My Life Change
Tired, embarrassed, defeated, unworthy, desperate, sick, frustrated, depressed, angry—at myself, and at the world, but mostly myself. I know that I am not alone in sharing these feelings that thousands of other morbidly obese people feel each and every day. There, I said it: morbidly obese. In May of last year, I also learned that I had been diabetic for about 6 months and I had high blood pressure. Of course at this point, I was ok in hearing all of this because my decision had already been made to join Dr. Wendy Scinta’s weight loss clinic and begin the OPTIFAST program. I had made the call two weeks or so prior to that day, participated in an information session, and made the final decision to CHANGE MY LIFE, FOR REAL.
12 years of binge eating, closet eating and saying “I will start tomorrow” finally came to an end for me one day in late April-early May. I had recently gotten back from a cruise with my husband, three sons (17, 15 and 12) and 5-year-old daughter. Aside from looking horrific in our pictures, I felt dizzy and exhausted all the time, and it was getting difficult to walk. I had my yearly eye exam and my blood pressure was pretty high. I can’t recall what it was, but it was definitely not in the normal range. I was really having an absolute “rock bottom” bad day, so I desperately began searching websites for “gastric bypass surgery.” I never wanted this to be an option for me, as I have never had surgery for even the smallest thing and my husband was completely against it. I was looking on a site and in the corner was a sidebar with Dr. Scinta’s site. I went on and began reading it, learning about how she uses OPTIFAST with a combination of a medical and psychological approach. I instantly had a sense of relief as well as a renewed hope for myself that, “Yes, I can do this!!”
I went to the informational session where they talk about their programs as well as the OPTIFAST products themselves. After sampling and learning how it works, I told myself, “This is it…this is what I have been waiting for…I can and am going to do this.” I actually got excited and started visualizing myself thinner and better yet, healthier. I began doing a lot of goal planning. One thing that had been bothering me for years and years was seeing all the moms at my boys’ hockey games wearing their sons’ jerseys, sweatshirts and jackets. I was so very jealous of those moms, so I vowed that by my oldest son’s “Senior Night” for high school hockey, I would be thin enough to wear his jersey (and actually be able to move and not look like a beached whale in it!) I visualized myself actually shopping in a “normal store” again versus the “fat lady” shops and spending obscene amounts of money on clothes to cover up my body!! I fantasized about the day where I could just fit in at a game as a normal person and not be the “big fat, but really nice mom,” trying to get up the bleachers without falling. I was DONE being THAT MOM!
As I started the shakes and bars, I was surprised at how disciplined I was and actually became quite proud that I was sticking to the program after the first 2 weeks, for it had been 12 years since I had stuck with a diet for that long. Other changes I was able to make to my lifestyle shocked me!! I never thought I could drink my coffee black, but I was not going to cheat! For the first time in my life, I trusted a product and myself enough to let it work that I refused to let anything get in my way. Did I go out with my family to eat? Sure I did!! We are a hockey family, so our lifestyle means we are away on weekends and eat out with the team. I was so focused on sticking to my plan that I slowly realized it is not what you eat or where you go, it is the company of people you are with that really matters. My kids and my husband were the best support system I could hope for. I was not going to have them miss out on good dinners, baked desserts or holiday traditions just because I could not enjoy them. It actually became more enjoyable for me to cook for them because I knew what my meal was and as long as I followed my plan, I was going to lose weight and that made me happy. I knew I wasn’t going to “beat myself up later” because I did not eat that cookie or piece of cake, nor did I sneak it later when no one was looking. I felt content because I stuck to my plan and surprisingly never felt like I was missing out. The shakes and bars and lots of water sustained me throughout my day and I am not sure why, but I never really felt the temptation to cheat. I trusted the product but most importantly, I finally trusted myself.
I know some people stay on OPTIFAST for about 12 weeks; however, it was working so well for me, my labs were improving, I was no longer diabetic, my blood pressure was normal, and I continued to lose at a good pace. I am now on the transition phase and continue to lose. I was extremely nervous at first, but with the help of the “fitness pal” app on my phone, the guidance of Lisa (a fabulous nutritionist), working out and actually enjoying myself, and continued support from my husband, I am pulling it all together and still losing!!
With all of this testimony, I would be remiss if I did not give a shout out to my husband, John, who joined Dr. Scinta’s practice in late September. He has lost over 40 pounds by changing around his calories, food intake and workout schedule. I love him with all my heart for loving me no matter what size I am (or was) and for being by my side through the good and the bad.
I am happy to say that on February 2, 2012, I did wear my son’s jersey for his high school hockey “Senior Night”—a great night with some great memories!!! Now, I look forward to summer, being more active, enjoying my son’s high school graduation, our pool and our family, and I will no longer feel tired, worthless, and ashamed of myself, because for the first time in a very long time, I am truly home.
Thank you so much Dr. Scinta and your amazing staff for riding this incredible journey with me! I am forever grateful for seeing your ad on that sidebar that day last year when I was at one of the lowest points of my life.