My family moved to central New York from the San Francisco Bay Area in January of 2007. A major deciding factor in our decision to move here was the quality of life. Less traffic and shorter commutes would leave more time for family. It proved to be a very good decision, but after ten months of trying on my own, I hadn’t been able to take advantage of the extra time to get control of my weight.
I was athletic growing up and was accustomed to eating what I wanted and burning off the calories later. But after college and graduate school, eight years of marriage, two pregnancies and five years balancing family and career, my weight had skyrocketed. My energy level was pitiful, my legs ached, and I woke up exhausted every morning due to lack of restorative sleep caused by snoring and symptoms of sleep apnea. My cholesterol had been steadily climbing for years, and with my family’s history of heart disease, I knew I had to do something. A new neighbor mentioned her friend’s success with Dr. Scinta and Medical Weight Loss of New York. The office was so close to home! I quickly made an appointment for the next orientation session – right after Thanksgiving.
Dr. Scinta and her team were very supportive from the start. They spelled out all of my options – even postponing my lifestyle changes until after the holidays. It may not have been the easiest time to start, but I couldn’t wait another day. I had to get control. I started on a partial Optifast program before Christmas and somehow managed to drop 4 pounds over the holidays, even while traveling to visit family.
I knew in my heart that I was making a long-term change, but old habits are hard to break. I remember thinking “If I can just lose some weight, I can eat again.” Somehow, I was able to fight my worst enemy – myself – and stick to my routine. I drank a shake for breakfast, ate a bar for lunch, consumed a few healthy snacks throughout the day and finished with a 600-calorie dinner. Aside from my shrinking waistline, the first improvements I noticed were that my aches and pains subsided, followed by my snoring.
My husband and I started taking ski lessons in January. The first few lessons really tired me out and each time I took a long hot bath followed by a long nap! But it got easier as I continued to lose weight and build muscle. Once the weather improved, I was really able to take advantage of my new energy and the longer days. I can say with honesty that last summer was the best of my life. I was able to enjoy my family like never before. We played outside every day the weather permitted – tennis, walks, hikes, fishing, swimming. Sometimes I actually had more energy than my husband and two children and would go walking or hiking by myself!
It wasn’t all easy (I resisted using the phrase “a piece of cake” here). I had my share of plateaus and even a few weight gains. Dr. Scinta knows people. She takes time to celebrate with her patients when we are doing well, and she also takes time to sit with us and troubleshoot the hard times. She knows the same approach does not work for everyone, so she takes the time to get to know us and find out what motivates us. She gave me several tips over the year, such as cleaning out my closet and donating my “fat” clothes. That simple act illustrated to me that this is a permanent change; I won’t need those clothes again.
I lost 55 pounds, going from a size 18 to a size 10. More importantly, my cholesterol dropped 23 points and my pulse and blood pressure are much better.
I gained a few pounds over the holidays this year, but Dr. Scinta and her team understand and are supporting me. I’m not done; I’m still shooting for those last 15 pounds to get me down to my weight at graduation – from high school!