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Old 11-13-2002, 09:49 PM   #1
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Thumbs up La Weight Loss

I am so angry right now that I can't see straight not to mention my wallet is alot lighter (but I'm not) I was duped and mislead and flat out lied to !! I'm not through with them yet but I doubt if I'll ever get any satisfaction. Unfortunately I've learned a very expensive lesson. I can't even begin to go into what they did to me right now because I'm to angry. Am I alone in this ?
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Old 11-13-2002, 11:27 PM   #2
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I suspect I know what you're driving at...why not expound on your experiences for the benefit of others here - I know that LAWL advertises a great deal and it's getting close to that time again (after the holidays) when people start their New Years' Resolutions...so let's hear your story please!
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Highest weight: 265 pounds, size 24/26 (May 1990)
May 1991: 174 pounds (-91 lbs)
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*Maintenance = LIVING.
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Old 11-14-2002, 12:19 AM   #3
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I know I will probably get alot of positive feedback about LAWL and hey, if it is working for you, that's wonderful. All I can tell you is my own personal experiance with them. First I want to say that I blame myself foremost because I had the power to say ENOUGH, unfortunately not the willpower. I went into the center, poured my heart out and put myself in their hands !! I also want to say, that from what I have been reading in this forum, it doesn't sound like all the centers are ran the same and unfortunately I had to get a really bad one. I signed up, only to be told about all the other expenses after the fact. I was told I had to buy the supplement bars only to find out later that I didn't. And they pushed the supplements so hard it wasn't funny. My vitamins I was using wasn't as good as their's, my calcium tablets, and so on ... You get the picture. They pushed until I gave in and bought most of thir supplements . Of course when I got them home, I compared labels. Stupid me. The remaining supplements I hadn't purchased were continuiously pushed on me at every weigh in. I kept telling them I just couldn't afford them. ($150 for just 2 every month) I got major attitude from one girl imparticular. She kept asking me if I was cheating with lunchmeat because I wasn't losing as much as she thought I should be. When I told her no, that should have been enough but she kept asking me over & over like I was a child. Then I kept telling them that the supplements were making me sick and they acted like I was nuts. One would tell me one thing to do or to eat just to have another tell me no that's wrong. I could go on and on but I've vented way to much. I'm an adult and I should have known better. I'm on my own now and am doing ok. I quit using the supplements that they pushed on me and I am feeling much better. I'm truly not a crybaby or a quitter but I've had enough.
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Old 11-14-2002, 10:09 AM   #4
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Default Sounds like a SCAM to me!!!

Now, I know that by saying this, I'm going to step on a few toes here as there is an active LAWL thread on the Diet Plans forum...but to me...having you pay a HUGE chunk of money up front...combined with high-pressure sales tactics to buy apparently overpriced supplements and bars...is a SCAM, pure and simple (apparently they used to REQUIRE that you purchase a certain amount of products each week, but at least in NY they have stopped that...as follows: http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/200...jan23b_02.html
Quote:
WEIGHT LOSS CENTERS SETTLE CHARGES OF FALSE ADVERTISING
Spitzer Obtains $100,000 Fine and Business Reforms

Attorney General Eliot Spitzer today announced a settlement with a leading national weight loss chain alleged to have baited consumers with false claims of low-cost weight loss assistance.

LA Weight Loss Centers, Inc. - one of the fastest growing weight loss organizations in the country - operates 400 centers across the nation, including over 50 in New York State. For at least the past year, LA Weight Loss Centers advertised on TV and in newspapers that its weight loss program could be purchased for "only $7 per week."

In fact, the Attorney General determined that the true cost of the LA Weight Loss program, which generally required the purchase of certain food supplements, was at least three to four times the advertised cost. Further, consumers could not pay for the program on a weekly basis, but instead had to commit to a one year program and pay the yearly fee of $376.60 in advance.

Spitzer found that consumers were routinely required to purchase "LA Lites" nutrition bars during the first two phases of a three phase program at a cost of $28 per week. For example, a person seeking to lose 20 pounds would typically need to purchase LA Lites for at least 16 weeks at an additional cost of $448. Rather than the $7 per week that was advertised, the total program cost surpassed $800.

The company’s sales representatives frequently failed to disclose to its customers that they had to purchase the LA Lites until after they had paid the initial $376.60 for the program, signed the membership contract, and started the program several days later -- after their three day right to cancel had expired.

"This is not a $7 per week ‘pay-as-you-go’ diet program where individuals can sample its effectiveness without making a significant investment," Spitzer said. "This settlement will aid consumers in comparing weight loss programs to help them make decisions that fit their goals, lifestyle and pocketbook."

Spitzer’s office also determined that LA Weight Loss had not posted the bond required by New York’s Health Club Services Law to protect consumers who have paid advance fees in the event of a center’s closing. LA Weight Loss Centers also violated the Health Club Services Law by routinely failing to provide refunds within 15 days to consumers who cancelled their contracts within three days of signing. Instead, the company generally took at least 6-8 weeks to make refunds.

As a result of the settlement, LA Weight Loss Centers is barred from misrepresenting the essential costs of its memberships. It also has posted a $275,000 performance bond with the New York Secretary of State as required by law, and has revised its contracts to fully disclose the costs of the program and consumers’ cancellation rights. The company also will provide all refunds within the time limits required by law.

LA Weight Loss Centers will make restitution to all New York State consumers who did not receive refunds as required by law. This includes $25 to each individual who cancelled his/her contract and received a late refund, and repayment for any unused "LA Lite" bars. In addition, current customers will be provided an opportunity to opt out of their commitment to purchase LA Lites for the remainder of their membership.

LA Weight Loss Centers paid civil penalties of $100,000, and $10,000 to cover the cost of the Attorney General’s investigation.

Individuals with questions related to obtaining a refund from LA Weight Loss Center are encouraged to contact the Attorney General’s consumer help line at (800) 771-7755.

This case was handled by Associate Attorney General Robert J. Vawter of the Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau.
To my mind, paying so much money up front (and nearly $400 to me IS A LOT OF MONEY!!!) is like making a bet with a bookmaker...you're essentially betting $400 that you will lose x amount of pounds in a certain period of time...and despite the claims that they are there to HELP you in your goal...it is to the COMPANY's benefit to see you take longer (and have to purchase more weeks and products) to make your goal. I'd be interested to see the statistics on the percentage of customers who actually attain their goal according to their contract(s). (Of course, I'm sure that LAWL doesn't keep statistics on that). And now that they can't REQUIRE you to buy a certain amount of product each week, they employ the hard sell, which the employees are probably highly trained to do by the company - and which can be pretty tough to ignore or deny. Remember - these companies spend a LOT of money on advertising and market research. They KNOW what to say to get you to part with your hard-earned money. They KNOW how desperate you (and others) are to lose those pounds...and use that knowledge to their advantage!!!

IMO, you'd be better off using the money to go to a REAL nutritionist (ask your doctor) or certified personal trainer for assistance in making permanent lifestyle changes. (something I and others at the BFL/BB board have done with EXCELLENT results at a fraction of the cost of LAWL, BTW).

Just my two cents...
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Highest weight: 265 pounds, size 24/26 (May 1990)
May 1991: 174 pounds (-91 lbs)
September 1996: 155 pounds (-110 lbs)
*LIVING at: 145-149 pounds, size 4/6 (-116/120 lbs)

*Maintenance = LIVING.
Posts by members, moderators and admins are not considered medical advice and no guarantee is made against accuracy. Please see your physician before taking advice found on the internet.

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Old 11-14-2002, 10:17 AM   #5
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I only wish I had found this site before I found the LAWL center !! They get people when they are really vulnerable and that really stinks !!!
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Old 11-14-2002, 01:55 PM   #6
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One of the things that gets me about LAWL is the connotation (through the company name) that they have something to do with Southern California or Los Angeles (because you know all us California girls are blonde and wear bikinis, right - NOT!). Kind of like the Hollywood 48-Hour Diet or the Miami Diet - that aura of glamour.

Ya know, I did a zip code search on their site and as far as I can see, they have NO California locations! Sheesh....
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Mrs. Jim
Highest weight: 265 pounds, size 24/26 (May 1990)
May 1991: 174 pounds (-91 lbs)
September 1996: 155 pounds (-110 lbs)
*LIVING at: 145-149 pounds, size 4/6 (-116/120 lbs)

*Maintenance = LIVING.
Posts by members, moderators and admins are not considered medical advice and no guarantee is made against accuracy. Please see your physician before taking advice found on the internet.

Wanna know how I lost the weight and have kept it off for over 16 years? Click here!
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Old 11-21-2002, 09:04 AM   #7
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I know that an eye for an eye isn't the revenge motto to go after...but it seems a lot of former LAWL members are getting their money back, by selling the LAWL plans on Ebay-I have read the auctions, and they are pretty much selling you a copy of the diet and the fast food guide, etc. without the high pressure sell of the supplements and such.
I kindof laughed when I saw this-these people are taking it into their own hands to get some of their money back as well as costing LAWL some new customers...hee hee hee
Pat-don't feel bad about letting them get to you. We have all been duped by some product or another. I have mixed feeling about LAWL-the basic plan is a decent balanced one to follow-but it is the misleading of the cost and the hard selling of the supplements that upsets me the most.
Good luck!
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Old 11-21-2002, 12:08 PM   #8
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Just a caveat…

Maybe the sellers are getting a portion of their money back - judging from the auctions posted (including completed auctions) LAWL is still making out like a bandit...from what I've heard the LA Lite Bars cost at the centers vs. what the sellers are getting in the final bids they are still taking a loss (albeit less of a loss than if they DIDN'T sell them).

Something else to take into consideration before selling LAWL materials such as diet plans, etc. would be copyright laws. Anyone considering doing this (I noticed that there are several auctions for copies of LAWL materials currently) should check their contracts with LAWL very carefully - I'd be willing to bet that there is a line somewhere that prohibits the duplication or selling of any LAWL plan materials (i.e. copyright law). It's one thing to sell extra bars or supplements on eBay - but selling program materials is, quite frankly, illegal - and if LAWL gets wind of it, they have every right to take legal action. (as much as it pains me to say it - as IMO their plan is a rip off anyway!)
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Mrs. Jim
Highest weight: 265 pounds, size 24/26 (May 1990)
May 1991: 174 pounds (-91 lbs)
September 1996: 155 pounds (-110 lbs)
*LIVING at: 145-149 pounds, size 4/6 (-116/120 lbs)

*Maintenance = LIVING.
Posts by members, moderators and admins are not considered medical advice and no guarantee is made against accuracy. Please see your physician before taking advice found on the internet.

Wanna know how I lost the weight and have kept it off for over 16 years? Click here!
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Old 11-21-2002, 02:12 PM   #9
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Yeah, I am sure if LAWL knew they were selling their materials they would sue...but hey, I am not telling them!
They are not making a lot on selling their old bars, but they are doing pretty well on the copies of the plan-most are dutch auctions where they will sell as many copies as people want.
LAWL doesn't make all that much on their plan alone, but when you read the fine print and realize after you have signed up, that you have to buy their $120 case of bars for a couple of the phases, and they pressure you into $40 supplements...boy, they really get you by the time it is all over.
LAWL doesn't even allow you to have an online membership like Weight Watchers or some of the other programs-they know this way that they cannot use their "hard sell" techniques to bully you into buying their bars and supplements. It is the same thing as a door to door weeper salesman. They are right there in front of your face showing you all the dirt (or fat) and telling you your only solution is what they are selling. They use hard sell techniques, and make you feel uncomfortable, or bad for saying no-and you walk away with a $1500 sweeper. (or $400 worth of bars and a membership)
They all work on commission-not by the hour-so they are looking out for their own benefit and not yours.
You can come here, or sites like www.shape.com, www.fitness.com, and many other sites and get all the diet and exercise information you want-FOR FREE.
Aphil
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Old 11-27-2002, 01:44 PM   #10
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I should clear up some misconceptions here I'm a LAWL member, and it's been the only "diet" that's worked for me. I certainly haven't been "scammed." Yes, it was expensive. Yes, they are hard-sellers. But I continue to refuse the supplements at every weigh-in, and I told them that I would not be buying any more bars after my initial purchase. They were OK with that. The LAWL plan does have merit in that it teaches weighing and measuring of your foods and, in a manner of exchanges, counting calories. Calorie counting is worth NOTHING if portions are not controlled.

When I finished college, I considered taking a job with LAWL for a time. I stopped considering this after they tried to sell me supplements during my job interviews! The folks who work at LAWL don't have the slightest idea of nutrition. They are just salespeople who work for an hourly wage and a comission (not just a comission).

A lot of the stories I'm hearing here seem to come from (no offense) a lack of willpower. Patty, it totally sucks that they didn't tell you about the bars beforehand. They did it to me, too, but other LAWL members demanded they know everything up front. Just say "no" if you don't want the supplements! I have told the people at my center that I do not want to be sold supplements anymore. I made them write a note in my file so I will never have to bother again. No one can make you purchase anything. You have every right to get angry with them if they continue to push the issue.

LAWL does not belong in this forum along with Metabolife, "Peel Away" the Pounds, and the like. LAWL does not claim to be a miracle fix. It is a diet that's tough to stick to sometimes. They tell you up front that you will lose ~2 lbs a week, which is quite healthy. With a little common sense and some assertion, you can get what you want out of the program. I'd suggest to you that, if you've already paid all that cash for it, you give it a try if only for the purposes of learning how to control portions. The plan is quite do-able without going to the centers (other protein bars out there are comparable to their overpriced "La Lites"). They WANT people to join and quit. Make them work for that money.
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Old 12-10-2002, 09:52 PM   #11
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xTYx
I think in addition to what the others have mentioned, LAWL is a ripoff because there is no incentive for them for you to lose weight. Once you have paid (and paid and paid) it is actually in their best interest if you quit and make room for another "up front" payer. When I joined a couple of years ago, I was told I had to loose 50 pounds in 24 weeks. Needless to say, I didn't.... I told them I had been doing WW with ittle success so they knew that I was a slow looser. I paid UP FRONT for an entire year and a zillion pounds of bars and supplements. When week 24 came and went...they wanted me to start paying them $8 a week. WITHIN my paid up year!!! Why? Because I "violated" my contract. Ya know when you talk to them and they look at your journal? They are recording every single slip-up you have made so that they have REASON to get rid of you and make room for the next check book that walks in the door. They aren't looking for ways to help you.... they are actually looking for your mistakes!! My mistakes were things like having beef and potatos in the same day (oops), eating salmon twice in the same week... not big blow out binges mind you....just mistakes. OR missing a weigh in, not buying enough bars.... How supportive is that? They had no suggestions, no ideas, no support, just more bills. They stay in business by turning over clients and selling bars & supplements.... not from successfull weight loss. They used to be "Quick Weight Loss" also knows as "World's Best Weightloss" all run by a businessman (who owned the Philadelphia 76's) out of NJ... not LA.

Still and all... best of luck on your journey. The diet plan may work for you. Whatever it takes. But LAWL belongs under investigation.
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Old 12-11-2002, 07:13 AM   #12
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I totally agree with you there...they ARE just looking for fresh meat with some cash in their pocket.
You should always be careful of every paper you sign.
And for everyone's information-eating salmon more than once a week, or eating a banana, or any other of the RIDICULOUS rules LA Weight Loss has-is not going to keep you from losing weight. It is very common for you to be able to lose the 2 pounds they want you to in the first few weeks, but after 10 pounds or so, that begins to slow down a bit. That is just the way it is-the saying is true-the last 5 pounds are the hardest to lose! It is unrealistic for them to have you sign a contract stating you have to lose 50 pounds in so many weeks. Every body is different-and their rules are just to make it harder for you to stay on the plan, not to lose weight faster. They just want to sell you their juice and bars-plain and simple.
For those of you unfamiliar, they have crazy rules like no bananas are allowed at some centers because they are higher in calories-well, do like every other diet center in the world does and have a 1/2 of a banana equal a fruit serving instead of a whole one! They have 2 or 3 day programs of eating no carbs, drinking their special juice and eating only veggies, and all sorts of little things in the plan like that...and if you are not losing enought weight on the diet card they give you-which is really only a menu of what foods you are allowed each day, then they charge you $40 for a slightly different menu with less calories or carbs or what have you.
I realize that all diet programs have to make money, but companies such as Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, etc. have much better "bedside manner" and much more incentive for you to lose the weight. They do not "require" you to lose a certain poundage in a time period, and they offer you support when you are having a hard time-instead of looking for reasons to kick you out.
While it is much cheaper to learn about nutrition and exercise and do it on your own-if you want and need a structured diet program-this is one I would DEFINITELY stay away from.
Aphil
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Old 12-11-2002, 08:54 AM   #13
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Yes, but none of that is a surprise. They tell you up front that you have a certain number of weeks in which to lose a certain amount of weight. People need to be a little more assertive! If they don't like the plan, don't join! Every one of the centers you mentioned is thrilled when someone joins up and then leaves... it means more $$ for them! Not to mention any gym you might join. Those places survive and bank on the fact that people will join up and quit. Weightloss centers are businesses. You can't fault them for trying to make money... If you're looking to do a plan in which there is absolutely no capitallistic behavior, go see your doctor... that's really the only place you'll find that sort of support.

All I was saying was that LAWL doesn't belong here with all the ridiculous gadgets, patches, pills, and creams... give me a break! It's not a miracle pill... it's simply counting calories in a structured way. Consumers need to learn to insist on knowing what they're getting into so that they don't feel "scammed" like this.
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Old 12-11-2002, 09:36 AM   #14
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I am sorry that I do not agree with you xYTx, I am very familiar with the membership procedures of Weight Watchers and other structured plans-I have spoken to many head honchos (so to speak) via email from diet centers, as well as reading up on the posts here at 3FC to learn about what the consumer thinks of whatever plsn they are doing-and LA Weight Loss is a far cry from those other plans. I agree with you that all centers have to make their money-but there are some simply wonderful Weight Watchers counselors out there who go grocery shopping with their members to help them with good food choices, exercise with them, and so on-almost all of the time they were once members who became couselors after reaching their goal weight-not just some thin person hired who knows how to hard sell to desperate overweight people. On Nutrisystem, you can go have a personal one on one live chat with a counselor at any time you want to-even if it is 3 in the morning-at no additional charge to keep you from eating that cheesecake, or to get a question answered. That is a prgram where you buy food from them, but you can only do it for a week if you want to-there is no month or year you have to pay for. Try to get someone to do any of those things with you at LAWL. You can go to any of these "good" structured programs and find out what you can eat on the plan, etc. before you join. Even Richard Simmons shows you exactly how the Food Mover works on the commercial! When everything is hidden until the pocketbook opens-BEWARE!
From what I have found out through members of LAWL and from talking to a nearby center myself-they won't tell you anything really about the plan, until you fork over the cash, and you can't pay for a small membership-you have to pay a year in advance, and about 3/4 of their "structured" plans are unhealthy crash diets centered around their products-NOT structured calorie counting. I have talked with a few LAWL members and found out what they are eating on their plan-I calculated the results, and a lot of them are eating 800-1200 calories on their plans-which you should never go below 1200, or risk slowing your metabolism down into starvation mode. Add the fact that the calories you are allowed are consisting on some of their plans of 48 hour type diet juice, and their little nutrition bars-it is pretty much just a rotating crash/fad diet with way too low calories on most of their plans. Even if you are not using their bars or products-it is still too low in calories and the strange food restrictions are just uncalled for. They are simply setting you up to fail on purpose.
As well as being a moderator here, my mother is a nurse, and my stepfather a former pro bodybuilder-I talk with them about my findings in the weight loss industry to get their professional opinions-and we can truly find no "pros" to joining LAWL.
I truly believe it does belong right here in the buyer beware section, because of their simple lack of not telling you everything when you sign up. Your center may have-but from what I am hearing from members, that is the minority of centers-as well as the diet being unhealthy, and having all of the rules to which there is no medical reason behind-such as some of the food restrictions, etc. The silliest one I have heard as of yet is being allowed to have one color of grapes, and another color of grapes were not allowed. Do they sit around in a room just to think this stuff up? I would hate to think that a women are going around labeling a grape a bad food choice because of its color...but are guzzling down their processed $30 juice for 2 days on the Take off plan....
I do say, however-that if you have already joined-YES, make them work for all that money you shelled out, and hate every minute of it!!!! We need to teach them they cannot take advantage of us any longer!!!
I do not want you to be offended because of all of the moderators take here on LAWL, but with all of the things they are doing to their customers, it would be totally unfair for us not to state the risks of joining. If you do not feel scammed-fine-but if I can have the peace of mind knowing that I have told what I have found and possibly save someone their hard earned money-then I feel better.
Aphil
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Last edited by aphil : 12-11-2002 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 12-11-2002, 10:18 AM   #15
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Can't add anything to that aphil...

Except maybe to those who have a lot of money to burn in their quest to lose weight - as I stated before you would be FAR better served by spending that $$ on a CERTIFIED, TRAINED nutritionist (ask your doctor for a referral) who KNOWS what he/she is talking about - to assist you in making PERMANENT LIFESTYLE CHANGES. Weighing in two-three times a week and doing a 48-hour semi-fast using juice is not going to help you and will even harm you in the long run...as well as taking in too few calories...you are really doing a number on your metabolism - putting it into "starvation mode" which means you are burning LEAN MUSCLE, rather than fat - then when you start eating 'normally' again, your body will store every single calorie it can, just in case there's another 'famine'. Of course, those calories are stored as FAT.

I'm sure the powers that be at LAWL know this...that's how they win...kind of like a casino - which always comes out the winner in the end. LAWL gets your $$ and that's ALL they want IMO.
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Highest weight: 265 pounds, size 24/26 (May 1990)
May 1991: 174 pounds (-91 lbs)
September 1996: 155 pounds (-110 lbs)
*LIVING at: 145-149 pounds, size 4/6 (-116/120 lbs)

*Maintenance = LIVING.
Posts by members, moderators and admins are not considered medical advice and no guarantee is made against accuracy. Please see your physician before taking advice found on the internet.

Wanna know how I lost the weight and have kept it off for over 16 years? Click here!
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