Matt F – Weight Loss Success
In July of 2011, I was injured and left paralyzed from the chest down from slipping while jumping off a boat into shallow water. I spent the first 4 months at a rehab facility in Atlanta working around the clock to learn simple things like feeding, bathing, and dressing. The simple things in life that most people take for granted. Upon returning home, no longer having 8-10 hour days of physical therapy, my activity vastly decreased and I began gaining weight. Because of my sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits, I had gained over 35 pounds in the first year. I went from being a very active, former college lacrosse player; who could eat whatever I wanted and rarely gain weight, to someone confined to a wheelchair 14 hours a day in the blink of an eye.
It was a tough transition but I made the best of it. Found a new girlfriend and began living my life as best as I could. Started driving, working, and doing everything I could to regain a desirable quality of life. My weight wasn’t really a concern for me until some blood work came back and I found out I had high cholesterol. It runs in my family and as a 29 year old, I thought I was too young to be dealing with it. So I told myself I needed to lose some weight and start eating better. Before my accident, I would hit the gym, play lacrosse, basketball, jog, etc. Now that I was stuck in this chair I hadn’t a clue on what to do. It wasn’t until Rose from my neurologist’s office gave me Dr. Scinta’s card and explained how she had lost weight with little exercise that I had any direction or game plan.
I called MWLNY and scheduled an appointment. Came in, was evaluated and set up another appointment to meet the Dr. As soon as I met Dr. Scinta, we hit it off and I knew I was in the right place. She was so warm, welcoming, and genuine I immediately felt at ease and knew this wouldn’t be as difficult as I thought. With her help and introduction to her fitness guru Kuala Bacheyie and Lisa the nutritionist, we came up with a diet and exercise plan to start the weight loss process.
A few months after I started with MWLNY I got engaged to my now wife, Jordan. Shortly after we got engaged I found out about a robotic assisted device called an exoskeleton that could actually make it possible for me to not only stand, but walk. I immediately envisioned myself walking Jordan down the aisle and began figuring out how I’d make it happen. I started doing research and found out that the closest facility that had one was located in Allentown, PA. It was 3 and a half hours away but that didn’t stop me. What was stopping me, was that I needed to weigh 220 lbs or less to use the device and I was still about 235 after a few months. I had lost 20 but had 15 more to go before I could use it.
Over the next month, I trained with Kulaa at Gold’s gym twice a week, followed the strict regimen Lisa set up for me, and sure enough got down to 220. In May of 2014 I started traveling to Allentown once a week to train with the exoskeleton and made my goal of walking down the aisle on October 18, 2014 a priority. The actual device was surprisingly easy to use the first time I tried it. I felt very confident that I could accomplish my goal. At times, the 7 hour round trip and drive was grueling, but it was ultimately worth it.
It is now November of 2014 and needless to say, I am a married man, who walked down that aisle with my beautiful bride, Jordan. I’m now down to 215 lbs. Lighter than I was before my injury and feeling the best I’ve felt since.
Without the help of Wendy, Kulaa, and the rest of the girls at MWLNY I never would have been able to achieve my goal of not only losing the weight and living a healthier lifestyle, but actually walking down the aisle! A gigantic thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way. I couldn’t have done it without you all! And thank you for always making me feel at home and a part of the family at Medical Weight Loss of New York.