I come from a family in which there is no problem with obesity. To my knowledge, not a single family member or relative has been overweight. My problems with weight began in the late 1970’s, when I figured I had about 20 pounds to lose. Although I never tried to gain knowledge about making smart choices concerning calories, cholesterol, carbohydrates, sugar, or fat, I was able to take off necessary pounds by simply cutting back on portions. It was easy for me to lose that weight, but it returned just as easily and charted new territory in my approach to obesity. I followed this pattern for years, and by 2005, my doctor was telling me I was obese, and that I had no excuse for it. Although what she said was true, there was nothing that moved me to put an end to what was a slow march to an early death. At a doctor appointment in 2008, my weight was recorded at 268. I knew I was addicted to food, and always figured I would do something about it someday, but I had no plan, no goal, and no motivation.
In August of 2008, I encountered a series of extremely unpleasant events involving family relations, which motivated me to seek professional counseling. This “family of origin” work I began to do was extremely difficult and emotionally painful, as I discovered I was sealed in a closed circle of behaviors, formed when I was very young, that had to be changed. I found that even though I would never be able to force another person to change, that changing my own behavior would help me grow out of old destructive patterns. The personal reward would be a growing sense of self-esteem and self-acceptance I had never previously recognized. I was to find that there would be many areas of my life seemingly unrelated to “family” – that would be changed by applying answers I arrived at in my counseling. That counseling, by the way, is an ongoing process. It is not finished.
As I made progress in counseling, I found the issue of my weight became increasingly unacceptable to me, although I could arrive at no means by which I would lose weight. In the summer of 2009, I heard of successful weight loss involving injections causing the body to burn fat instead of muscle. Since the process appeared to involve no hard work, I went online to find out more about it. I read quite enough about the process, but did not seem to find anyone in my area who used it. In my web surfing, I came upon Dr. Scinta’s attractive and exciting website. Her Manlius office is in an area in which I constantly find myself, and I had promised my companion, Sue, that I would begin a weight-loss program, so I went to Medical Weight Loss of New York for an introductory appointment.
Jen Avery explained the Medical Weight Loss program involves full or partial diet replacement using Optifast Products, after a calibration reveals how many calories I need to maintain my present weight, versus the number of calories one of the programs doles out to me each day. As I listened to Jen’s explanation, I felt a fire of motivation I had never felt before. This program covers everything one needs: medical supervision, a storeroom of all the Optifast products one would ever care to see, ongoing checkups, and attendance at a weekly class at Medical Weight Loss. I agreed to begin the full diet replacement program, using only Optifast Products.
At my initial calibration appointment my weight was recorded at 257. My photo was taken, and I was poised to begin my program on October 7, 2009. Driving home from Manlius, I stopped at Burger King for what would be my last meal before my diet. (What a stupid choice that was. I could at least have gone to Justin’s or Delmonico’s and had a great steak!) I lost weight rather rapidly, my full diet replacement program having lasted from October 7 to exactly December 7, at which time I ordered delicious grilled salmon and steamed broccoli at a celebratory lunch with Sue. As of New Year’s 2010, my weight stood at 200, with my target at about 187.
On December 7, I bought a Brooks Brothers tuxedo at a consignment shop with Sue, who encouraged me to get it although it was too small. On January 9, 2010, I had photos taken as I wore the tux, which now fits all but perfectly. I’m sure that with 10 more pounds to lose, that tuxedo will be extremely comfortable. I am currently in the transition phase of my diet program, eating two well-planned meals a day.
I cannot praise Medical Weight Loss of New York enough. Dr. Wendy Scinta is extremely encouraging and knowledgeable, and some of her staff have successfully gone through their own weight loss programs and are supportive by example and attitude. The classes I attend “meant to be compulsory” are a delight and a highlight of my week. My instructor, Johanna, is a behaviorist, and extremely knowledgeable about addictions. She takes great delight in helping all of us to see our addiction to food, and what got us there. The power we gain in her class will be a mainstay in our coping with maintaining weight and successfully dealing with addiction to food, a day at a time.
I am totally sincere when I say that Medical Weight Loss of New York and Dr. Scinta have given me back my life. If I were to list all the aspects of daily life that have changed as a result of this diet, I’d be busy with that list a long time. I will simply mention a pre-diabetic condition that has completely disappeared, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, absence of tired feet, and no more tendencies to fall asleep in the afternoon. I feel great. The process I began in my family of origin counseling will continue, for I have seen that the forces involved in my extremely poor self image were also the same forces causing me to add fat to my body and pounds on my weight.