When was weight first a problem for you?
I think the first time I realized it was when I was about 11, and my sister was maybe 15, and I had to buy a size bigger than she did. So through the years I’ve tried pretty much every weight loss program/product there is, starting probably when I was about 14 with Weight Watchers when I was in High School. I still remember some of the crazy stuff we used to try to eat, but what I didn’t realize was that I had a thyroid problem and it went undetected for all those years. All my friends would say, “But you don’t eat anything. I don’t understand why you have a weight problem,” and that kind of thing. I’d go on these weight loss things, and one time I went on Weight Watchers with some friends and they both lost 25 or 30 pounds and I stayed the same the entire time.
What prompted you to seek medical help?
I think the trigger actually was my nephew talking about somebody that had had bariatric surgery. I’m real close to him, and he did not mean anything mean by it at all I know, he just said “Are you thinking of having that surgery?” Then I was like, “Oh my God, I didn’t realize it was that bad,” I was like, “Do you think I need it?” “Well I just thought you might consider it”. I think that was the thing that made me realize, like okay, I really have a problem here.
So I talked to my heart doctor and told him I was considering going to a weight loss doctor because he could see that I was having really serious problems and not being able to do anything about it, and actually he brought up Dr. Scinta’s name. He said, “She’s excellent; she will get the weight off you”.
Which weight loss program did you use?
I did the OPTIFAST program. I lost 70 pounds and I’ve had significant changes in my health. I went off my cholesterol medicine, I used to have a CPAP [a treatment for sleep apnea] which I absolutely hated but I got off of that which was the biggest thrill of all. My heart medicines have been cut in half.
How do you feel after your weight loss?
I feel really great, I feel like I’m living the dream right now. I’m retired, I started a business and just having a lot of fun; but that does get me in a little trouble because I do get out of my routine. I’m not sure how long it’s been but since I’ve lost weight and people said, “How have you done it?” And I’ve told them, but those same people two or three years later are still where they were two or three years ago. It’s just a big commitment that a lot of people have a hard time making I think. I look back at some of the things I’ve done over the past two or three years and think “Oh you should have invested in yourself instead of some silly thing you’ll forget about”.