Saturday, December 29, 2007
I'm a great project starter. I really get into starting new things.. buying everything I need to do the project but it's not too often that I actually finish it. Needlepoint designs get a great start and then it's 5 years before I manage to put in that last stitch...if ever. I have tons of kitchen gadgets, dozens of cookbooks and very little time to actually cook. There is a sewing machine in my workroom that I've used less than 10 times.
Two years ago tomorrow (12/30) I finally got scared enough to put myself on my doctor's schedule because I was having chest pains. At that time I weighed 332lbs, my blood pressure was 180/124, I had serious irritable bowel syndrome, and blood work showed that I was diabetic. An EKG showed that I wasn't having a heart attack but my doctor told me that I was a ticking time bomb. She basically told me that if I wanted to see my beautiful grandson graduate from High School I had to lose some weight and get my blood sugar and blood pressure under control.
Another started project was to BUY the South Beach Diet book set. Heck, it was 3 books on sale for $25...pretty good deal. I'd had it about two years. I kept saying I would start but never did. I finally had to get serious. So another project to start...get out the books, dust them off, actually read them, get to the store start buying no-carb foods for the long two week Phase one period, say good-bye to mashed potatoes and breads. The road ahead was daunting...to even get from Morbidly Obese to just Obese I had to lose 100lbs.
To this day I don't know how I did it...I work in a doctor's office and we are always getting lunches, sweets, candies...somehow I managed to avoid it that first week...even lunch from The Olive Garden with their to-die-for Chocolate Lasagna. I lost 12lbs the first two weeks. It was enough of a push to propel me into the next week. At the end of the first month I lost 30lbs.
All the salespeople that came into the office knew about my "diet", the people at work, family and friends. The support I got was unbelievable. My husband did a lot of fending for himself. There were nights I cooked things he didn't want to eat so he made due with soup or a burger. He learned to like Dreamfield Pasta and have his beloved mashed potatoes very rarely. My reps at work started bringing nuts or non-food goodies for me along with the cookies and doughnuts. They cheered me on every step of the way. My co-workers even threw a South Beach friendly party for me when I reached the 100lb lost mark. My doctor, who is also a close friend, tells all her diabetic and overwieght patients to come talk to me about the diet.
When I did my blood work several months and 50lbs later my blood sugar was back to normal. Additional blood work allowed my doctor to tell me I was no longer diabetic. My blood pressure medication was cut in half. I was elated! Every little milestone gave me the impetus to keep going forward.
My short term goal was to be able to shop in a regular store by Christmas of 2006. I was able to buy a skirt in XL that summer. True, it was a jersey knit with a lot of give but it was bought in a regular store! Shopping is a passion of mine. I don't even have to buy anything...just being in a mall is like Nirvana! I decided to get a PT job in a clothing store. This is something I could never have even thought about at one time.
During all that time I hit numerous plateaus some lasting for weeks. They were disheartening and frustrating. The last 50lbs took over a year...the last 20lbs several months. I didn't give up. I can honestly say I never cheated and there was no back-sliding. I knew if I allowed myself to indulge I might never get myself back in line. Even after all that time I knew my hold on my eating would always be precarious.
However...today I stepped on the scale and that little LCD display showed 158.7! I did it! The most important project of my life was finally finished! I had reached my goal weight ....735 days, 174lbs, and 609,000 lost calories later.
Today is truly the first day of the rest of my life. I am determined to keep this weight off. Over the last two years I know what I can and can't eat. I know more about nutrition and the way that foods effect the body overall. I know that I can eat 1-2 cookies and not want to eat the entire bag. I've learned moderation, setting goals, and limits. I think I've become a stronger more confident person. My only regret is that I didn't embark on this journey 25 years ago.
Thanks for taking the time to relive this experience with me and Happy Holiday!