Sue Louiseau, at her top weight, knew she had to do something. Knowing it was the easy part. Doing it, of course, was not so simple. It was up and down, up and down, and each time she dropped pounds she gained more than she lost so the mountains kept getting higher. Dieting, she says, does not work, or works only temporarily, because a diet is something you go off of once you have lost the weight.
The girl whose parents bought a candy store when she was in the third grade was through most of the 90s weighing in at 300 pounds. It was 1997 when she hit her all time high of 345, enrolled in a yoga class and by good fortune met Darren Main, himself a well-known San Francisco yoga teacher. Darren, ever on the watch for where he can be helpful in this life, ever ready to encourage strength and insight, offered to give her private lessons and modify the poses to her ability and then asked her if she would like him to help her lose weight. Well of course she would. He had conditions, one of which was that she had to meditate twenty minutes a day. He took her to Rainbow Groceries and taught her how to buy vegetables, a new skill for a woman who grew up on hamburgers, ham salad, grilled cheese, canned vegetables, ice cream and candy. Success came in baby steps. Darren got her down to 280, but she started to slip back up to a depressing 300 in spite of her best efforts.
Then through Dr. Joan Saxton’s weight management program , a high-protein fast program, she lost 133 pounds and kept off 100 pounds for more than four years. Still a struggle with a little bouncing up and down and another hundred pounds to go.
It was her introduction to bariatric surgery that changed her course. Not all bariatric surgery, she says, is a bypass. Hers was a vertical grastrectomy, a removal of most of her stomach that leaves her with a still normally functioning stomach. So, after all the years of struggle with weight, what Sue found was that weight loss was no simple matter.
She now has a new relationship with food, Darren’s sound and dedicated friendship, medical help, her own resolve, the strength to look the problem squarely in the eye and the intelligence to accept help wherever it comes.
Sue Louiseau is a remarkably engaging woman whose ability to tell a personal story is out of the ordinary. She is a woman whose open-heartedness and emotionally generous spirit summons the desire to succeed in the face of a grueling struggle. She is also, when all is said and done, noticeably beautiful with the smile of an angel.
I invite you to listen to Sue’s story in her own voice and to read about her younger life.
From me to you with love in the air,