I began Medical Weight Loss Solutions (MWLS) during the summer of 2017. During my first week on the Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD), I faced my first test, a 4th of July BBQ with all of my favorite edibles and drinkables. As of mid-December, I had lost 53 pounds. My goal was 40 but as I kept pushing, I was happy to discover that I had lost 46 pounds. MWLS and I felt it was important for me to keep going! With the support and guidance from MWLS, I feel the best that I ever have at 40 years old!
My Journey To Losing Weight:
I sit here typing, 53 pounds lighter & 53 pounds healthier. I don’t think you ever really reach the finish line. You continue to work on it every day. MWLS has provided me with the tools to better understand the types of food that I need to be healthy and maintain success.
Before I began, I experienced physical pain. The extra weight I was carrying had put a strain on my knees and my lower back. Despite doing cardio several times a week and eating what I thought was “healthy”, my portion control was completely out of whack and I consumed alcohol socially...triggered by stress. I would load up on carbs and eat for comfort. One of the biggest ways MWLS changed my mindset was that food is not a reward.
Like many, I was brought up to believe that food is love and a way to celebrate a good or bad day. While food is often shared with people you love, you have to love yourself enough to make good choices regarding what’s going into your body. Not eating everything on your plate isn’t disrespectful, it is actually being respectful to YOU and your needs. I’m the type of person who typically puts her own needs last on the list. One of the biggest changes I’ve made is knowing that making good choices is about asking myself “what do I need?”, and making sure that I am prepared to provide it. There is an amazing feeling that comes with being good to yourself. It isn’t selfish at all, it’s totally awesome.
I became comfortable in my discomfort. I knew what it felt like to have my jeans digging into me or being the only heavy girl in the room. The funny thing is, you feel badly about yourself so you eat to compensate, and then you end up just feeling worse, and the cycle goes on and on. I got to a point where I was just done with feeling that way. I was done with being in pain and I was done feeling down on myself. I knew what an amazing person I was on the inside, but I had been building up layers of protection to compensate for being overweight. My personality was bold, and I would enter a room with my head held high, but on the inside I was self-conscious and totally absorbed with what I believed everyone thought of me.
At no point did I feel judged or put down at MWLS, I felt celebrated. I felt MWLS was realistic in how they approached me with the amount of weight I needed to lose. Having lost 30 pounds on a similar program 10 years ago and then putting the weight back on and then some, what was going to be different this time? I knew I could follow the program, but how was I going to have the strength to keep it off?
During my weekly visits, there were times I would just sit and cry in front of the nutritionist. They always respected and understood what an emotional process this is. I was shedding layers of myself and exposing the sensitive core that I had been protecting. I was supporting my efforts with therapy to address the behavioral side of eating, but I always felt the staff at MWLS were good listeners and kept me on the right path.
The amazing thing about rapid weight loss is that the results motivate you to keep going. After you work so hard all week, there is amazing satisfaction when you step on the scale and see the numbers decrease. My goal was to just keep losing weight. I even managed to lose weight while on vacation. I think the reason I did that was because MWLS put NO pressure on me to do it. In fact, they encouraged me to enjoy myself. They assured me that whatever I gained, we could quickly take off. I didn’t realize that what I had learned had just become habit. I did enjoy tasting things, but I didn’t go crazy. I knew how to compensate for what I ate. If I had bread, then I knew that was it for the day. It’s not about denying yourself, it’s about making a good choice. If I eat this now, what will I eat later to make up for it.
The staff who worked with me were real and honest. I always knew that I was in good hands. They KNOW their program and they KNOW how to tailor it to each person and their needs. It didn’t feel cookie cutter. It felt customized towards what would work for me...and boy did it work. The one thing they didn’t tell me was that I was going to mourn the loss of a plus size wardrobe! Getting my report card from Kym, the owner, and seeing all of my numbers in such a healthy range was a very proud moment. So proud that I called my mom!
I want to encourage people who think it’s impossible to lose weight to just simply take it a day at a time. I so often hear people say, “I could NEVER give that up.” Never say never. I realized that I didn’t need alcohol to be the life of the party. I felt so good about myself that my joy was evident. I didn’t need to mask my emotions. I felt amazing and it showed. When you feel good about yourself, you can do anything. My sense of empowerment is playing a role in so many areas of my life. I am worth it. Thanks to MWLS, I know that now.