Single, two kids, sick, unemployed, and weighing in at 315 pounds, Marilyn Chivetta’s story seemed hopeless. That might be most people, but it’s not Marilyn. This is a woman whose wedding was called off six days before the vows, and she still hosted the reception, a party she ended up calling the Broken Heart Ball.
“I celebrate everything, all of the time,” she told us. While she used the party to momentarily pick up the pieces of a life that unexpectedly shattered around her, it wasn’t long before she turned all of her focus to her young son and not herself. Then, a car accident would break her back leading to multiple health problems that would render her unable to work. At the end of 2010, when things couldn’t seem to get much worse, she received an eviction notice for her rented house; she learned the landlord hadn’t been making the mortgage payments.
“One thing lead to another and the next thing you know I’m over 300 pounds,” Marilyn said. “I started 2011 barely walking. Things were really bad, I was really sick,” she told us.
It was then that she had that all-important “ah-ha” moment. She says she prayed about what to do, and relied on her faith. Her plan was to “lose the weight and go see Oprah.” It didn’t quite happen that way, but her outreach to Oprah did land her an appearance on Dr. Phil in spring 2011. That was the turning point.
At her heaviest, Marilyn weighed 315 pounds. Today, she’s down more than 129, and notes that the number is “so far,” because she’s not done. She lost the weight in about 10 months, and credits the majority to her Bistro MD diet.
“I started feeling better within three days,” she says of the Bistro MD meals, which were afforded to her after her Dr. Phil appearance to help her lose weight and start regaining her life.
“He doesn’t hold your hand, it’s up to you,” she says about Dr. Phil. “He doesn’t call and check on you.”
So, armed with meals from one of the leading meal delivery diet services, her faith, and a kind of positivity that few people possess, Marilyn started making changes, noticeable ones. At age 40, she says getting on the diet saved her life, noting that one in four women die of heart disease or stroke, and she was a prime candidate.
When she first started working out, she called the situation “a train wreck,” due to her debilitating physical condition. She worked with a trainer once a week for eight weeks, the rest she did on her own. Her regimen included a lot of walking and swimming. Now, she also does strength training.
What Marilyn loved about Bistro MD was that “it’s easy, so easy, especially in the beginning.” She turned her meals in to an event, something that’s not out of character for her. She’d wear a feather boa, put the Bistro MD meals on china, use a cloth napkin, and create a scene for herself of an “elegant, gourmet meal.” She laughed that she “didn’t want to be that girl dieting in her 40s.” While the actions were all her own, it’s not too far off from what a lot of dietitians will recommend; whether eating a brownie or grilled chicken, put the food on a plate, slow down, and actually enjoy it.
Marilyn raved about the Bistro MD food, which is delivered in fresh-frozen packaging throughout the month. She loved the Mediterranean chicken with feta and eggplant, called the crepes “to die for,” and enjoyed the bangers and mash.
She returned to Dr. Phil in December, proudly showing off her slimmed-down figure. During 2011 she lost 129 pounds, no small feat, but she did it the healthy way with nutritious food, exercise, and commitment to her goal, and to her mantra. “Claim Your Cleavage!” Marilyn says, which is something she spoke for the first time to Dr. Phil and quickly adopted as a personal mantra. She says it “means owning who you are, believing in your dreams, and making it happen.” She’s since started a website by the same name, where she’s selling a self-published book she originally wrote in 1999. “It now feels like I wrote it to myself,” she said.
Marilyn stopped using the Bistro MD meals in December, feeling confident she learned enough to go it alone. She calls her current eating style pescetarian – mostly fruits, vegetables, and fish. “I truly eat super foods,” she says, and she is focused on discipline, movement, and nutrition.