Heather Vanderbasch used to fit snugly into this piece of her wardrobe. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Heather Vanderbasch used to fit snugly into this piece of her wardrobe. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Weight loss a life-changing experience

Vanderbasch closing in on 100-pound mark in less than a year

Heather Vanderbasch is a mere semblance of her former self.

The inner Vanderbasch hasn’t changed, but her outward appearance is dramatically altered. The Saltair woman didn’t climb mountains or run marathons to lose weight but, as of last week, has dropped 95 pounds in less than a year since February 2018.

Instead, Vanderbasch embarked on the Ideal Protein program through Pharmasave in Chemainus that’s worked wonders.

“They have someone who has done the program and has kept the weight off for a certain number of years before they become a coach,” she explained.

Bev Robinson has been Vanderbasch’s coach for the life-altering experience.

There is much to celebrate for Vanderbasch these days with the weight loss, her 58th birthday on Tuesday, Jan. 8 the same day as Elvis and the pending arrival any moment of the best birthday present ever – her third grandchild and the first child for daughter Alli and husband Rob Kinahan.

Alli was happy to nominate her mom when the Courier put out the call on Facebook for weight loss success stories.

“She’s done amazing and has been so encouraging and inspiring to others,” Alli enthused. “I couldn’t think of a more positive person to explain her story. Such a gem!”

Heather is very humble about her accomplishment, but it’s clearly no small feat.

“If I can do it, anybody can,” she quipped. “It’s a real journey of self-discovery. I’ve always put myself last, behind children, husband, grandchildren, parents, house, etc. Something that most women tend to do because we’re due nurturers. It’s so foreign to us to really do something important for ourselves, but so worth it!”

Vanderbasch reached the point where she felt she had to do something about her weight last January. Son Shane told her about the Pharmasave program. She made an appointment and started on her way.

“It’s amazing, your energy,” she conceded.

Vanderbasch sometimes marvels herself that she’s closing in on the 100-pound weight loss mark.

“That’s not with a lot of exercise,” she added. “Maybe three times a week I’ll do a quick two-mile walk.”

The program, Vanderbasch indicated, is “not high protein. It’s exactly the right amount.

“They sit you down, it’s like an hour, an hour and a half, they explain how the body works and how the program works with your body.”

Your coach or coaches quickly become friends on the journey, said Vanderbasch.

Weight and measurements are taken once a week. Vanderbasch noted people typically lose seven to eight pounds in the first week and two pounds a week after that.

“I’m going to keep it up. I try to tell as many people as I can about it. It literally changes every aspect of your life – the energy level, sleeping.”

Simple activities that Vanderbasch never thought much about are now far easier for her with the weight reduction. And she can always handle more than before.

“It’s clever and it works. The best is getting to do the (Chemainus Pumpkin Spice) 5K and not dying and going across the Kinsol Trestle.

“I feel like I’m in my 20s again, almost.

“I want to lose 110 total. I’ll see what it’s like at 100, how I feel.”

 

Slimmed-down Heather Vanderbasch is approaching a weight loss of 100 pounds. (Photo submitted)

Slimmed-down Heather Vanderbasch is approaching a weight loss of 100 pounds. (Photo submitted)

Heather Vanderbasch has reason to celebrate now after starting a weight loss program that’s worked wonders for her. (Photo submitted)

Heather Vanderbasch has reason to celebrate now after starting a weight loss program that’s worked wonders for her. (Photo submitted)

Heather Vanderbasch has a new lease on life after her dramatic weight loss. (Photo submitted)

Heather Vanderbasch has a new lease on life after her dramatic weight loss. (Photo submitted)

There’s a big difference in Heather Vanderbasch’s before and after photos. (Photo submitted)

There’s a big difference in Heather Vanderbasch’s before and after photos. (Photo submitted)