I should start by saying, I have always been overweight and then obese, and then morbidly obese, for most of my adult life. I tried so many different diets throughout my life. Every diet you could think of!
I tried some that were ridiculous, and scary, with horrible side effects. Then I tried nothing but cabbage soup, and even starving. I would lose at first following it diligently, but never, ever reach my goal, not even close. With each failed diet I would yo-yo, gain all the weight back; and then some. I swear I have lost at least 2000 pounds during my journeys!
The catalyst for me starting this latest journey with MD Weight Loss at 69 years old, was the start of COVID.
Yes, at 69 just before COVID happened, I was cleaning an office in a warehouse. After I finished cleaning the office, I was on my way to the warehouse when I tripped on the steps and landed on the concrete, using my arms to help break my fall. The problem was, I realized I couldn’t get up. Here I was on the Friday of a long weekend with my phone battery running low. I knew that no one was expected in the building until Tuesday morning. I couldn’t get in touch with anyone I knew by phone! By using my hips and legs, I managed to work my way into the bathroom, thinking I could pull myself up onto the toilet and then be able to stand. Well my shoulders didn’t agree! I still couldn’t get myself off the floor. Then I worked my way out of the bathroom to a different stairway that had a railing thinking I could pull myself onto the stairs and then stand up. I still couldn’t pull myself up enough to get up on the steps.
After trying everything, I knew I had call 911. I was scared, humiliated and embarrassed, picturing the police, firemen and the EMTs all of whom, I was sure, would be staring at my 304 pound body. I was thankful I hadn’t wet myself, which I was sure, somehow would make it worse. Fortunately, all the emergency services staff who assisted me were wonderful. The situation could have turned out much differently had they not been there to assist me.
Shortly after this incident, we were in the midst of the COVID pandemic. I was worried that if I got COVID and ended up in the hospital, I would end up on a ventilator and possibly die. I knew I needed to make some changes because, as we know, obesity is one of the main risk factors associated with poor COVID outcomes.
I started with MDWL in the summer of 2020 after having already started to lose some weight on my own.
Some of the helpful things that made my journey successful are the following:
- I only had food or drinks that were within plan / on the provided food list and followed this to the letter.
- I got rid of all of the food I had in the pantry that I should not be eating.
- I fasted by stretching the time between meals. This helps with fat burning.
- I made sure so I had the right food and recipes available.
- I looked forward to each of my weigh-ins and usually learned something to help me. No questions were silly. One of the big things I learned was that if decided to treat myself, let’s see, to a cookie, I could stop my fat burning for 3 to 4 days!!! That made me really think about the choices I was making and whether the behaviour was worth the consequence.
With all the weight I was carrying, I was not a great walker so when I started I could only do less than 50 steps. I used an under the desk foot peddling machine while sitting on a chair. I eventually worked my way up to about 5,000 steps a day; then I mostly walked outside. My doctor explained how important it is for everyone, especially seniors, to walk as much as possible. She said to start by doing what I could, no matter how little it seemed to be, then gradually increase day by day. I eventually worked my way up to about 10,000 steps a day!
At the beginning of this past November, when I was walking outside, I decided to jog a few steps. Crazy, I know; I used to want to stop and offer joggers a ride. Now when I’m indoors on a walking track, most of it is done jogging. Now my daily steps go from about 11,000 steps to 15,000, but I have gotten up to 22,000 steps in one day. I usually do some type of exercise 6 days a week. I supplement some days with weight training.
Health wise, I am a new person! In the first few months, I was able to reduce, then stop all my blood pressure medications. In about the last eight months, the medication I take for my joint pain Is 2/3 less than I took when I started this journey. I’m very happy about that and it costs me a lot less money! I am thankful that when I’m jogging, I’m not breathless.
I have consecutively, for the most part, lost weight each and every weigh-in from August 2, 2020 to December 1, 2021. This means I have been maintaining my weight for over a year, keeping within 2 to 3 pounds. This has taught me that will never gain that weight back again!
Finally, I believe the support and encouragement from my MDWL doctor and the clinic staff, has played a big part in my success. Being accountable regularly for clinic appointments provided the structure and feedback I needed. When there were extra educational group sessions offered, I took advantage of them and this provided me the opportunity to gain more knowledge and spend time walking with other MDWL clients.
What MDWL provided was above and beyond!
Thank you for reading and allowing me to share my journey to better health. I hope it inspires you!