I first walked into Medical Weight Loss of NY on February 15th 2012. That was 290 days ago. In that time I have lost 175 pounds. That’s over 9 ounces a day! That’s right, in less than ten months using Dr. Wendy Scinta’s method and a vigorous exercise routine, I have lost over 20 inches off my waist and my body mass index or BMI has gone from over 78.2 to below 50.7 and continues to fall! I am off all blood pressure medicine, no longer have sleep apnea and even my chronic asthma seems to no longer be chronic!!
It seems like another lifetime because I am a completely different person than I was then. At 500 pounds I was not living, I was just breathing oxygen and taking up space. I was on Social Security Disability unable to work. I had tried every diet and weight loss scheme ever thought of, including bariatric surgery. I had given up. Then my primary care doctor recommended Dr. Wendy Scinta and Medical Weight Loss of NY.
The program consists of a high protein meal replacement using the Optifast system. Most people with as much to lose as I follow a three step plan. The first segment is a full meal replacement plan and all you eat are the Optifast products. The technicians work out a meal plan specific to your needs. In my case it was four protein shakes, one protein bar, and a soup. With an addition of extra protein powder to add up to the recommended daily caloric intake that they had determined is optimal for me. I eat every 2 ½ to 3 hours until I have consumed all product allotted for the day. In addition I must drink at least 64 ounces of water a day. It sounds difficult, but it really isn’t. The biggest problem I have is remembering to eat every 2 ½ to 3 hours. Although I have had cravings for some of my “comfort foods”, I honestly never experienced hunger throughout the whole ten months. And the product is genuinely delicious! The second phase is called the partial replacement plan, where you eat one “real food” meal a day. And the third phase is maintenance. In this phase you eat one protein meal replacement and learn how to eat sensibly through the rest of the day.
You weigh in once a week using a remarkable computerized scale called the Tanita Body Composition Analyzer, which you step on barefoot. It not only tells you your weight, but also breaks that weight down into three categories; fat, muscle and water. Thereby giving you the knowledge you need to adjust your workout routine and to know if you are losing fat, building or losing muscle, or perhaps retaining water that particular week.
Through every phase the patient is assisted through group meetings and individual (if needed) by-
- A physical trainer who is available to you to work out a training schedule appropriate to your individual needs (Kulaa is exceedingly knowledgeable and has been a tremendous help to me!)
- A nutritionist to guide you through your new relationship with food as you are reintroduced to “eating normally”. (Lisa also is a highly intelligent, very special lady, who understands what it is like to have an unhealthy relationship with food and is uniquely equipped to help.)
- A behaviorist to guide you in discovering, perhaps what causes an unwholesome attitude towards food and how to overcome your weaknesses in the future. (Lorna, my own personal superwoman in a business suit, she speaks very softly, but what she says carries tremendous weight. I have learned more from her in the last ten months then I learned in ten years of schooling.)
I don’t know if I was suppose to go this long, but I would be terribly remiss if I did not mention Dr. Scinta’s office staff, which, I think is the true genius of her whole organization. She has put together a team of professionals unrivaled by any, anywhere. It seems she has found the perfect person for each position on her staff. The result is that the clients are treated not only professionally but are made to feel like members of the family. These people really care about each and every one of their patients and I truly look forward to seeing them each week and am determined not to disappoint them or let them down. I have them to thank for the success that I have had, and for allowing me to truly live life and enjoy being alive. Something I never thought would ever be possible again. They will always have a special place in my heart. Lastly, I would like to mention my “home team”. My wife Carla and her mother Pat are in the trenches with me making shakes, heating water for soup, or making my ice water or just putting up with a miserable diet monster. You are the best!
I am looking forward to continued success as I work towards my ultimate goal of a healthy relationship with food and to maintaining my ideal weight.