My Weight Loss Journey
Hi, my name is Susan and I started Jenny Craig on September 15, 2005. Here is my story:
All my life I had been over weight (or at least what I thought was over weight in High School). After getting married and having 3 children my weight continued to creep up the scale. What was unique about me was that I was always okay with my weight. I was comfortable with who I was. Sure over the years I would try dieting, losing some and then gaining more back. Well, after 30 years of marriage 3 grown kids and 5 grandchildren, I weighed an amazing 307 pounds. To give you an idea of how bad my health was physically, my husband Steve, would have to let me out of the car in the front of a store when we went shopping because I couldn't walk from the parking lot to the store, and believe it or not I was okay with this. That was just how my life was, and I accepted it. But then my life started to change.
It was only a matter of time due to my heavy weight that I would start to experience serious health problems. My blood pressure levels were starting to rise. My doctor prescribed pills to help me lose weight and told me if i didn't get the weight off, I would probably have to be put on blood pressure medication, ( I had seen my grandmother on blood pressure medication as long as I can remember and I knew it wasn't for me). The weight loss pills the doctor prescribed worked okay, I lost 12 lbs. in about 6 months, but my blood pressure hadn't changed, in fact if anything it had gotten worse. My doctor and I sat down and discussed my weight and decided that maybe it was time to move to more drastic measures and have Gastric Bypass Surgery. We never even discussed learning to eat right and exercise, besides exercise wasn't for me. I wanted the quick fix; forget all dangers of surgery, all the health side effects after, and then still not having a healthy life style, none of that mattered. We submitted all the necessary paper work to the insurance. We jumped through all the hoops. The insurance turned me down. Believe it or not I was too "healthy" for gastric bypass surgery in their eyes. We continued to pursue the insurance.
Meanwhile, my grandkids were over one evening and we were watching the movie Willy Wonka. In the movie there is a scene that had all the characters in a room full of candy. I commented that the candy all looked so good and that "I wanted to eat it all up", trying to get the kids excited about the movie. Well, I will never forget this as long as I live, Taylor my grandson, then 4 years old, started to cry uncontrollably. I asked him, "what's the matter Tay", as I was wiping his tears. He said, "Grandma if you eat all the candy up, you will get bigger and you will explode, and I don't want you to go away", out of the mouths of babes. Oh my god, I felt something that night I had never felt before, I can't even put those feelings into words, and as I write this it still puts a big lump in my throat. That was the final straw, it wasn't just about me anymore. I wanted to be around to see my grandkids grow up.
The next day I went back to my doctor more determined than ever to see what I had to do to get this bypass surgery. He told me the problem was I had never been on a "documented diet" before and therefore they wouldn't approve the procedure. They couldn't approve the surgery until all other avenues had been exhausted. To make things even worse, he took my blood pressure again and for the third time it was over borderline, he informed me I was going to have to start blood pressure medication. I refused and I told him to give me a little more time. I had to have this surgery! I would show the insurance how all these diets don't work, and I would get my surgery! I drove straight from my doctor's office to the Jenny Craig Center near my home. My daughter Heather went with me for support and encouragement, we met with the councelors, who were all great, and we both signed up on the program that evening.
Well, I took the plan serious, I already knew it wouldn't work, but I didn't want the insurance to say I didn't try; they would have no more excuses. After the first week I went back to the center for my weigh in, I had lost almost 9 pounds! In the first 3 weeks I had lost more weight than I had lost on the doctor's pills I had taken for 6 months. I hired a personal trainer, Rhonda, with her help and patience (lots of patiences) and the help and support of Heather we all worked out together. Baby steps at first. As time went on I kept losing weight, the more weight I lost the more active I became. It was a vicious cycle, a good vicious cycle!
Now I walk 5 miles at the beach 3 times a week, and I try to get in a work out 2 times a week. I have done a marathon, climbed a mountain, went to New York and climbed the stairs to the Statue of Liberty, and walked the Brooklyn Bridge. I am no longer that person, who couldn't even walk from the parking lot to the store.
Well here I am today reaching my goal 140 pounds lighter, so glad I didn't have the Gastric Bypass Surgery. I am a healthy active 48 year old woman. My blood pressure levels are all normal, yes I said normal not borderline, normal.
People ask me how I did it. Well, I tell them, I was never overwhelmed with the big picture. I took it one day at a time, one pound at a time. I realized that it takes no longer to lose weight as it takes to sit around and do nothing and gain weight. You have to eat everyday, why not eat right, it's that simple. Now, my spare time is spent taking walks, working out and enjoying life, not TV.
I have the greatest support system. I thank god, for my husband, Steve who has loved me no matter what size I was, my family and especially my daughter Heather, who all supported and encouranged me from the beginning, Taylor my grandson, my inspiration and to whom I owe my life, all of my counselors at Jenny who kept me motivated and especially Tonya, with whom we have both shared many a tear over my triumphs and who guided me every step of the way, and my trainer and now good friend Rhonda, who gave me an exercise program that not only helped change my weight but changed my life. I also have to thank god, for my insurance turning me down ( I guess I showed them), and I guess I would have to say last and but not least Willy Wonka, and in his words: "be careful for what you wish for, because you just may get it".
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