Saturday, December 8, 2012

Made a difficult decision today

Little by little I am starting to feel better.  I went for a workout at the gym today, which was so amazing for me.  Since I typically get in exercise most every day and haven't done it for a while, it almost felt like I was starting from scratch when I hopped on the treadmill, but at least I was taking care of my body enough to realize that I needed to have a good stretch beforehand and ease into it.  I got so lost in my music that I nearly did fist pumps in the air when a song came on that really gets you moving.  I caught myself before I did it, though, but it was pretty hilarious if you would have been in my head at that very moment.  I'm on new meds to hopefully heal from the sickness I had been feeling for the last several weeks, including a pretty strong antibiotic.  The two new meds that my rheumatologist put me on to replace the other pain med that I recently stopped have kicked in, thank you God.  The two days that I was not taking any pain meds were, well ... painful.  Beyond painful.  I felt like I was walking around like someone who is 100 years old.

Now, on to the title of this post about making a difficult decision.  Since I started Optifast, I have lost a ton of weight, a miraculous amount.  If you have been reading my blog or have gone through and read some of my posts, you then know that I had lost a total of 190 pounds while on product before I gained some back dealing with medical issues.  I think Optifast is a wonderful product and the program has saved thousands of lives.  When you are morbidly obese, even super size morbidly obese (or whatever the title was on my medical chart), simply putting the fork down and walking away from the table was oversimplifying the issue.  I chose Optifast because I knew it worked.  That said, I've also had some problems along the way that have developed.  Thankfully I have had medical experts at the clinic closely monitor me to ensure I wasn't in a life-threatening stage.  This is why I am a huge proponent of doing the program the way it was designed - under the supervision of a clinic.  Anyway ... I digress.

I have been thinking about whether or not I should stop using the product just because I have some special medical concerns.  The four new medications I have all clearly say to take the pills with food.  Beyond that, I honestly don't know if the sickness I have been dealing with is related to the products or something else.  In addition, I have had a lightheadedness since I started the program that has never gone away, I have lost a significant amount of hair, my energy is zapped and I have a very difficult time sleeping.  Again, I don't want to give the impression that I feel this is related to the product itself.  If I felt I was in any danger along the way, I would have stopped.  I have had great success in the program beyond just the weight loss, including no more diabetes, normal blood pressure, normal cholesterol, etc.  It's just that I have unique medical issues with the weakness in my body (osteoarthritis & fibromyalgia), sleep apnea that was diagnosed before I started the program and the mystery sickness I have been fighting as well.  Towards the end here, if you'll remember from my last post, I wasn't even having any meals during the day because I was feeling so sick.  I just have been so reluctant to stop the product because success on the program has been incredible.  I mean, good Lord, who loses 190 pounds in the short time I have? 

This morning, however, a very dear friend talked to me about looking at the possibility of stopping my use of the Optifast products and brought up some very good points about my health being the ultimate concern here.  Besides, if I did stop using the product, it's not as if I was giving up on losing weight.  Oh no, that's not even a consideration for me!  There has been a shift in my life.  I am no longer the same person who started this journey.  There is no way on God's green earth that I will accept going back to the life I had before.  I know a lot of people say things like, "I'll never gain the weight back."  For me, my resolve comes from a very spiritual, deep-in-my-bones place.  I can't go back.  I won't  go back.  Besides, I have so much support from people in my life and readers of this blog that I know people wouldn't let me either. So, I thought a lot about this today and spent some time praying about it as well.  The answer became abundantly clear:  it's time for me to go back on a full-food program and stop taking the shakes.

With that decision comes a lot of other feelings, but ultimately I know this is the right thing for me to do.  I do know the Kaiser clinic where I go to my Optifast group has full-food options.  So, when I go to my weekly session on Monday, I plan on going to the medical office and talking to them about what the next step would be and notifying my counselor before class starts so that he's not surprised if it comes up.  Since I missed class last week, I still have to pay for all the products I would have received (that's just their policy - you pay each week whether you are there or not) and I still have some shakes at home, but I have to let the thought that I have some wasted money go.  Again, my health is more important than attempting to get my money's worth.  I did buy some regular food today, following the meal plan that I have in the binder the clinic gives patients as they start the program.  That will at least get me back on regular food until I can talk with the dietitian.

How am I feeling about all of this now?  Actually, relief in a certain sense.  Now I will be doing what most normal people do when they want to lose weight - watch the food they are eating and getting plenty of exercise.  In fact, I will be continuing with the clinic because I want the weekly accountability and I definitely want the medical supervision to continue.  I am not fool enough to think, hey, I got this ... who needs the clinic?  I need the clinic!  I will continue my blogging like I have always done.  Really, nothing changes except my plan of eating.  While that is a big change, the rest of what has led to my success so far will not go away.  If anything, I need to hang on to my support systems all the more and continue doing important inner emotional work so that I can keep walking away from the world of compulsive overeating and the desire to do so.  This is not an overnight challenge ... it is something that I need to deal with over the long haul.  And I really am perfectly fine with that because I know there is a way out of the life I had before.  I'm no longer 420 pounds and I no longer wear a size 34 anything.  I pray I never forget what that was like.


adorkbl said...

Best of luck with the transition. Keep the faith. You are a strong woman. You can still do this with the transition to food.

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