Posted on 05/27/2008
Hello, again. Today I’m going to use my blog to reproduce a letter from an inspiring teenager whose story reminded me that healthy eating is for everyone. Perhaps you know someone like her.
I’ll let Amanda Crowder speak for herself. What a wonderful, intelligent, and articulate young woman!
“Dear Mrs. Sutton,
“Like many others on your program, I owe you my life. But I am only 19 years old. And instead of using your foods to lose an enormous amount of weight, I have used them to revive my body.
“In the Fall of 2006, at 17, I was diagnosed with an eating disorder. There were a mere 86 pounds on my 5'5" frame. And I had done it all in the name of ‘health’.
“For two years leading up to November 14, 2006, I had slowly cut out all the foods I considered ‘bad’. At first it was OK, I simply limited my use of fats and refined carbs; all the things that doctors tell you to do. I also exercised and strength trained. Everything was in balance and my body was strong and powerful.
“Then I took on the notion that all carbs were harming my health. Baked potatoes, beans, and almost all breads were cut out of my diet. My daily meals were extremely scant and calorie deficient. I subsisted on canned tomatoes, pot after pot of steamed broccoli and cauliflower, huge bowls of unbuttered air popped popcorn, and the lowest calorie frozen meals I could find. I also shunned all fats. Yet I kept up my rigorous exercise routine which, of course, made my weight plummet violently.
“My mother insisted I visit a nutritionist, but her advice only enabled me to tweak my habits so it appeared as though I was doing fine. Still, my friends and family were not tricked by my ruse.
“Finally, after much pleading and heartbreak between my parents and I, I went to an eating disorder center. I praise God that I did not have to drop out of my senior year in high school to live in a special house. My doctor allowed me to stay home, but I was confined to my room as my mom literally had to re-feed me and build my body as if I was an infant. It was a terribly trying time for our family.
“Eventually I recovered and was able to resume a semi-normal life. My eating habits were still severely warped, though. For the last year, before I started your plan five weeks ago, I ate the same thing every single day. I had to follow a meal guide to make sure I ate enough carbs, fruits, fats, protein, etc., but I was still scared of many foods. So I ate the same cereal, egg whites, grilled chicken, ‘pumpkin soup’ (canned pumpkin with water and spice), Egg Beaters, cauliflower, and strawberries. Nothing else. I would avoid eating until late in the day, so therefore I would be up until 2 AM to finish my meal plan. Of course this is not helpful when I am trying to finish my first year of college.
“So five weeks ago, with MUCH trepidation and deliberation, I signed up for your plan. I broke out of my rut and ate pasta, something I had not done for almost 4 years. And it was delicious. I have loved most all of the meals I have eaten and I am so thankful that I have the ability to use your plan.
“Please, do not stop what you are doing. While everyone else needs you to help them lose weight, I need you to help me gain and maintain my weight. Without you, I would be back to the same foods as before, and I DO NOT wish to do that!!
“Thank you, Mrs. Sutton, for your dedication to your clients and our health. And thank you for helping me live!”
She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.