Erica Buteau of Berlin lost more than half her size with the low carb Atkins diet
BERLIN — As a blogger, 37-year-old mother, Erica Buteau, was used to receiving fun new products to review, but none changed her life like the digital scale she received in March, 2014. After finding the courage to step on, Buteau saw her actual weight for the first time in several years and was immediately brought to tears. The scale read 326 pounds. While Buteau was morbidly obese for the vast majority of her life, it wasn’t until that defining moment that she realized just how far the problem had spiraled out of control. She committed to losing the weight and two years later, she found that she’d lost more than half her size — a whopping 180 pounds vanished from her 5’5” frame.
At her highest weight, Buteau wasn’t just morbidly obese, she was extremely unhealthy and needed to take multiple prescription medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, anxiety and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Today, Buteau is completely free of her prescription requirements and has a clean bill of health. Now at her “Happy Weight,” Buteau is sharing her weight loss journey and success in hopes that she can motivate and inspire others to take the first step. For her, the first step was finding a weight loss plan that she could commit to 100 percent.
“I had heard about Atkins as a child and remembered seeing some low carb recipes that were really appealing in social media, so I ordered the free Atkins Nutritionals start-up kit, completely cut out sugar and flour and started eating more whole, fresh foods.” The weight began to melt off.
During her first week, Buteau lost 11 pounds and, while some of that could be attributed to water weight, she saw the scale drop 4-5 pounds per week for the next month and then maintained an average of 2-3 pounds lost per week for several months. She lost the first 100 pounds in eight months and continued losing an additional 80 pounds in the next 12 months. As of now, she’s maintained her healthy weight for seven months and several national media outlets have taken notice.
Last month, Buteau’s weight loss success was featured in Fitness Magazine and mentioned in Women’s Health. This month, Buteau’s success went in front of the camera — first, she was in Denver, Colo., along with nine other Atkins success stories filming a video success story and participated in a photo shoot after spending some time having her hair, makeup and wardrobe professionally done. The video footage and photography will be used to create a one-minute success video for an internet commercial and may also be used in part for television commercials.
Following her time in Denver, Colo., Buteau boarded a plane to New York City where she was surprised with an “Ambush Makeover” before being inducted on Monday, Sept. 19, into Joy Bauer’s “Joy Fit Club” on the Today Show during the Fourth Hour with hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. After hearing about Buteau’s weight loss journey and seeing her “before photos” the show’s hosts were shocked to see the new and improved woman when she walked out on stage. Kotb exclaimed, “Wow, Erica! Nice, girl!” when seeing her for the first time.
In addition to adopting a healthier nutritional lifestyle, Buteau has added fitness activities to her daily life and has especially enjoyed hiking the White Mountains of New Hampshire. In July, Buteau summited Mount Washington for the first time during Seek the Peak 2016, in which she raised more than $200 to benefit the Mount Washington Observatory. Last year, Buteau was named an elite ambassador for The Color Run Night and completed her first 5k.
Buteau said, “I felt desperate, and hopeless. I was sick, tired and had given up even trying to lose weight. Everything changed in a single moment and my success became my motivation. With every pound lost I was determined to continue. Today, I want others to know that it’s possible to take control of their lives, the key is finding your why and always remembering it along the way.”
Buteau is an adjunct professor at White Mountains Community College in Berlin, and is self-employed as a blogger and social media manager and content developer for companies across the United States. She’s the mother of two, stepmother to two more and proud grandmother of one. She grew up in Milan, and has been a lifelong resident of the Northern New Hampshire area. She is in the final stages of writing a memoir about her weight loss journey which is expected to be released in 2017. Follow Buteau on Instagram @ericabuteau or visit her website, ericabuteau.com.