Tricia Voss went from a highest weight of 212 to under 160 (a normal BMI at 5’7″) and dropped 8 sizes, She reached goal on 12/12/12 and has maintained it by studying the National Weight Control Registry research and reaching out for support with other maintainers.
Tricia was always the heaviest of her brothers and sisters and figured it must be genetic. She managed a massage therapy office for 11 years, learning a lot about preventative health and nutrition as well as bodywork. She figured she was “fat but fit”, hovering around the overweight but not obese category especially as she had children. After one scare over 200, she whittled down to 176 but after an episode of orthorexia (an eating disorder where obsession with eating healthy or “clean” puts health at risk) she returned to borderline obese territory.
In her late 30’s, Tricia sustained some injuries that interfered with mobility and she again found her weight trending over 200. She had a baby at age 41 and the following New Year decided it was time to make a priority of her physical health. She began tracking food and added calorie awareness to what she already knew about healthy eating.
“The weight came right off and I couldn’t believe I had spent so many years on the anti-dieting movement. It’s more than counting calories, you need nutritious and unprocessed foods or you get really hungry on a weight loss regimen. But I was astonished at how effective it was to know how many calories I need and eat accordingly. Why didn’t I know about this sooner? Why doesn’t everyone know about this?”
She had good intentions when it came to fitness and did strength training but didn’t appreciate the role of cardio. After a long vacation she decided to get back on the wagon and started working out daily, first tracking online and later using a fitness tracking gadget. Again, she was amazed had how sedentary she had been and at the results she could achieve using technology in the weight war.
Tricia believes healthy lifestyle ultimately depends on motivation, attitude, and emotional health. She utilizes cognitive behavior modification, addiction recovery, and a variety of self care techniques.
“I’m no purist, I’ll use anything that works to keep my mind in shape. I find journalling helpful. I used to vent a lot but these days I’m mostly positive. I’ve struggled with mood disorders and even psychosis, and just like excess weight these problems carry secondary issues of acceptance in society and within the self. But I think just like with physical health, what was once a weakness can become a strength.”
Tricia is working on a website about weight issues for mental health consumers, AlphabetSolution.com, with her sister Dr. Nancy Bivens, a psychiatrist and fellow maintainer. She graduated from the University of Utah in Linguistics (1995) and lives in Utah with her husband and 4 children.