Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What we're doing here

The last time my doctor and I talked about weight loss, she asked me to list - fast - off the top of my head - three things I had given up because of my weight issue. Mine were:

My friends
Rock climbing

I am serious. I used to hike and rock climb.

I took this picture at the top of Breakneck Ridge three years ago. I have a whole squad of friends that I am too ashamed to see because what on earth will they think of what I have let happen to myself? Then there are other friends, online ones, who simply don't know because I haven't had a reason to tell them.

What we are doing here - all of us who are on our weight loss journey - is ending this madness. I want my life back and I want my people back. I have been on plan (Take Shape For Life) all day and I will be every day until I am back down to my pre-madness weight.

What things have you given up because of your weight? Tell me what you can't wait to get back.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Folks, you've seen the after. You might as well see the before.

This is what I looked like when I thought I was UGLY.

No joke....

If only I knew... blah blah blah.

Help me get back there, peoples. AND let me help you, too.

Struggling and Snow

All day I have been thinking about rice.

Does anyone else have a thing for rice? Because oh my heavens - I could eat my weight in rice - a figure we don't know right now because I am not weighing in until the 14th.

And truthfully, though I am on plan, I can smell rice on the air.

We are all tucked in for another foot of snow. And I think I can be content to watch the snow fall and work on my needlework. And avoid the rice.

What are you all doing tonight? Everyone sticking to his or her diet plan?

Say yes.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Gym Flail

Ever find that you are just not feeling it?

I went to the gym today and I did 3.5 minutes on the treadmill. I hated it. I went and did 15 minutes on the rowing machine. It was ok. But boring.

Then I got on the eliptical. There, I lasted 2.5 minutes because I took off in disgust for the "quiet room" to stretch out and lift some weights. That went ok until some geezer came in and saturated the room with.... smell of old geezer.

I decided there was only one thing to do: change into my swim suit and kick back and forth across the pool until I felt properly 'worked out'.

Thank heavens that worked. The 20 minutes in the hot tub went really well, too.

Ever have one of those days where nothing seems to light your fire?

Tell me about it.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

More Results

I just heard from another client who weighs in on Saturdays: 4 pounds this week!

I haven't weighed myself but I put on my smallest jeans and although they are tight, they are on my body. So it can't be that bad... I hope.

All this reminds me that I should tell you all outright that this blog is a personal weight loss website for me. Yes, you can use the link to order Take Shape For Life products, and YES, I would love to welcome you to my client roster and wage the war on extra pounds together... but mostly, I want to share the experience with readers and offer support to those who are fighting the same battle.

This blog is about getting healthy. This blog is about ME getting healthy, and if you like, about US getting healthy together. Whether you participate as a reader, a commenter, a lurker, or as a TSFL warrior with me is up to you. :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Results Are In!

My Take Shape For Life client DeliaL lost 5.5 pounds on her first week on program! Congratulations D, and keep up the good work.

I am expecting first weigh in results from two more folks next week, and I will certainly pass them on.

... Which reminds me: I have a confession to make. I haven't weighed in since Christmas, ie, right before I went off plan - you know - just for a day or two. I have been apprehensive about weighing in since I am not one to live by the numbers anyway.

However, in the name of accountability, I will have my first reported weigh in on Friday, January 14th.

Anyone else have results to report?

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Funny Story about Being Fat

Six months ago, I had to fly to Columbus, OH, for a conference. A weird thing happened as I settled into the airline seat.


You know what's coming, right?


I could't fit the seatbelt on. I was literally about a half centimeter from getting it to catch. What to do? I was freaking out. I had never heard of such a thing. And yet as I looked around the aircraft, there were larger people than I comfortably seated. What how?

I flagged down a stewardess and she immediately sense the issue. She handed me a seat belt expander thingy - which, duh, was hard to operate, but effective.

That left me a three hour flight to discern what exactly was meant by the fact that I couldn't fit into an airline seat. Conclusion: I was fat.

Two months after starting Take Shape For Life, I am comfortably in an airline seat with a weight loss of 37 pounds. Take Shape For Life is saving my life.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Solution - Take Shape For Life

Let's return to that moment when the scale tipped 289.

I was in the office my new PCP.  You might remember that my old PCP was the sort of woman who just wanted to put her arms around me (so far as they would go) and tell me everything was going to be ok.  This was just great in terms of enabling me to get prescription drugs and ignore my weight problem.  In terms of my actual health, her approach was not so effective.

Luckily, I lost my job.   Which meant I lost my insurance.  Which meant I had to sign up for health insurance through my second job (and yes, I do thank God every day that such insurance exists.)  The new insurance meant I needed a new PCP -- so we both shed a few tears and off I went to find a new doctor, one I hoped with prescribe me drugs and ignore what I then referred to as my "chubbiness."  I hoped she'd be compassionate and motherly, like my old doctor.


Well.  She isn't old enough to be my mother.  She doesn't give me drugs.  And while she is technically compassionate, she sure as hell doesn't think it's ok for me to weigh 289 pounds.  She asked me to think for a few moments about all that things I had given up because of my weight.  Within moments, I realized the list was long and staggering.  Running, hiking, rock climbing, bike riding.  Relationships.  Friendships.  Romance.  Sex.  Did eating food really outrank these things?  Really?

After listening to her talk about all the complications I risked being so overweight, I began to realize she was absolutely correct to take the attitude that my weight problem was a crisis, not merely an issue.

She recommended Take Shape For Life, and after I read through the information on the website, I was ready to try the program.  I clicked on the link and bought a month's supply of Medifast meals.  I was on my way.

In two and a half months, I have lost 37 pounds.  And do you know what the best part is?  I haven't been hungry or fantasizing about food - or even thinking about eating.  The program is literally goof proof, and it really works.

Though I am not at goal weight yet (obviously) I have enrolled with Take Shape For Life to be a Health Coach - ie, to help others learn about Take Shape For Life and conquer their own struggles with weight. I could have waited until I was at goal weight, but why keep such a great thing a secret.  Meanwhile, the people I coach and I are literally in it together - same eating plan, same lifestyle, same great results.

I hope you'll consider Take Shape For Life for what it is - a great opportunity to get healthy and fit for life.  Contact me if you are interested in giving the program a try.

The Problem

If you read the above, you know how the heck it started.  It started badly, progressed to deplorable, and culminated in a genuine "come to Jesus" moment on the scale at my PCP's office.




5'4"and 289 pounds.  And did I mention feeling trapped in a body I didn't know how to walk or talk in - let alone work out in?   And scared and like I might not live to be 50?  Because I surely felt that way.  How could I NOT have a heart attack or a stroke or simply explode like that gum-chewer on Willy Wonka?

People,  I was scared.

You don't need any medical training to appreciate the horror of the blood work I am about to describe:


TSH: 6.15 (.40 - 4.5 IS CONSIDERED NORMAL)


My doctor, sweet gal that she is, took my hand and told me it would be ok. That I was grieving. That I needed to work through my feelings and let the tears come. This was great advice - from a psychiatric standpoint - but HELLO LOOK AT MY TRIGLYCERIDES. I have yet to see the study that recommended sobbing to lower triglycerides - though I would gladly have complied if the data supported such an outcome. I am an excellent cryer.

Notice also that my thyroid function is WACKED. This terrifying number prompted a prescription for lots more levothyroxine. Ho hum. Been there, done that. But MAN, that number is shocking, and as far as I know, tears don't help your thyroid snap to attention either.

So there I was. Dead on my feet in an ill fitting paper robe in Dr. M's office, staring at that number and realizing, finally, that if I didn't attack this problem - that if I did not give my all and sacrifice my best and agree to absolutely any resulting discomfort - that I would a) live not so very long - and b) live a life hardly "like" life at all. By that time, I couldn't take escalators because I couldn't see my feet. And what did I look like?? This,

What kind of life IS that?

Answer: one to end. And do I intend to end it? I sure as hell do. Not by death, mind you. I have people who love me and my typing and phone skills are above par. I am a useful human being.

I just want to be thin.

Tomorrow, I'll write about the solution.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How it all started - and how it will end

You know how most people begin their weight loss stories with provisos explaining that weight had always been an issue, and then there is the inevitable "over the years, my weight 'crept' up" follow through - and then by the astonishing confession that at the height (and width) of the problem, the physician's scale recorded ______.  ?

I have another kind of story.

August 19, 2007.  It was dawn, and I was among friends watching the sun rise over Machu Picchu  - at the sun gate, with a cool breeze on my skin and ribbons of exquisite fatigue running up and down my spine.  I had hiked four days through the Peruvian mountains to get here and when I saw this, I felt it had all been worth it:

Wendy and I started down the trail to the city proper, and just about ten steps in, the cell phone towers kick in.  My blackberry - after four days of silence - indicated a message from my Dad.  That message, verbatim:

Dear Jannie,

I just wanted to let you know that I have seen my oncologist and I have a small recurrence of cancer in my bladder.  I am being treated accordingly and expect a full recovery, so I am regarding this development as one of no special importance.




This message, bad as it was, contained more than one announcement, and the unwritten one was the real sledgehammer - the one that made me plant myself against a sturdy centuries old piece of perfect wall of Incan dry masonry and heave while my friends waited for me to gain any shred of composure.  This was the worst email I ever got in my entire life.  Here's what it really said:

Dear Jannie.

I just wanted to let you know that I have seen my oncologist and I have a small recurrence of cancer in my bladder.  I am being treated accordingly and expect  full recovery from bladder cancer.  The  leukemia as I am sure you have by now apprehended, poses a far greater threat, as we can assume from the bladder mishap that both cancers have now returned.  I am being treated accordingly and expect a full recovery from the bladder cancer, so I am regarding the bladder cancer with no special importance.  The leukemia is, and I am sure you are aware, another matter.




I have no idea what a death knell sounds like, but I can assure that as I leaned back against that cool Inca masonry, I learned what it feels like.  As surely as I was helpless to offer him any aid from Peru, I would have been equally useless had I been right by his side.  Cancer is a bitch like that.

So what did I do?  I blew off the tour of Machu Picchu and spent the morning climbing the sugar loaf mountain in the background there,  Wynapichu.  I cried off and on, but when you have been sweating rivulets for days on end, I can assure you that no one can tell the difference.  After the climb, I went home to face what was happening to my family.  On that day, August 19, 2007, I weighed 148 healthy, strong, mountain climbing pounds:

(OK, OK. YES I HAD A HUGE RACK.  But I was thin, rack notwithstanding.)

Now you wouldn't think that the events of August 19, 2007 would cause a person - any person - to gain 100 pounds, would you?   Well think again, because that's exactly what happened, which I will now explain with somewhat more rapidity than is probably warranted.  

  • I got home from Peru.  My dad was diagnosed with recurrent Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, which, DUH, we all knew would happen. 
  • My dad was sent home to die. 
  • My dad stopped communicating with his children, choosing instead to spend his last days with his second wife.  (More on this later.) 
  • I stopped sleeping, thinking at every and any moment, my father would stop breathing and be gone. 
  • I started eating.  I stopped hiking with my friends because what sort of insensitive, selfish, pig of a daughter goes out and has fun with her friends while her father is dying of TWO kinds of cancer?
  • Weight went up. 
  • Father mysteriously did not die. 
  • Insomnia ratcheted up with every single day he remained inexplicably alive.   
  • He still didn't want to see us. 
  • Months went by.  I ate a lot of egg foo young.  I cried a lot and got fatter.  
  • Need I keep explaining?
I think not.  After my father had miraculously not died for 9 whole months my doctor put me on SEROQUEL, a short acting sedative that would put any howling lunatic into a mild coma.  I slept, finally.  And then weight piled on until, lo, the scale read 289.  


And then my dad died anyway - and gosh there is an awful lot more to say on that subject.  But not today.  My point is that my path to obesity - well - it was kind of weird.  Not the usual tale.  Stress, guilt, drugs, stress, food, heartbreak - all in a blender.  

August 19, 2007 is the day it all started, and while I don't know what the middle will look like, I do know how this will end.   

I will be thin again.  Come back and read here to see how it all happens.