My name is Dawn and I started my program at the end of August, 2010. I had battled weight issues all my life: lost it, regained it…constantly on a see-saw of ups and downs, both physical and emotional. I even had my stomach stapled in 1986, losing 85 pounds but not changing my normal eating style of grazing on small amounts of unhealthy, high fat/high carb foods all day. It was a perfect method of “bypassing” the surgery which is intended to stop a person from eating a large amount of food at one time, and it certainly worked, because the weight went back on over the years.
I’ve had many attempts at weight loss since then, sometimes losing 30 or 40 lbs, but always gaining it back because I made no changes in my lifestyle. Last August I found myself at exactly the same weight I was at the time of my surgery and was devastated by that. I was worn out from the cycle, from the self-loathing, all the berating I was doing. Each night I would cry, and tell myself how weak I was, promising to do better the next day, only to fail once again before the morning was over. That night the cycle of negatitivity would start all over again, and I found myself totally exhausted by it.
My self-confidence was shot. I didn’t like to be with people because I felt ashamed: I avoided cameras. Clothing shopping? Excruciating. The pain in my joints was getting unmanageable, I was having trouble doing some aspects of self care. I felt toxic from eating “garbage” food and no fruits and vegetables. I had 3 different doctor appointments in 2 days, and all 3 doctors sounded the alarm about my weight. My cholesterol level was abnormal for the first time (I had always taken pride in having a normal cholesterol level, despite my weight and diet) and I needed CPAP for sleep apnea. It struck me that I was only 54 years old and I knew I was too young to feel this way. I was desperate to feel healthy and self-confident again.
I saw an article about Medical Weight Loss of NY in the paper and decided to give it a try. After the informational session I had my doubts that I could be on a full plan, and was already grieving what I would miss—my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve! Shopping at Wegman’s, too and…my entertainment. I forged ahead anyway, and never looked back. I will admit that living alone made this easy for me, as I did not have to cook food for other people. This is the reason that the full plan worked so well for me. I didn’t have to think about food, touch it, smell it; no calculating, measuring, nothing. I was cut off from all the triggers for months and it broke the habits for me. Finally.
I have been on the partial plan since mid-March, gradually increasing calories and food groups. I eat a healthy diet now, and it feels natural eating vegetables and fruits. I am within a few pounds of my goal weight, actually weigh less that I did post stomach stapling at age 30. When I was getting close to the transition to regular food I worried about gaining the weight back but that doesn’t occur to me anymore because this lifestyle and eating style seem so normal to me that they have become a part of me. I hardly remember the me before August of 2010.
I’m at peace finally – the emotional berating has stopped, the self confidence is back. I’m filling up my closet with clothes that actually fit (went from size 24 to size 10) and love shopping for them. Cameras are still a little iffy, but that will even out at some point. My lab values are normal, I’m off the CPAP machine and have energy to spare. I’ve turned into a Zumba freak, go to Curves, go on walks, you name it. Dr. Scinta said that I was “lanky” a word which has never been used to describe me and it made me laugh for the rest of the day. In short, I don’t feel like I’m prematurely aging anymore. It’s more like I’m a 55 year old kid again.
I’ve got to say thanks to Dr. Scinta and the staff! You helped me make it possible!
Your story has encouraged me. I’ve spent the last ten minutes reading yours and a few others. One word stands out: Perseverance. Thank you for being so forthright about your journey and thanks to Dr. Scinta and her staff for providing so many opportunities of support to encourage healthy living.
Congratulations. Thanks for sharing your story.
Best wishes for continued success.
Dawn: Congrats on all your success. MWL is very proud of you! -Sam