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Reflections after my first year on a medically-supervised obesity treatment program

Posted in health

Assessing my progress and deciding what to do next

Worried that I was on a slippery slope towards my old habits again, I redoubled my efforts at journaling and self-reflection to get to the bottom of what I perceived to be the beginning of a relapse. I attended some private consultations with the program psychologist. I began to rein in some of those unwanted habits, and for the last few weeks of Group 5, my weight levelled out once more. At my final weigh-in, I could claim a net weight loss since Week 1 of 65 pounds. At my lowest point during MR, I had lost 80 pounds. Therefore, I could claim a net loss of nearly 20% of my starting body weight.

Since I knew I already had more than 60 additional pounds I wanted to lose, and I also knew that I hadn’t quite mastered the new habits I’d learned in PfHW, I decided to reenrol in the program for a full second round. Three other participants from my group made the very same decision. As I neared the official endpoint of Group 5, I began the assessment process to repeat the entire program again. My family doctor re-referred me to PfHW; lengthy interviews and re-assessments were completed by the program dietician, doctor, and psychologist; and I had my bloodwork completed once more. I was thrilled to be accepted into the last open slot for Group 9, and I began to prepare for another 12-week-long phase of MR. The only difference was that this time, we would begin our liquid diet of only OptiFast and water during the week before Christmas, and it would last nearly until Easter.

As I write this now, we’ve just begun the 6th week of MR, and just like last year, I’ll be attending an all-inclusive family resort vacation with my wife and three kids while I’m on this restricted diet. I’m at a different mental place than I was 12 months ago, however. Even though I didn’t eat any solid food during MR in Group 5, I now feel somewhat like a seasoned veteran at this. I’m grateful to find myself possessed of an easy, firm resolve at this phase of the program, and I sincerely relish the opportunity to go on holiday with my family without being a slave to my desires for unhealthy, rich, calorie-dense comfort and vacation foods. I’m looking forward to doing an even better job at Transition with my co-participants (and now close friends) from Group 9, and I also find myself happily contemplating the prospect of possibly working in this very field after I’ve completed PfHW once more.

I’ve already said it’s no exaggeration that this program has changed my life, but it’s a fact that bears repeating. It is difficult to find words to express the feelings that come from being able to experience my life free from the bondage of my seemingly unending desires for food. For the sake of my own health and for my role in this family, I see my participation in PfHW as having taken my very first steps ever towards a normative, properly-functioning, and healthy relationship with food and eating. With continued vigour and persistence on my part, I hope to see this new state of mind persist: at first, for the next 3-5 years; but hopefully, for the rest of my adult life.

comparison 2013-01-19

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5 Comments

  1. juanita eisan
    juanita eisan

    dustin, you are in inspiration to me , thank you for letting me read about your struggle, and best of all your determination to lose the weight ….. sincerily marie eisan

    Sat Jan 19th 2013
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  2. Jerry Katz
    Jerry Katz

    I appreciate hearing the ins and outs of this journey. The main thing I see is that you seem locked into the new relationship with food. That’s inspiring to anyone struggling with a psychological challenge. And that would qualify you to inspire, encourage, teach, and lead others who know that have to re-build their lives of eating.

    Sun Jan 20th 2013
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  3. Cecilia Das Gupta
    Cecilia Das Gupta

    Great piece Dustin, very inspiring and very, very useful to read right now for me. Thanks.

    Sun Jan 20th 2013
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  4. Cathy White
    Cathy White

    Thank you for having the courage and honesty to share details of your voyage through the program. I have been hounded by my poor relationship with food throughout my life. I tell people that I am a food addict and have cravings for food like others would crave alcohol or drugs. I think the philosophy of this program mirrors my own thoughts and, having read your piece, I am more determined than ever to follow up on this.
    Kudos to you for your efforts!

    Mon Apr 1st 2013
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    • Jill Peapell
      Jill Peapell

      Dustin – Thank you for your honesty. I am waiting for the next intake of participants and have now been told it wont be until September. This means we will be on the liquid diet over Christmas and in my case over the three weeks I am in the South in January/February. I was pleased to see that you went away and stuck to the liquid diet when you were away. My husband suggested we should cancel our holiday but I need to live in the real world so feel I will reap the benefits of the sun if not the food! Hope your second year is proving to be as beneficial as your first!

      Thu Aug 1st 2013
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