Being overweight, like other people, has been a struggle all my life. There were times that I had my weight under control, but then some event would trigger me to eat out of control again and up my weight would go.
Last November, I started the Optifast full replacement program through Dr. Scinta after having back problems for the second year in a row. My pain doctor said that my weight was one of the causes and if I lost the weight, I’d see an improvement. I was also put on my fifth medication to control my high blood pressure and my C-Pap was now a Bi-Pap because of my sleep apnea. I had reached rock bottom. If I wanted to live to see my children get married and to enjoy traveling with my husband, I had to do something drastic. My back doctor told me about Dr. Scinta and her program. He and his wife were on the program and he swore by it as an innovative way to reduce weight without surgery. I researched it, attended the informational meeting and was ready to give it my 110%!
I chose the full replacement program because I needed a “break” from making decisions as to what was healthy and what was not. I was so confused about all the diets available and the trends in healthy foods that I needed the world to stop so I could get caught up. This program did exactly that. I decided that when I started, I would be 100% faithful, attend all the group meetings, and do all the readings/homework that were assigned. I found that I loved the shakes and bars, and the group meetings were not only informative but also fun to attend. The psychologist, Johanna Ellis, who facilitated the group meetings, was so knowledgeable about eating disorders and what triggers people to overeat or eat the wrong foods. I realize that I will always have the obesity tendencies, but I also have the tools and knowledge to control those triggers that got me into trouble before. I found the full program to be the easiest “diet” I ever was on. There was nothing to think about. The shakes and bars were planned out for me. I only had to remember to eat them at the appropriate times. During this time, life did not stop for me, just food decisions. I was on program for three major holidays, a family medical emergency, several out of state trips and vacations and the whole time was 100%! Not once did I cheat! I was changing clothes sizes on a monthly basis as my body was shrinking. I found I had more energy and that I even looked forward to exercising! I swam two days a week and did resistance training three times a week. Soon I could do aerobics, something I never thought I’d be able to do. It is now the most favorite form of exercise I do. My back began to feel better, I was gradually taken off all my medications, and my Bi-Pap was decreased to a C-pap and now I’m off of it completely! My last blood labs were “boring” according to Dr. Scinta, because they were all in the normal/healthy range. What a change loosing 100+ pounds makes.
I am still learning what makes me tick – what foods are good for me and what foods aren’t. I still have a little more weight to lose but I plan to lose this weight while incorporating all that I’ve learned this past year. It will be gradual and it will be through lifestyle changes and not “dieting”. Each day I’m thankful for all the positives that have happened this past year and I tend to concentrate on them: the reactions of people who haven’t seen me in a while, being able to wear my wedding rings after not fitting for 22 years and buying clothes in a regular department and not in plus sizes. I know that I have more challenges ahead of me but I can truly thank Dr. Scinta and her staff for all their support thus far. It’s been a wonderful year, a wonderful journey and it can only get better with the knowledge that I now have. I look forward to a long, healthy life with a new, lighter me.