to learn more about the help we offer. We help people to become healthier and happier, by addressing the causes of overeating – not the symptoms of excess weight.

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