Thursday, November 8, 2012

Why did I choose Optifast to lose weight?

I was reflecting today on my weight loss and just how far I've come since February.  I've been at this for nine months now.  I don't know where I am exactly with the weight loss since I missed my official weigh-in on Monday, but I had lost a total of 190 pounds as of the week previous.  People at work today were commenting on how loose my pants were fitting.  Now size 16's are loose on me.  Can you imagine?  When I started, I was snugly zipping into size 34 pants.  Now I'm on the threshold of fitting into size 14's.  That's just mind-boggling to me.  Sure, for some people a size 16 would be absolutely huge.  For me?  It's the land of being able to buy clothes off the rack in a regular store, not Lane Bryant or The Avenue.  Don't get me wrong ... I was grateful that such stores existed, but I don't ever want to go there again once I get too small to fit in their products.

Some people will ask me why I chose to go the route of such a drastic method such as the medically supervised liquid program I chose in Optifast.  To be honest, it was not an easy decision by any stretch of the imagination.  I tried so many ways to lose weight, some were even successful for a period of time.  Then I reached the point of utter desperation with my weight.  Look at my pics of progress page and you'll see my before pictures.  I eventually got to a top weight of 420 pounds.  420 pounds!!  How on God's green earth does anyone get to that weight, let alone a woman?  It's almost as if I blinked one day and I had morphed into someone unrecognizable who was very unhappy.  The sad part of that is that I didn't even allow myself to recognize it at the time.

I finally hit my bottom and told myself that it honestly was either time I did something serious to lose the weight or I was going to die.  I felt that so strongly in my heart, not just me being melodramatic.  This felt like it called for more than just another go-around at Weight Watchers.  Don't get me wrong, I love Weight Watchers and think it's a terrific program.  But my problem was bigger that counting points, calories or the like.  I needed medical intervention.

I was very, very close to getting the gastric bypass surgery.  In the end, though, I just couldn't go through with the process.  I know I needed something serious like that, but I wasn't ready to have a surgery that had potential horrible side effects, let alone the possibility of dying from the surgery.  All the while, I knew Optifast was an available option for me through my insurance company, Kaiser.  In a moment of crystal clear clarity, where I could feel it down to my bones, I just knew in my heart that this was the right path for me.

I also knew that if I was going to be serious about my weight loss, I was going to do whatever they told me to do.  They have over 30 years of experience running this successful program that has helped not only over 25,000 patients in the San Diego area, but countless other Optifast patients across the nation and world.  So I told myself that I was all in.  And if I was going to do it, I wasn't going to do it half-assed.  I would see it through to completion.  This was not about losing the weight as fast as possible for me.  That never was the intention.  I chose this option because I know it works for those that are committed.  The weight comes off and stays off if you follow the plan.  It was about being healthy.  Sure, after losing 190 pounds and now being on the modified program that includes one lean meal a day, I could very easily say, See ya Optifast ... I'm out!!  After losing that much weight, I certainly have some tools in my arsenal to help me be successful in doing it on my own and every reason in the world not to doubt myself.  Yet, I am absolutely honest enough with myself to admit that I need this program.  I need the professional medical advice that comes with it, I need the group support that I have each week in class, I need the counselor to be my biggest supporter.  But more than all of that, I need to not feed into the thinking that got me here in the first place, namely that I have enough knowledge and determination to do it on my own.  I have lost 100 pounds before, and gained it all back with change.  Now I needed to go for behavior modification, have some accountability and just do things differently.

I'm admitting on here to all you lovely people that I'm not a perfect person.  Shocker, I know!!  I need the support and boy do I get a lot of it.  If it's not from the Kaiser group, blog readers and Optifast's Facebook page, then it's from the world of support in my family, friends, co-workers and the many people who give me a smile of encouragement every day.  Even the kids I work with at the high school are my biggest cheerleaders.

The end of my second 20-week group is on Monday and then I go into round three when an entire new group of people just starting the program will be joining us.  I am committed to seeing this through to the end because I need it.  I'm humble enough to admit that I need the help, and that's perfectly okay.  I have the rest of my life to live in maintenance - there's no reason for me to sprint to the finish line by stopping what I'm doing now.  Yes, it's expensive.  Yes, it takes a lot of my time.  But, literally, it has saved my life.  I have lost 190 pounds.  Good Lord, what other situation is that even within the realm of possibility, really?

Along the way, I have made a lot of new friends and discovered so many parts of myself that needed a second chance.  Sure, there's been physical pain along the way that I'm still dealing with, but there's been so much joy, too.  Even writing this blog all began because of Optifast.  I know that it has reached out to other people who are thinking of going on the same journey or who are looking at taking good care of themselves.  I know that because I receive e-mails from people I would have never met under different circumstances.  So many people root for me and pray for me, which touches me more than my words could ever express.  I even have readers that don't have weight issues, but they stumbled onto my blog and read about my story of triumph and that makes them coming back, which is beyond cool.  As I venture onto the next 20 weeks of the program, I do so with a very strong commitment.  I'm not looking to other methods because, helloooo 190 pounds gone.  I know I keep saying that and you're probably rolling your eyes at me, but I don't care.  This is a big freakin deal.


Anonymous said...

Wow! Your weight loss is inspiring. Congrats

Scyt Rac said...

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