I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life, so when faced with the prospect of Type-II Diabetes at the age of 31 I knew it was time for action. Though successful with individually initiated diet programs in the past, I needed something different this time. My relationship with food was irrational and unhealthy. In addition to expecting food to provide me with comfort, I also had virtually no inhibitions when it came to my intake of food, or the type of food that I ate. If I had an idea that I should drive to the bakery for chocolate cake, the idea and the action quickly became synonymous. Despite nearly constant episodes of overindulgence, I never, not even once, emerged from my over-indulgence and thought, “Wow, that was so worth it!” And yet, I repeated the experiment of overeating time and time again. When I walked into Dr. Scinta’s Weight Loss Clinic in November of 2015, I was not only defeated, but also doubted whether or not her approach would work for me.
However, the program did work. I lost sixty pounds in the first five months, and I’ve kept my maintenance weight within a normal range for almost two months now. I cannot express to you how good it feels to fit back into all of my old dress clothes! However, for those of you that may be considering Medical Weight Loss, you should know that this program isn’t a magic pill. You won’t transition to a full or partial meal replacement program and find yourself magically changed overnight. Even after my physical obsession to over-indulge went away, I still found myself occasionally given to a mental obsession to overeat. Medical Weight Loss will provide you with a ton of scaffolding—comprehensive health and nutritional counseling, weekly meetings, and pharmacological options for appetite suppression. However, none of these factors in themselves will completely overcome your knee-jerk reaction to overeat or overindulge. Despite all of the scaffolding provided by Medical Weight Loss, the onus for making effective, life-long changes in one’s orientation to health, food, and exercise, lies exclusively with the individual.
For me, I decided to use my time on the full and partial meal replacement program to think about my relationship to food. Every time I wanted to overeat or overindulge I asked myself, “What am I expecting food to do for me?” Eventually, my desire to overeat and/or overindulge eventually disappeared. I’ve had a few slips over the past few months, followed each time with the realization that my new way of living is really a life-long process. Thankfully, these slips have been few and far between. Thanks to the team effort of Medical Weight Loss, including Dr. Scinta, Heidi (my nurse practitioner), and Martha (my nutritionist), I’ve learned how to eat differently. I have a different orientation to eating and to my health.
Prior to the Medical Weight Loss Program I use to yo-yo between a 40 pound weight range. I’d diet for months, lose the weight, and then pack it back on (plus some), only to lose it again. This is the first time in my life that I’ve maintained a constant weight for longer than a month. “Going it alone” worked for a long time, but I don’t feel that I would be in the place I am today, maintaining my weight loss and staying at a constant weight, were it not for the team effort at Medical Weight Loss. I’m also glad that MWL doesn’t employ a calorie-counting program for those of us in maintenance. Today I focus on serving sizes and food categories—within less than a month this method became second nature to me and I don’t even have to think about it.
For those of you who are trying to determine whether or not it’s worth the financial risk to join the program, I would suggest you schedule a free consultation. There, you can discover the total cost of the program. I’m not going to lie—this was a significant financial investment for me. However, I also know that the amount of money I’ve spent these past six months is less than the amount of money I would spend on even one year of diabetes related treatments and supplies. Personally, my new quality of life and the years that I’ve likely added to my future were worth the money.
On the whole, I can safely say that joining Medical Weight Loss was one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made for my health and my future. I plan to continue the maintenance plan for a full year because I want to make sure my new habits stick (those who stay in maintenance for a full year also have the best long-term trajectories of continuous weight maintenance). I know that if I stick to my plan of eating and continue to remain accountable I will never have to gain weight again. If I continue doing what I’m doing, the scale will always be within the same five pound range for the rest of my life. For me, that fact represents freedom. I have Medical Weight Loss, and the dedication that I renew each day, to thank for my new attitude and body.