SUCCESS STORY: LORI O’DELL

“I’ve always had trouble having a healthy relationship with food,” said Lori O’Dell, a Trust participant who works as a checker at Sehome Village Haggen in Bellingham. “It’s been an ongoing thing in my life. I think this is true for a lot of us.”

She started the Naturally Slim program with some uncertainty. Since she’d tried so many other things in the past, she didn’t have high expectations. But the program brought new, intuitive ideas about eating and movement into play.

“The principles are different from what I’ve tried before,” said Lori. “And the simplicity of this program is very refreshing. It’s very focused on paying attention to your body. It’s really simple principles, such as: ‘Don’t eat if you’re not hungry. It seems intuitive, but I think we all can use these kinds of reminders.”

She also appreciated how the program offers ways to deal with hunger between meal times and reminds participants to take time when eating. “It’s helped me to be mindful of my own body and give myself hints to accomplish my goals,” she said. “Unlike with other programs, you don’t have to plan or count points.”

Naturally Slim also reviews things like food marketing and labeling and teaches participants how to choose healthier options. Participation also includes online forums and support, where you can learn what has worked for others. “I really like to work out so, they gave me a lot of great tips on exercise and how to view it in a good frame,” said Lori. She also liked how specific some of the recommendations were. “I’m a real ‘social eater,’ and eating out can be challenging. The program anticipated this; how did you know I had that problem?

They take you through some simulations and offer different ways to deal with the situation or ways to go with it.” These key learnings were successes for Lori on their own, but she also lost 20 pounds in the first four to five weeks, and she has continued putting the things she learned into practice. “I remind myself that I’m not hungry, or to slow down and chew slowly,” she said. “Sometimes I will even think, ‘Put your fork down!’ Follow-through is my biggest challenge. Maintaining this mindfulness is the work!” Overall, Lori thinks the program is well worth it to anyone who wants to have a better relationship with food. “This is a great benefit,” she said.