Hello, my name is Jana and I can’t wait to begin a New Year with a New Me!! I started the Protein Sparing Modified Fast Program at The Clinical Nutrition Center in the middle of May 2007. I was dreading the prospect of being on a “diet”, but I was desperate. I was ready for a long and grueling process that I was sure I wouldn’t enjoy even a little bit! Over about the last 7 years, I had slowly packed on the pounds. I had climbed from around 155 lbs. to up to 213 lbs. I blamed most of my weight gain on the fact that I have had to deal with a chronic illness for the last 13 years and have taken all kinds of medication, some of which are known to cause weight gain. The medication and the fact that I was much less active due to my illness was my story and I was sticking to it. However, although I had a good “excuse”, I still didn’t like the way I felt or looked and longed to get my old body back. I am a pretty optimistic person overall, but I don’t think I really believed in my heart that I could ever get the weight off. I was wrong!!!
I visit a rheumatologist every month for treatment for Lupus, an autoimmune disorder. After over a year of complaining to him about my weight, my doctor referred me to Dr. Lazarus and The Clinical Nutrition Center. The strain the extra weight had put on my joints was taking its toll. I also was having regular heart palpitations and was diagnosed with asthma. I felt old, fat and tired and I had nothing to lose, but the pounds! After my physical examination with Dr. Lazarus, we decided that the Protein Sparing Modified Fast would be the most appropriate plan for me. After receiving and reviewing the materials I was given, I had decided that there was no way I would be satisfied with the types and amounts of food I could eat. No way! Well, I was wrong again! There were very few times over the course of the next seven months that I felt hungry. The protein filled me up and I came up with all kinds of creative ways to eat a variety of vegetables and still stay within my carbohydrate limit. I stuck to the plan religiously along with keeping a food journal and taking an appetite suppressant and the pounds melted off. It was absolutely amazing to me and still is! I also had a secret weapon in the form of my nutritionist/counselor, Mary Ellen. She is great and has been the best cheerleader a person could have. Food has lost its power over me and I’ve learned to use it as fuel and really nothing more. It doesn’t soothe my fears or insecurities and I’m not hiding out from life in an overweight body anymore. I really do feel free again and it’s great!
I have gone from 213 lbs. to 155 lbs. in the last seven months and am now on the maintenance program with monthly visits to Mary Ellen. I feel so much better and am able to walk on my treadmill, participate in water aerobics, dance some and even shovel snow without huffing and puffing. The heart palpitations have gone away and I’ve only had to deal with occasional very mild asthma, without wheezing everyday like I did in the past. My knees and feet feel 100 percent better and walking and climbing up stairs is easy now. My friends and family are amazed and so proud of me and shower me with compliments. I didn’t think my self-esteem was low when I was overweight, but losing the weight has given me so much more confidence. I like leaving the house and I like shopping for clothes again. It’s also amazing to me how losing weight can give you a younger more youthful look. I’m single and had pretty much given up on the dating scene, but now I’m dating some again and open to romance in my life. And, like my rheumatologist told me not long ago, I can be much more “competitive” out in the dating world with my new figure. I thought that was funny!
I guess my advice to others would be to just take one day at a time. If you get hungry and “cheat” a little, don’t beat yourself up for it. Keeping the food journal and sticking to your protein, fat, and carbohydrate and calorie allowances is crucial and becomes much easier after a short while. My experience at The Clinical Nutrition Center has changed my life and I’ve learned to let food take a back seat to all of the other more important aspects of my life. It’s been nice to learn how to be good to ME! Thank you all at The Clinical Nutrition Center and Happy New Year!!