The Skinny Pantry: A Helpful Companion on Any Weight-Loss Journey
Apr 03, 2011 08:16PM
● By Linda Sechrist
“After” image of Terry Foster (right) and her husband, Lloyd Foster (left).
For Terry Foster, owner of The Skinny Pantry, a lifestyle change not only led to better health, but also to a new career that fulfills her goal of helping others who face the challenge of losing weight. After years of achieving only minimal results on various diets and suffering from the exhaustion of emotional roller coaster rides that went from low self-esteem to no self-esteem, and ended with burying self-loathing in a bowl of ice cream, Foster and her husband, Lloyd, joined a medically supervised weight-loss program in 2008.
“We had been extremely overweight for at least 10 years and decided that we were sick and tired of being sick and tired,” says Terry, who enthusiastically declares her weight loss at 75 pounds. “Lloyd lost 95 pounds,” she adds.
While pursuing their weight loss goals, the Fosters encountered repeated frustration in the grocery aisles. “From regular grocery stores, which didn’t have what we needed, to health food stores with only nominal choices, we quickly grew annoyed at having to read every label and awoke to the fact that it was just too difficult to find a wide variety of foods with low carbohydrates and no sugar,” advises Terry. “That’s when it dawned on us that our area sorely needed a store for dietary-challenged individuals who suffer from high cholesterol, high blood pressure, celiac disease and allergies to dairy products.”
Conservative and not wishing to go into debt, Terry initially launched the business as a booth at Fleamasters Fleamarket, in Fort Myers. “It proved to be a good decision, because I got to interact with people from Port Charlotte, Englewood, Sarasota and Naples,” enthuses Terry, who put significant energy into marketing her products and services to area physicians and weight-loss clinics. “Our website helped, too,” she says. Within 15 months, the Fosters built a loyal following and opened a 2,000-square-foot store on Cleveland Avenue, in Fort Myers.
Personalized service and building long-term relationships are at the heart of Terry’s business philosophy. Previously a dental assistant for 20 years, she is graced with the art of making others feel comfortable and practices it in the store by giving special attention to customers. “It is my pleasure to answer questions and explain to everyone the many benefits of the store’s low- or no-carbohydrate and low- or no-sugar items, supplements and gluten-free selections,” she says.
“It is my pleasure to answer questions and explain to everyone the many benefits of the store’s low- or no-carbohydrate and low- or no-sugar items, supplements and gluten-free selections,” Terry Foster says.
Terry continues to help others make good choices beyond weight loss, by offering education about eating healthy within all food groups. “Everyone is in a different place, so first we meet them where they are, help walk them through their process, and then we talk to them about organic, vegetarian and vegan food choices,” she explains. While some individuals request help with losing weight, others want to simply feel good, increase their energy or learn to take better care of themselves.
“I have such compassion for anyone with the challenge of losing weight because I’ve walked every step of the journey, which is why I am so eager to provide education and support to help anyone achieve their goal,” advises Terry.
The Skinny Pantry, 11356 S. Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers 33907. Call 239-935-5093 or visit TheSkinnyPantry.com.