I've been a stress eater all my life. Food has always been my best friend. And it has always showed. At ten years of age, I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting with my mother, who was morbidly obese and a diabetic. She stopped taking us at two weeks. Over the years, I went back to WW’s again and again, with a multitude of fad diets thrown in the mix in between. It seemed that no matter how many times I went to Weight Watchers, or went on some other 'balanced diet', the pounds came off excruciatingly slow and then came back with a vengeance when I'd inevitably fell off the diet wagon due to cravings. I approached Ideal Protein with the same trepidation. At 358lbs, it was either try IP, or do as my doctor strongly suggested, and have weight loss surgery. The thought of someone messing with my insides, coupled with the very low long term weight loss maintenance success rates of WLS, and having to take fists full of vitamins and supplements everyday, was enough to make me decide to give IP a try. I'm SO glad I did! I won't sugarcoat it. It was a very difficult first week for me. After all, it's not easy walking away from old friends like grains, dairy, and sugar that have been there all your life, toxic as they may be for you. At one point, I vividly recall sitting in a chair and rocking back and forth, crying. I was a junky in withdrawal; plain and simple. After that first week, though, the cravings that had been my lifelong, unwanted companions were just gone. I felt like I had walked out of a dark tunnel and into a beautiful sunrise. I could finally take a deep breath. For the first time in my life, I was free from constant thoughts of food and grazing all day long. In fact, there were times when I forgot to eat! My naturally thin sister used to say this all the time and I would think, "How is that even possible??" It just astounded me!! And then, when it happened to me, I couldn't believe it! Is it super easy to eat/live this way now? No. It's not. Our culture is not geared toward clean eating, so if you don't take care of your nutritional needs when going out, you're going to get very hungry. But, you get used to it, and it becomes like second nature. I give thanks to God each and every day for leading me to IP. I thank Dr. Tran Tien Chanh for following his life's path and creating it.