If you’re reading this, then it means that I’ve gone public with my endeavor of losing a chunk of my poundage while finding more of myself. Because my private posts may be a bit ambiguous, yet hopefully helpful, let me fill you in on a bit of background information about myself and the weight loss program that I’m doing.
I’m a 50 year-old woman, but in my head I’ve just turned 21! I’m a wife and mother, and a former elementary school teacher. I’ve also worked part-time as writer for a public relations firm. I live in a rather crowded, but nearly spotless 1,100 square foot home with my youngest daughter, 23; my oldest daughter, 26; her husband, 28; and my husband. I also have a 20 year-old step-son who is away at college and home periodically on the weekends. Add in my youngest daughter’s fiancé, who lives atop a mountain and often stays with us in the winter when the weather makes getting out of his neighborhood impossible, our two cats, and you’ve got a fairly crowded little house!
Though it may read like it, I’m not running a shelter for wayward adult children. My almost-physician daughter and her husband moved in with us temporarily while she completes her fourth year medical rotations. She’s recently been accepted into a residency program, and she and her hubby are house hunting. My youngest daughter, graduated from college in December 2013, and just began her first real adult (you know, the kind with a salary, a 401 K, and that doesn’t require you to scoop greasy fries into paper sleeves) job this week. Her fiancé graduates this semester, and once he has a job, they’ll be getting a place together. Then, hubby and I will be official empty-nesters, ready to resume pre-kid lives again.
We all love one another, get along well, and are a mostly supportive unit, but that’s not to say that there aren’t problems, or dysfunctionalities that I’m sure to share in my posts.
I currently weigh 138 pounds and have surpassed my goal weight of 140, putting me in a normal weight range and giving me a normal BMI. With my continued exercise and weight training, my fat to muscle mass ratio is also finally at the high end of normal for my age. At the beginning of January, before I started Optifast, I weighed 219.5 pounds. Several months before that, I was at my highest weight of 230 pounds and I’m only 5′ 4″ tall. You can well imagine that my weight and lack of fitness significantly impacted my physical and emotional health. I had elevated blood pressure, blood glucose and high cholesterol. I was on an array of medications to manage my weight-borne illnesses. Since losing weight my blood sugar and cholesterol are in very healthy ranges. I’m off all blood pressure medication and actually now have extremely low blood pressure. It’s awesome to finally feel in my body the age that I feel in my head. Emotionally. I am happier than I’ve ever been in my life.
How did I lose my weight? I first participated in 27 week weight loss program through a bariatric physicians’ group. My program combined the use of Optifast products, with weekly doctor visits, cognitive behavioral therapy, and weekly educational classes on nutrition, exercise, and behavior. We were required to exercise 30-60 minutes per day, as well as drink 80-100 ounces of water. Journaling/blogging about our thoughts, feelings and progress was also part of the program and exactly how this blog was born!
In addition to the program at the bariatric center, I completed an 8 week program for weight loss at the hospital wellness center. There I worked with a trainer twice per week. After my eight weeks ended, I moved on to a more independent phase of the program without as much monitoring from the trainers. Although they do evaluate and update my workout regime, as needed. Going to the gym used to be a chore, now I feel let down when I have to miss a day. I never imagined working out as pleasurable, but now it’s actually become one of my favorite activities.
The weight loss center’s motto is “What will you gain by losing?” At first I hardly noticed that phrase displayed around their office and on the letterhead of all of their paperwork. However, as I began to acquire more energy, range of motion, hobbies, activities, friends and experiences, I realized that their motto wasn’t just a cheesy little saying. I’ve gained far more than the number on the scale. I’m living.
Because I may be sharing some very personal information about myself, family members, friends, or co-workers, I am choosing to remain as anonymous as possible on this site. I hope that my journey into weight-loss and self-discovery will not only continue to change my health and life, but will be able to help or inspire others. Please feel free to share your questions or comments anytime! 🙂