Sunday, April 22, 2012

Support while on Optifast

I have found that it is vitally important to have support while I am doing Optifast.  I know people that have chosen to keep it a secret as to how they are losing weight, but there are problems that come along with that ... having to make their shakes in secret, not talking about things that come up, having a sort of shame about doing what they are doing.  The truth of the matter is that going on any weight-loss program is hard enough.  When you add in something so drastic as doing a fast, let alone a full-fast with no food, there are certain stigmas that come along with it not only in our own minds but in the minds of others as well.  For me, the decision to go this route was something I had been thinking about for quite some time, not just in the spur of the moment.  This was about changing my life, not doing something short-term that did not produce long-term changes.  I knew that by not eating food, my emotions would be raw and I would be forced to face the very things that made me eat in the first place.  Along the way, I have found there are a couple of really great tools to help me be a successful Optifaster:

  • Let other people in.  I am absolutely open about doing Optifast.  I have a mini-blender I keep in the staff lounge at work where I make my shakes.  People see me doing it all the time.  Sometimes questions have come up in terms of how it works and other times people will give positive comments about the weight loss they see in me.  My friends at work are so incredibly supportive - I couldn't have ever dreamed at how wonderful they would be!  I have told all of my friends that I hang out with and my family, too.  The people who didn't understand the program at first have come around to at least supporting me in my efforts to being healthier.  I have also found that we find non-food related things to do together instead of having everything revolve around a meal.  We'll go for walks, go to the movie or even go out for coffee/diet soda instead of having a meal together.  I am actually fine being around people who are eating, but it is so sweet of my friends to be so considerate in terms of doing things that are not going to bother me.  I will love them forever for that!
  • Going to weekly Optifast support meetings.  Some people out there are trying to do Optifast without medical supervision.  Danger Will Robinson!!  Without professional intervention when medically necessary, we could really be jeopardizing our health.  For example, the physician assistants have helped me with taking me off of some of my medication while on the program because if I continued to take them while on the fast, I would have been in some serious trouble.  Another vital part is to go to the weekly meetings.  We discuss how our week went, learn about the experiences of others and discuss topics that help us understand why we have gone to the food in the first place.  Not only that, we learn methods of choosing to do things differently so that we will not continue doing things in a negative way in the future.  I have homework assignments given to me, like certain things to read and journaling on specific topics.
  • Finding support online.  One of the best places for support online is through the Optifast organization itself.  If you are a part of Facebook, they have their own company page (just type in "Optifast" in the search bar within FB).  People who are going through the program post on there, including me.  I have found such an amazing level of support and have developed new friendships where we chat away from the page in private messages.  I even have a few that I text with.  No one understands better what you are going through than other people walking the same path as you.  I also occassionally post/visit a site called, which is a discussion board of people doing various liquid diets.  Sometimes the personalities on there can be very strong, so I take it with a grain of salt.  I especially love the tools they have on their site, including before and after pictures, charts that project weight loss and more.  I discovered, for example, that if I continue losing weight at my current pace, I will be done in September.  Wow!  Whether or not that ends up happening is up to God, but it at least gives me an idea of  the direction in which I am headed.
  • Write through your feelings.  I have personally found one of the best tools for me is the act of writing.  I can talk to friends and family about what I'm going through, but writing about things helps me come to a deeper level of healing.  That is part of why I started doing this blog.  When I don't have food to go to, there has got to be some other outlet to express myself in a positive way.  Some of the things I go through are difficult, while others are personal triumphs that I feel compelled to share.  I get to see my progress over time, see the weight loss in pictures and maybe even help others who are either thinking about doing Optifast themselves or who are already on the journey with me.  Although I must admit, when I first started the blog, it was only about me.  Over time, though, I started sharing with others what I'm doing.  In fact, my intention was not to tell people who are in my life that are non-Optifasters about this blog because it's deeply personal.  I mean, I tell my weight for goodness sake!!  Like I'm seriously going to tell people who don't have a weight problem ... get real!  But, I actually do have readers here who are special people in my life that I have shared this blog with.  I trust them with who I am and I know they love me for me, not the number on my scale.  They are among my biggest cheerleaders for sure.
For me, this is a journey that I have to share with other people if I want any chance of being successful.  I don't walk through life alone, so why would this be any different?  It's an exciting time in my life and it's crazy for me not to share that with other people.  Not everyone is going to support my decision to go with a medically supervised fast, but they are supporting me as their friend, co-worker and daughter.  That's all I can ask for.


Melissa said...

What a wonderful post. You are an insightful, inspirational author and I so appreciate your imparted wisdom. I am so glad we have met one another. Thank you Optifast!

Kathy said...

You are sweet Melissa! Thanks for your support and I, too, am grateful to have met you as well. I enjoy reading your posts on FB and now on here too ;-)

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