Sometimes we need a reminder that the number on the scale is less important than our overall health. Sue has had the same struggle as a lot of people where you lose weight, but then gain a bit back before hitting a point where you can really settle into a place where you can easily maintain. The key is to find what Dr. Yoni Freedhoff refers to as your “BEST WEIGHT”…one where you are no longer plagued by as many health problems and you have found a way to thrive rather than merely survive! I know this all too well. I too have “white knuckled it” down to about 10-15 lb less than where I am now but I really had to obsess over every little thing and there was no balance. Now I know how to maintain and still live life to the fullest and, despite some days being harder than others, it does get easier as time goes on and you are firmly entrenched in a new way of living.
Dr. McKay, co-founder MDWL
Now on to Susan’s story!
This is the story of my weight loss journey. No doubt you have heard this before and, at the risk of being repetitive, I too have struggled with my weight for years. By my early sixties, I had tried most mainstream diets several times. At 5’4″ and 210 pounds with a BMI close to or at 35, dealing with arthritic knees and a chronically sore hip I reminded myself once again, my weight was out of control.
Eventually I developed sleep apnea and, as part of my treatment my sleep specialist referred me to MD Weight Loss. I felt this time would be different. Given my age I could no longer afford to carry additional weight on my small frame. Increasingly I could feel the physical effects of being obese. I wanted to grow old, however not just old, but old while being able to maintain my independence and mobility. I was increasingly aware that, through my eating habits, I was forfeiting this goal. It was time to make a real change.
I started with the clinic in December 2019. I saw Dr. McKay every two weeks, even through the pandemic. Over the course of a year, I slowly and steadily lost 70 pounds. The steady weight loss, and Dr McKay’s consistent support and encouragement was a huge motivator!
The MD weight loss physicians address exercise in addition to food choices. I had always done some form of exercise, however with the pandemic, gyms were closed. So I walked everyday without fail. I was so thrilled to see the weight come off and be able to purchase clothes that were not an XXL! I loved how I was looking and feeling. I wanted acknowledgment but I noticed conversations with others about weight loss was no longer a societal norm.
I recognize this and do agree that the long-standing issue of shaming (mostly women) about the size of our bodies is counterproductive. Acknowledging weight loss without looking at the associated health benefits reinforces the idea that our self esteem is dependent upon our size. I also think when I am struggling with my weight, it is difficult to acknowledge someone else for their efforts when I have felt I was failing by my lack of effort. That said, I really did want acknowledgment.
Once the gym reopened in the summer of 2021, I resumed my regular routine. Now that I was a mere shadow of my former self I had more confidence in my ability to exercise and started to look for more advanced classes. I am now the strongest and most fit I have ever been. I am amazed at my ability and the workout routines I accomplish! All this despite of the fact I do not like exercise at all, never have, never will. That said, I give myself a lot of credit because exercise is just part of my daily routine. I do not indulge in the conversation of to exercise or not, I just do it. (That is not to say I don’t complain about it!)
Today I am in the process of maintaining my weight loss. Since losing the weight I have struggled with consistency. Maintenance has been more challenging than the reward of weight loss. I follow the program most of the time but there are days when I do not. My weight has crept up more than I am comfortable with. I love carbs! I recently heard this quote “addiction is an obsession of the mind” and it rings true for me. I feel addicted to refined carbohydrates. How do I balance eating what I would really like to eat; carbs and a glass of wine with weight maintenance? No carbs ever is not the life I want to live so I have to find the balance.
How my body feels needs to be more important than how I look in the mirror. I struggle with how I look and need to be motivated by my health. Sometimes, my life feels consumed by what I eat and what the scale says. I struggle with my inner voice of judgement and less than flattering comments about my body. Recently I was looking in a 3-way mirror while trying on a gym top and not liking what I saw. Should I be concerned with the muffin top? I need to be more aware of my thought processes and catch the negative thoughts and acknowledge the hard work and accomplishments I’ve made. The daily struggle is real but it is worth it.
What I know for certain is I would be in a less than desirable place without the support of Dr McKay! I know I need to be accountable to myself but also know I need to be honest and keep my self accountable to Dr McKay. I’m not sure I could have accomplished what I have without Dr. McKay’s continuing support and cheerleading as well as the role modelling she provides.
The journey continues!