Helene’s Weight Loss Success
The Day I Became a Weight Manager Instead of a Dieter
I don’t think that there is a weight loss solution that I haven’t tried. When I was eleven, I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid and coincidentally, my parents were getting divorced around the same time frame. Back then, one’s parents didn’t divorce; only Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher did.
I found that chocolate was a great comfort and that if I consumed it alone, I enjoyed it even more. My mother would hide her goodies and so it became a game to not only eat them but to find them. I started my first diet around that time as well. No matter what weight solution was in vogue at the time, I tried it and I was always successful at losing the weight. I just couldn’t keep it off. I would joke around telling people that I was a food-a-holic but it really wasn’t a joke. So, once again, after losing eighty pounds and keeping it off for several years, I found myself slowly gaining it back. I was going to have to give dieting one more try. My cardiologist and primary care doctors both recommended the Scottsdale Weight Loss Center.
I signed my name on the dotted line and committed myself to once again taking the same weight off. My Pilates instructor and friend, Barbara, had just completed the program and looked fantastic. She had tried all the different products and told me what she liked best. When I met with Dr. Ziltzer for the first time, I was given choices as to what type of program I wanted to do, I chose the full meal replacement as I wanted the quickest results possible, I chose the Optifast HP – chocolate, of course, for my meals. I really didn’t want to drink my meals. I wanted to feel as though I was actually eating something. Barbara told me how to take the Optifast powder and change it into “legal” pudding. I worked with the recipe until I had it just the way I wanted it. At first, I used Walden Farms Chocolate Syrup with it but my favorite soon became mixing the powder with a scoopful of sugar-free banana creme and chocolate fudge pudding mix. To this very day, I still love this product just this way. To me, it tastes like I’m having a small portion of chocolate frosting and still losing weight.
When I was then told that I had to attend classes, I thought to myself…okay, I’ll go but more than likely, I could teach the classes. I am a retired learning disability specialist and over the years, I have supervised many teachers. I sat in that first class with my arms folded thinking to myself, “Go ahead and tell me something that I don’t already know….waste of my time!!!” The first instructor began the class by sharing her own story and telling us that all of the instructors had been overweight at one point in their lives. I started to unfold my arms and to listen. I attended all twenty classes and I told myself that if I could walk away from each class with one new concept, I would be happy and I did. The first major concept that I learned was that I was to become a weight manager, not a dieter. I would diet and then, I’d go right back to my old habits. I was always so surprised that this time, once again, I did not keep the weight off. The instructor made me realize that I had a disease that had to be managed FOREVER and over the next twenty classes, they gave me the tools to do just that.
The first difference was when Diana, one of the assistants, told me not to weigh myself between appointments as if I didn’t lose enough, I became discouraged. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of me. I followed the program; I never went off of it and now, I looked forward to getting on a scale. If I didn’t lose weight one week, I didn’t become discouraged because there wasn’t anything that I could have done differently. I found that the following week, the numbers on the scale reflected my efforts and diligence. In my entire life, I have never looked forward to getting on a scale!!! As I continued through the classes, I found myself reflecting upon the content and really thinking about how it applied to me and what use I would make of the information when I was on maintenance. I now knew that I was going to have to manage my weight for the rest of my life. I also knew that for me, taking that first bite of something would be like an alcoholic taking that first drink. When I eat something chocolate, I’m not satisfied with one bite, …I want it ALL. How could I give up chocolate for the rest of my life? Now I had the answer, I just tell myself that I can have my chocolate Optifast HP pudding. Now, I have no reason to make poor decisions because I can have my chocolate and still be legal.
As I continued to lose weight, I remember thinking to myself as I neared my goal, when did the seats in my car become so uncomfortable? After a while, I realized that it wasn’t my car’s seats that had changed but rather my body. For the first time that I can remember, I felt bones in my posterior. I never knew I had bones back there. What a revelation.
Now that I was approaching my goal, I was scared. I didn’t want to gain this weight back. I’ve been there and done that and I didn’t want to do it again. My doctor assured me that I would not be alone on this journey and he kept his word. So far, I have not found it difficult to adhere to my plan. I think that one of the reasons is that I’m still having the Optifast chocolate during the day along with regular meals. I know that I can have my cake and eat it too. My chocolate may not be in the form of a cake, bar or ice cream but it is delicious and I’m happy knowing that when I get home, I can have it. I can take my time eating it and thoroughly enjoy my pudding.
When I step on the scale, the numbers remain the same. I really don’t remember ever being at this weight. I know that I must have been at some time on the way up but I can’t recall a time frame. I am exercising and feeling great. My family and friends have been encouraging up to a point, I think they are waiting to see if and when I start to tip the scale again. This time I did it for me. I know that I have support whenever I need it. I know their support will be unconditional and nonjudgmental and will assist me one step at a time. I couldn’t be happier. While being thin feels great, it is reassuring that I have a plan that I can live with that includes foods that are trigger foods for me. Who could ask for anything more!!!