After a rough and emotional year, I am finding myself right back where I started.
After this many years, I’d expect to have learned what my emotional eating patterns are, and love myself enough to avoid disaster.
But not so with 2014.
I nearly lost my dad to a heart attack.
My best friend moved 5 states away.
My mentor accepted a new job and moved.
My dearest guy friend started dating a girl who didn’t want him around me, so I haven’t seen him since.
On top of all this, my son’s autism is always a factor in how I feel and my emotional eating.
But what I’ve learned from all of this is that we always have excuses don’t we?
Life is never going to be perfect.
You can be on the golden track to Perfectville, and still get derailed.
And you can too.
The toughest blow last year was to hear my doctor tell me that it was time to consider having gastric bypass surgery.
I am not now, nor have I ever been interested in having this procedure.
I freaking work for two bariatric surgeons.
I see the effects that these type of procedures have on our patients, and it is just not something I would ever want to do to myself.
But my doctor was relentless. Caring, but relentless.
She pulled up medical records from decades of weight-loss attempts. She looked me right in the eye, and she said “Okay Angie, if not surgery, then what? Tell me what you are going to do to lower your weight and maintain it.”
I was speechless. I had no idea what to say.
I swallowed hard, and asked her to give me one last chance to do this my way.
Because regardless of what is said in the confidence of a doctor’s appointment, at the end of the day I know what I have to do.
I need to track my intake…
Move my butt every single day…
And find a way to control the emotional binge eating at night.
If I can learn to do those 3 things, then I won’t need surgery.
But that’s the dream, huh?
So I started to fully research bariatric surgery. I read everything I could get my hands on. I attended seminars, I watched online videos, I read dozens of articles and books.
A dear friend of mine who is also a coworker, (and just happened to be a dietitian) recommended that I contact Bridges to Weight Management. This is a program offered by our work place. They offer different options for those who want to have bariatric surgery, but also for those who want help losing and maintaining weight loss without surgery.
I joined that program a few months ago.
I have been meeting with a dietitian, an exercise physiologist, a behavioral therapist, and a health coach.
I have yet to see the physician, by choice, because that is only something I need to do once I either:
- decide to proceed with having bariatric surgery
- decide I want to start Adipex or some other controlled substance for weight loss
- decide I need medication to control blood pressure or cholesterol
I am not ready to do any of those things.
I sat down yesterday and devised a plan with Jenna, my dietitian, and Chris, my exercise physiologist.
We made note of the changes I have already made:
- I removed all soda, Starbucks, and calorie-laden beverages and replaced them with water. I have been drinking at least 100 ounces of water every day.
- I have been doing some wall exercises, which are a modified floor exercise for conditioning and strengthening. I have been able to do this without any pain in my feet or knees. (I fractured both feet in 2012, and again in 2014. I also fractured my right knee in 2013.) Having an exercise physiologist design my workouts has made ALL THE DIFFERENCE in not over-doing it.
- I have infused 9-10 veggie/fruit servings per day into my diet. I can achieve this because I have a green smoothie for breakfast most days. I make sure that even if I am eating pizza for dinner, I also have a large salad first.
- I do not eat after the kids go to bed. (I have slipped up on this a few times, but I’m getting better.)
- I am getting 8 hours of sleep every night, where before I was only getting 5.
- I tried to start doing the elliptical machine again in 10 minute increments. It was too painful for my knee. But I did not give up! Instead I walk slowly on the treadmill, working to build up my conditioning.
For the next month I am going to implement these small changes:
- Walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes, 4 times a week, at a slow pace with no incline. I will also do some low impact stretches/yoga so as to not re-fracture my feet.
- Drink a gallon of water a day
- Move coffee to weekends only
- No binge eating
These changes are only the first step in a long line of pending changes. But instead of doing a cannonball into change that cannot be sustained, I am going to ease into changes that I can commit to for the rest of my life.
Once I have these 4 changes mastered, I will move on to the next level. But only once I have them mastered. This will make the change seem less daunting.
The most important thing of all is that I am only going to face the day in front of me. ONE DAY AT A TIME. I am no longer going to look at this as a huge, mountainous burden that will take lifetimes to achieve. I have broken it down into small, attainable goals.
It has been months since I lost any weight at all….because I become overwhelmed. I behave for a few days, and then say “screw it” because the mountain is just too high to climb.
Keep in mind I’m at 345 pounds.
But that’s 5 pounds lower than it was last Friday.
My initial goal is 299 pounds. And I will get there…if I keep moving sensibly, hydrating, and working through these emotional eating patterns.
One day at at time.
*Thanks to: Sarah Muntel, Jenna Hruban, Chris Garrity, Nicole Hersberger, Kristin Broome and Jason Houser. Without you I would be bonging Krispy Kremes right now in my pajamas. Instead, I am heading to the gym. Love you all.