Still, in the beginning, I had no idea how I would find the time to make it happen. I couldn't carve out an extra hour in my day; it just wasn't there. I didn't have time to buy a juicer and peel vegetables. When I asked people about dieting, they would make suggestions like counting points, going to a weight-loss group, or taking herbal appetite suppressants or even medication. I didn't want side effects, or to have someone watch me step on scales. Like most women I know, it wasn't about laziness—it was about busy-ness. We eat for energy. Dieting has always made me feel too tired.

I needed an answer to show up at my door. And amazingly, it did. After looking over weight-loss options on the Internet and doing some research on several of the top weight loss programs, I decided to go with NutriSystem, mostly because it was easy and healthy. And I loved that I didn't have to think about measuring portion sizes. I like food too much to constantly analyze it. I knew I wasn't going to stick to any diet if I had to process the process. With NutriSystem, I could just grab and go. For me, it's like buying shoes. I love shoes, but if you made me pick out the parts—the insole, the upper, the heel, the leather—I'd just try to find something else that I liked to do.

NutriSystem set the portion sizes, packaged the food, and checked the nutritional value, so all I had to do was order what I liked, pick up my delivery from my front porch, and stock my shelves. It's real food, like lasagna, and bean and rice soup, macaroni and cheese, so I didn't have to try to decipher ingredients or try to trick my taste buds with substitutions. Please! I'm not a woman who wants to pretend that rolled oats are cheese. With NutriSystem the oatmeal is the oatmeal and the lasagna is actual lasagna! And I could be real about what I could handle. The only real effort I ever had to make was ordering a drive-thru garden salad. That was tough! There was no going cold turkey on anything, including sweets. Caramel popcorn and the chocolate crunch bars got me through without one minute of crabby withdrawal from milkshakes, and the NutriSystem ice cream sandwiches are not only my favorite treat, but my kids' as well. The most significant thing I learned from the NutriSystem program was the necessity of eating three meals a day. My body responded very quickly to this healthy consistency. Over the years of irregular eating patterns I had thrown my metabolism into famine mode. No wonder my body would hold onto any calorie I consumed.


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