In July of 2008, I finally got to a very bad place. The Tipping Point. I had managed to become so big that I was clinically obese. At 285 pounds, I was the poster child for a life of excess food and drink and very little exercise. My whole life had been a yo-yo dieting nightmare with every rebound bringing more and more weight. I was bigger (or more accurately defined...fatter) in 2008 than I had ever been my whole life. It was really a magnificent accomplishment.
My whole life, I had been able to make the yo-yo go in reverse through exercise. I never really watched my diet, I just forced my weight down with lots of sweat and work. This time, however, I was so big I couldn't exercise. My knees took a pounding, my back had two degenerative areas that hurt when I bounced up and down, and I simply couldn't breath well enough. Couple that with acid reflux and edema (swelling) in my legs and the result was a person damaged so badly that it was impossible to lose the weight "normally." My physical health was also impacting one other thing. Alongside my work stress, I ended up taking two ambulance rides from work to the hospital for what was thought (mistakenly) to be heart issues.
I needed medical help to get the weight off. I was told of this liquid diet program called Optifast. It was done through a hospital and medically supervised. It was also pretty expensive but some of it was covered in my work health plan. It was an 800-900 calorie per day liquid diet. I would drink 4 juice-box sized drinks a day and have one meal of a very strictly measure vegetable, meat (6-7 oz.) and a fruit. My goal was to lose 80 pounds.
Long story short...the diet worked. I lost 85 lbs. A few points though...
(1) If your goal is to "lose weight" and is not to make a "life change," then this diet has a high failure rate. The program had nutrition counseling as a part of the program and I took that completetely to heart. I now use Beachbody products to keep the weight off. (2) You have to exercise during this program. If you don't, your metabolic rate ultimately drops to match your calories and you will be tired and irritable...because you are literally starving. You need to walk and create exertion. (3) Lastly, you can't do this diet forever. You need to create a life that has proper nutrition and exercise as an active component. If you don't, Mr. Fat will knock on your door and you will find him sitting intimately on the couch (again) with you.
If you are at a point where you need Optifast, I encourage it. But it is not the final solution. If you want to know what my Optifast experience was like, it is blogged in all of its sometimes funny glory down below. Enjoy.
|1||My overweight condition finally pushes me over the edge!|
|2||Finding the right diet to fix my obesity.|
|3||Getting started on Optifast. My orientation.|
|4||The Optifast program requires you to see a Psych Counselor. Really??|
|5||The Optifast program requires a Doctor's visit. Well, that's the responsible thing.|
|6||Optifast needs to know where I am starting. It's me versus the scale.|
|7||The Optifast program is very secretive. Things we were NOT supposed to ask!!|
|8||Optifast. This is really the WHY behind why I did it.|
|9||A 900 calorie diet with itty bitty 12 oz juice box sized meals. Yum.|
|10||Optifast isn't a miracle diet. You better get up and exercise.|
|11||On Optifast you have to drink plenty of water and NO alcohol!!|
|12||How long did it really take Optifast to help me lose 85 lbs?|
|13||Everything in life requires inspiration. Even dieting. Here is something unique, Susan Boyle.|
|14||Is the Optifast diet portable? Can it even survive Disneyland?|
|15||Surviving Disneyland. How much did I lose that week on Optifast?|
|16||Can Diet Soda really stop you from burning fat? Yes. Even on Optifast.|
|17||On every diet, discipline is required. Are you a wisher or a worker?|
|18||Motivation. How do you set up for success. Don't ask Kirstie Alley.|
|19||Motivation. What sabotages you? You can ask Kirstie Alley this one. Part 2|
|20||Motivation. Where does your health fit on your needs pyramid? Kirstie Alley, Part 3|
|21||After Optifast, you need to make permanent life changes.|
|22||Watch out for celebrity endorsements of low-fat food. And read the labels.|
|23||My post-Optifast portion control solution|
|24||It's easy to fall back on bad habits. CONTROL!!!|
|25||Feeling great and staying in control|
|26||Optifast. It has been one year since the diet ended. How have I done?|
|27||You are a thin you. You will now be judged differently. Are you ready for this?|
|28||After you have made a permanent change, you will see the rest of the world differently|
|29||Optifast and my life healthy life have given me moments to remember forever.|
|30||Your view on weight loss and exercise programs are also going to change drastically|
You may have questions about a lot of things. You might want to know how I found Optifast. You might want to know how I continue to keep the weight off. You might want to know how you get involved in the fantastic Beachbody products or you might simply just need to know that change for you is possible...and I assure you, it is. If you have questions on anything at all related to your health and fitness...just reach out. I'm here.