One of the toughest, yet most helpful lessons I have leaned over the past few years is that it’s OK to ask for and accept help. Except for a couple of times when things got out of control, I have always been the healthy but fluffy girl. My most recent episode occurred in June 2011 when I was diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disorder. Under a specialist’s care my journey to find the right treatment for my condition was underway. Until I’m in remission occasional flares are treated with steroids, which increase my appetite. Being actively sick I cannot exercise regularly. The combination of increased appetite, lack of exercise and sadness resulted in lazy eating habits and ultimately an 80 pound weight gain in less than six months.
I went from being active, fun, spontaneous, and a participant in life to a shell of my former self. I noticed people looking at me differently than when I was fit. The more I became aware of my increased size, the more I began isolating myself from both professional and personal aspects of my life. I felt like I was stuck in a bubble watching the people I care about living their lives. I was frustrated and stuck! I couldn’t imagine how to get out of this hole I was in.
I thought that losing weight should be easy for me because I am a former athlete, exercise has always been part of my adult life, and I like natural and nutritional food. No matter what I did, the number on the scale would not budge. Even though I was under the care of a team of specialists to treat my condition, no one could explain the weight gain or offer suggestions for losing the weight. Finally in November of 2012, a chiropractor in Syracuse recommended that I see Dr. Scinta. In her words, “Dr. Scinta is really good at figuring out complex medical issues.” She was right!
After attending that month’s informational meeting I spoke with Dr. Scinta privately. I cried as I explained my situation and that my current medical team could help me “fix” my weight problem. I will never forget what happened next. She put her arm around me and confidently said,” I can fix you.”
At that moment the feelings of turmoil, fear, anger and sadness that had consumed me for months were replaced by calmness and courage. I was finally at the right place with the right people. Because this process is an expense, I chose to begin the full program in January 2013.
This program works for me because the meal replacement plan was easy to follow (the guess work of calories and choices were removed), group meetings (with Lisa and Lorna) provided tips to retrain myself to help me reach my goals, and the commitment and support of Dr. Scinta and her staff reassured me each week that I was on track. My condition has been variable during this journey impacting my results on the scale, but I remain confident and determined.
It’s November 2013, even though my disease is still active I have lost about 80 lbs. My head is in a good place again. My pride, strength, confidence, personality, sense of humor, and eagerness to belong and be a participant in life is back. I no longer feel like I am sitting idly in a bubble of sadness watching the people around me live.
I still have a little more to go before reaching my goal, but I know it’s within my reach. I am so thankful for Dr. Scinta and her caring and friendly staff for helping me to get my life back in balance. I look forward to my appointments. It’s exciting to see my success on their fancy scale and to catch up with my Medical Weight Loss of NY family. They are the best!
Mary: You look amazing! I can’t even remember that person in the before picture. You should be extremely proud of yourself for all of your efforts. Keep up the tremendous work!