Today was my 1 year anniversary of starting the weight loss program. It's also the first appointment I've had in four weeks (due to scheduling conflicts). Let's do a recap of everything in the last year or two:
Before the Fall
April 2013: I am fat. Morbidly obese. 335-340 lbs. My diabetes is out of control, I'm getting sick with great frequency, I am miserable physically and mentally, and I don't really see a light at the end of the tunnel.
May 2013: I don't know what the hell happened, but thanks to a nasty stomach thing, I lost about 30-35 lbs. through vomiting and diarrhea. DELICIOUS!
April 2014: I managed to keep those 30-35 lbs. off, but I'm still feeling terrible all the time. No improvement with the diabetes - in fact, things have gotten worse. I'm now up to 112 units of Levemir (once-a-day insulin) and it's making almost no difference in things.
It’s Time for a Change
May 2014: After much hemming and hawing, I've decided to give weight loss a serious try - something I’ve honestly never done before. I knew that, because of the diabetes and my extremely slow healing (like, the opposite of Wolverine - I never fully healed from anything) that I wasn’t a good candidate for bariatric surgery. Plus, the idea of going under the knife - even laproscopically - just wasn’t doing it for me.
On May 19, 2014, I had my first appointment with Dr. Lehrhaupt and her team with Comprehensive Weight Management Center in Gaithersburg, MD. My attitude was not the greatest. I was very negative. I doubted that anything she was saying would help. I doubted that I had the ability, strength, or willpower to do anything she was saying to me. Even the idea of finding 15 minutes a day to just walk was... abhorrent to me. It just wasn’t the way I operated. It was a lot of extra work, and the results were going to take time.
For the first two weeks of my foray into living healthier, all I had to do was use MyFitnessPal to track my normal calorie intake daily. To be honest with it - and myself. We needed to find my baseline - how was I maintaining 300 lbs.? How much did I really eat? What was I really eating? The why’s of it all - we tackled that later. First thing was first, however: what was I eating, and what was my body doing with it?
Lots of tests on that first day. Seven or eight vials of blood. We measured my Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) with a device that you breath into for 10 minutes. It tells you how many calories you need to eat to maintain your current weight without making any changes to your diet or activity level. It was pretty high - I don’t remember how high, but it was over 2500 calories a day.
I met up with the doctor, and we went over my diet. Venti Peppermint Mochas, Roy Roger’s cheeseburgers, candy, chocolate, ice cream. Nachos. Fast food more than six times a week. Never cooked, unless it was a steak and some microwave potatoes. Vegetables? What were those? Fruits? Only as a topping on a sunday, and only after the chocolate sauce and whipped cream. And sprinkles! Oh, sprinkles, how I loved thee! And beer. Lots of beer. Lots. Of. Beer. All. The. Time.
I was eating an average of 3300 calories a day.
Shall We Begin?
There it was, shining brightly from her computer screen, the details of my life. High cholesterol. Triglycerides off the charts. A1C - the indicator of how your blood sugar was over the last 3-6 months - was over 9.3; that’s terrible, by the way. An average person has an A1C of around 5.3. Anything above 7 is diabetic. Anything above 9 is “oh shit”. I was at that level for a long time.
My entire body chemistry was bad. Really, really bad. No wonder I always felt bad - I was low on the good stats, and high on the bad stats. It was time to start making changes.
First, the diet. I went from eating whatever I wanted to being restricted to 2400 calories a day. If I stuck to just that and no exercise, I’d slowly lose weight. Maybe 1lb a week. Maybe. So we did that. And I walked - just walked - for 15 minutes during the day. A lap around the area my office was located at, a walk through the mall, just something to get my activity level up from, well, zilch.
It was hard. Again, my attitude was bad, and I was punchy as all heck. I was not feeling satisfied at all during the day. Hungry all the time. And I hated the walking. Hated it.
A week after I started, I had my first check-in with the doctor. I lost a single pound. One measly pound. I was not impressed. I made all of these changes to my life, I was miserable, and all I had to show for it was one pound in a week? All I could think was “F that noise.”
The doctor convinced me to stick it out, and try for a few more weeks. “Fine,” I said. I was a great many things, but a quitter? Nope. That’s not me. So I stuck it out.
I had another check in a week later, on May 28. I went from 298 lbs. to 293 lbs..
Holy crap. I lost 5 lbs. in a week? And all I had to do was eat less and exercise a little bit every day? “Well... I guess I can try this for a little bit longer. Whatever.”
As time went on, I kept losing more weight and becoming more open to increasing my exercise, to lowering my caloric intake. To trying harder. To look at each day as a single day - whatever happened yesterday doesn’t matter, and whatever happens tomorrow, I’ll worry about it then.
It has never gotten easier, but I’ve become more used to it.
Today was my 1 year anniversary appointment with Dr. Lehrhaupt. It wasn’t my best appointment - I gained 0.2 lbs. over the last month - but realistically, I’ve maintained 222 lbs. for a month. It’s still 42 lbs. from my goal weight of 180 lbs., but when you look at the big picture, I’ve lost 79 lbs. this one year, and about 120 lbs. in the last two years. That’s pretty amazing, and I’m proud.
It has become a little harder recently. I have to admit that. I’ve cheated a lot. I’ve skipped the treadmill and yoga a lot over the last two months. A lot of my life is in a weird state right now, and my new commute of 2 hours in the morning and 2-3 hours in the evening had made finding time - and energy - to exercise hard.
I will get back on track - I need to do it. I don’t like failing, and I refuse to give up everything I’ve worked towards.
Just as a good wrap up, I wanted to post this:
May of 2014 Clothing Sizes
May of 2015 Clothing Sizes