I had a heart attack and didn't realize: Obese grandmother who ate 3,850 calories a day in snacks alone, drops 178lbs after terrifying health scare
17:32 GMT, 20 November 2012
A grandmother, who was morbidly obese for 30 years, has told how she shed more than half her body weight after finding out that she had unknowingly suffered a heart attack.
Pam Holmes, 61, from Lincoln, Nebraska, used to weigh 328lb and everyday she would munch her way through 3,850 calories worth of snacks in between meals, including Oreo cookies, ice cream sundaes and bags of chips.
But when medical tests revealed the impact her weight was having on her health, she decided to radically change her diet and in 18 months she managed to lose 178lbs, dropping from a size XXXXX to a U.S. size 8.
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Life changing: Mrs Holmes previously weighed 328lb and wore size XXXXX clothes (left), but after ditching her snack food diet and taking up exercise she lost 178lb and today she had a U.S. size 4 wardrobe (right)
Today, Mrs Holmes enjoys walking and during the day she limits appetizers to 350 calories, reaching for fruit and vegetables instead of sugary treats.
Talking about her food addiction, she told the Today show: 'When it came to food I was not a gorger, my problem was constant grazing.
Transformation: Mrs Holmes says that she is proof 'that even in your sixties you are never too old to change'
'At work I’d munch on chips and candy
all day long so by lunch time I was never hungry, I thought I’d fooled
my coworkers that I had normal eating habits but all they had to do was look
at me to know the truth.
'Every night I would vow to start my diet the next day but by morning my resolve had evaporated.'
A RECIPE FOR BAD HEALTH: PAM HOLMES' SNACK FOOD DIET
Before her weight loss, Pam Holmes, was gaining a pound a day thanks to her snack food diet. Here's a look at how she managed to consume 3,850 calories everyday in between meals:
A bag of chips
Six fun size candy bars
Vending machine Oreo cookies
A bowl of chips
Selection of creamy dipsPlate of crackersChocolate brownie sundae
Her weight problems started as a youngster, but it wasn't until she was married and had three children that she became morbidly obese.
For the next 30 years she gave up trying to lose weight and she revealed in an article for The Huffington Post: 'I moved very little. I had a kitchen chair that had rollers on it, and as much as possible I would remain seated while I cooked and cleaned up, rolling all over the kitchen.'
It was only when she found that she was constantly breathless, that she decided to consult doctors.
An EKG revealed that she had suffered a heart attack and she was sent for further tests.
While medics gave her the all-clear, Mrs Holmes said that their 'words scared me and made me turn my life around'.
She started by changing her snack food diet, stocking her kitchen cupboards with a range of healthy foods, such as fruit, salads and lean meats.
Realizing the importance of exercise, she also started walking short distances.
Describing her routine, she wrote in The Huffington Post: 'Every day I would go just a little further, after only making it to the end of my fairly-long driveway the first day.
Food addict: Mrs Holmes' weight problems started as a youngster, but it was until she was married and had three children that she became morbidly obese
Overindulgence During the evening, while preparing her dinner and after her meal Mrs Holmes would get through giant bowls of chips, crackers and ice cream sundaes
'I remember the day I made it one whole mile! I felt like Rocky and still call that spot at the end of my country road, my Rocky Moment.'
She describes that she had no goal weight in mind, but she remained determined to regain her health.
After 18 months she had slimmed down to 150lbs and today she regularly walks 5km.
'I won't say it's not a struggle and a challenge every day of my life, because I will always be a food addict'
'I love the feeling of getting breathless after exercise,' she exclaimed. 'After 30 years of being morbidly obese I am no longer a prisoner to my own obesity.
'I am proof that even in your sixties you are never too old to change your life.'
If she sees the scales inch upwards, she cuts back on her food, and increases her exercise routine.
With severe arthritis in almost every one of her joints Mrs Holmes cannot do much more than walking and she attributes most of her weight loss to calorie counting.
Commenting on her transformation. Mrs Holmes' husband of 43 years, Duane, said: 'It's awesome'
Discussing her current diet she continued on The Huffington Post: 'I never eat anything fried, or coated with breading. I don't eat my beloved potato chips, and I very rarely eat anything like cake, cookies or donuts.
'I have found some delicious low-fat dark chocolate candy, but try to keep my consumption of that to a minimum.'
Commenting on her new look, Mrs Holmes' husband of 43 years, Duane. said: 'It’s a tremendous change, it’s awesome.'
Mrs Holmes added: 'I won't say it's not a struggle and a challenge every day of my life, because I will always be a food addict, but when I consider all I have gained back in my life, it is well worth the effort.'
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