Rita Solomon, 45, New York
I was 19 and wasn’t living my life. I didn’t want to put on shorts or go to the beach with my friends. So, I tried countless diets, lost the weight quickly, and then became caught up in a binge eating cycle and gained it back. Always.
The worries about my weight, the restrictive diets, and the binge eating were controlling my life. I knew something had to change or the same cycle would continue forever. I booked a month at Green Mountain at Fox Run during summer break from college. That was more than 20 years ago and I’ve never looked back.
In my college setting, I had been following a strict diet that didn’t allow me to eat my favorite foods. So, I found Green Mountain’s non-diet approach to healthy weights almost too good to be true. It was unbelievable to me that I could listen to what my body wanted and I wouldn’t be eating junk food all the time. But, lo and behold, because Green Mountain helped me understand my hunger and fullness cues, and I liked how my body felt when I fed it well, I found that junk food was going stale in my house when I got home from Green Mountain. I still find it amazing 20 years later that I can have it in my kitchen, and it will go stale because I find it uninteresting.
Green Mountain helped me figure out why I was binge eating and how to take care of myself physiologically to prevent that behavior. In learning how to eat mindfully, I have lost 50 pounds and maintained that weight loss. Even after I gave birth, I found that I returned to my healthy weight rather easily through mindful eating.
Once you get your metabolism back to a better place — when it doesn’t think it’s being starved – it returns back to normal and functions better. In college, I was eating so much less, but I was so much heavier from the havoc I wreaked on my metabolism and the binge eating that resulted from restriction.
Like anybody, there are times when I get stressed, and I’ve come back to Green Mountain to be reminded of all the things I’ve learned. When I turned 35, I came back for an alumnae weekend. I wasn’t looking to lose any more weight, but I wanted the relaxing, all-women environment. It’s helped make the changes stick and helped me to maintain my healthy weight.
One of the things I’m most proud of is teaching my daughters about healthy eating. All their friends are dieting, but my daughters don’t see their food as good or bad, or allowable or off-limits. Like me, they eat what they want and don’t restrict. They follow what their body wants. It breaks my heart when I see other girls their age struggling with their weight because they have the diet mentality. It’s hard to watch them work so hard, when I know their lifestyle isn’t sustainable. I am so grateful for having learned a better way to live at Green Mountain that I could pass along to my daughters.