Weight Loss Success Story
Submitted by Lora W. from Louisiana: Starting weight: 266.6 lbs. Current weight: 186.6 lbs.
I have always had a weight problem, and I believe I have tried every diet known to mankind. My modus operandi was always the same: Start a new diet on Monday with the best of intentions, and by Thursday I would be ready for a break. The “break” would last until the following Monday (because, apparently, you cannot start a diet on any other day of the week), and the cycle would begin again.
I have a vivid memory of weighing 120 pounds in the 4th grade. I also recall (with horror) being cast as Santa Claus in my 6th grade elementary school Christmas play as I was the largest child in the class. Interestingly, when looking back at photographs of my teenage years, I see some pictures in which I appear to be a “normal” size, but I just don’t recall ever being a normal size. Isn’t it weird how skewed our perceptions of ourselves can sometimes be?
In October of 2007, I woke up on a Sunday morning and told my husband I was finally ready to make a drastic change in my life and lose the weight for good. I’m not exactly sure what prompted my decision – I believe it was just a culmination of years and years of being out of control and just being sick and tired of my weight. I had prayed for a long time regarding my weight and was just ready to commit to a healthy lifestyle.
I decided to do the Optifast program, which is a medically supervised fast. I was 44-years-old and weighed 266.6 lbs. With that much weight to lose, I knew I needed something drastic that would keep me focused and give me a good, consistent weight loss – a meager 1-2 pounds a week wasn’t going to keep my attention for long! (Although I have friends who have had successful bariatric surgery, I never considered surgery as an option for me.) I knew I was lucky in that I had no chronic health issues and was medication-free. However, my father has diabetes, and my mother has a family history of heart disease, so I knew I couldn’t ride the wave forever. I know the Optifast program has literally saved my life.I began the Optifast program on 10/12/12 and have lost 80 pounds (as of 4/30/13)! I did the full fast (five meal replacements and a nutrition bar, daily) for 20 weeks, and then a six-week transition back to food. I could not be more excited! I’m not going to lie to you – it was probably the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life, but, at the same time, it was the easiest thing because I was ready to make the commitment. I went through Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Mardi Gras, and Valentine’s Day with no regular food! Yes, you heard right: NO REGULAR FOOD – only Optifast meal replacement products and water, iced tea, and Diet Coke. I know it sounds like a daunting task – however, I was totally committed and had decided that if I was spending this kind of money I was going to get the most bang for my buck. Boy, did I ever! Yes it was expensive…However, I knew that my Life depended on it.
The Optifast program offers a variety of meal replacements (shakes, soups, and nutrition bars) – these are the only foods you consume while on the full fast portion of the program. Obviously, Optifast is a serious weight loss program for those with a lot of weight to lose – it is definitely not designed for the “casual dieter” who wants to lose 20 pounds for her class reunion! Also, the program I’m involved in is highly medically supervised – during the full fast, in addition to weekly weigh-ins and pulse/blood pressure checks, my blood work was evaluated every other week. Additionally, the required weekly classes were led by registered dieticians, social workers, and fitness experts – definitely a well-rounded weight loss program with lots of support.
Another advantage of this weight loss success program, it was a good option for me because it gave me the opportunity to take a break from food while breaking old habits. I used to drive through McDonald’s most mornings to get breakfast – the nice lady at the drive-thru did not know my name, but she knew my voice – when I would say “good morning,” she would immediately start typing in my order. Can you say, “Houston, we have a PROBLEM?” In addition to eating entirely too much fast food, I was also addicted to sugar. I always kept a large bag of M&M’s and a large bag of Skittles in my desk drawer at work, and I would eat handfuls of them every day. Talk about a pending train wreck – yikes!
An important part of my weight loss success story, I have now broken all of those bad habits and have developed many new good habits, like exercising five days a week, drinking plenty of water, eating five to six small meals a day to keep my body consistently fueled, and eating fresh fruits and vegetables. I always knew these were the right things to do; however, I was stuck in my bad habits and needed something fairly drastic to pull me out – the Optifast plan did the trick!
Losing weight is easy – I’ve lost hundreds of pounds in my life. Keeping it off is another thing. Although my road to an 80-pound weight loss was not easy by any stretch of the imagination, I know that the road ahead is full of even more challenges. I believe I now have the tools to successfully navigate that road.
I will continue to attend weekly maintenance meetings and weigh-ins as I would like to lose an additional 35 pounds or so, which I will do while eating regular food. I work closely with the registered dietician at my doctor’s office to make sure I am planning my meals appropriately and getting the proper nutrients and also eating the correct number of calories to encourage continued weight loss.
If you are serious about losing weight and want to do it in a healthy way that is medically supervised and offers you unlimited support, the Optifast program just might be your answer.
Whatever weight loss program you decide on… Go for it…If I did it, so can you!