What motivated you to lose the weight and come see us at Clinical Nutrition Center?
I have had quite the journey. I’ve struggled with my weight for the majority of my life. The precipice for this journey started in the summer of 2017 when I had a dental procedure done in Greeley. I had a bad reaction to the Novocain, which left me temporarily unable to swallow and led to a major panic attack. This caused subsequent panic attacks and one, while working, landed me in a hospital out of state. I ended up going back to my doctor in Greeley and he did a full exam. I never thought of myself as super heavy, but when I stepped on the scale, I was 300 pounds. Seeing myself at that weight brought back feelings of depression from decades ago. At 35 years old, I felt like I shouldn’t be suffering and needed to make a change.
I posted on my facebook page and asked my community about their tipping point, when enough was enough. I got lots of comments from friends giving feedback/advice. One of my friends went through an Optifast program in Illinois and called me to talk about it. He highly recommended it, and I assumed there was a similar program in Denver. An online search for Optifast clinics in Denver led me to Clinical Nutrition Center.
Can you tell me a little about the weight loss process for you?
I met with Kristen, one of CNC’s dietitians, for the free consultation and really liked how friendly and kind the office was; it felt like a family to me. I was sad because I really wanted to work with CNC, but I didn’t have the funds. However, my parents have their own medical problems and they felt like this was a really important step for my health and decided to help me pay for my treatments. I started the program on January 5th and I was really scared- I didn’t have much faith or confidence in myself.
On my first day, I met Kori up front and she was so positive and helpful. In fact, every time I go in she brightens my day! The entire front office is so helpful and my dietitian, Mary Ellen and my Physicians Assistant, Heather, have been my saving grace, as well as my friends and mentors. They challenge me to achieve my goals and not be lazy – but understand when I lapse. They laugh with me, allow me to cry when I need it, and also challenge me to not be too hard on myself. The process became easy for me … even fun. I like coming into the office. This whole experience has been a challenge, but a fun challenge. I’ve learned how to order at restaurants and how to find things that taste good and are healthy. Mary Ellen has helped me turn eating into a fun challenge.
I’ve also worked my way up slowly with exercise. I started on the treadmill with 30 seconds of running and then walking. I worked my way up to 5 minutes of running before I would walk. I kept increasing the amount of time, slowly but surely. I never used to exercise, but now I enjoy working out and feel frustrated when I don’t get my exercise in during the day. I motivated myself by watching a fun show (The Golden Girls!) on Hulu and it made my workout fun.
I’m in maintenance now and feel like I’m not quite ready to do this without support. I started the transition program this summer. I like the accountability of going in to the office and weighing in. I enjoy the food, shakes and bars …. It makes everything easy. I love that there are no guilt trips with the program, and everyone treats me with dignity and respect. I never feel badly for poor choices, instead, I feel encouraged to make changes. You can fall on your journey, and its part of the process, but I’ve learned to pull up my bootstraps and go on.
How has weight loss changed your life?
Outside of marrying my husband, this has been the best decision of my life. I was on the path towards more medical issues. I work as a flight attendant and my uniform pieces were almost not fitting- I could have lost my job. I’m now wearing clothes that haven’t fit me in 15-20 years! I have found confidence in myself and CNC has helped me find that. Weight loss became fun when I started to see results.
I also had a special “end goal”- a friend of mine has a son with a congenital heart defect and I participated in the SuperHero 5k Heart Run to raise money for the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association of Colorado for congenital heart defect research. The race was incredibly inspiring and seeing the kids that were “heart heroes” was amazing. I raised $2000 and completed the 5k!! I can truly say, without a shadow of a doubt, that last year I never would have thought I’d sign up for, or complete a 5k! This was a great goal to set and ultimately complete and it was all thanks to CNC and their AMAZING staff of beautiful people!!!