It has been exactly one year since I began my weight-loss journey. I can remember starting the class and thinking where will I be in one year? Will I accomplish my goals, will I still be on track? Will I even be successful? Yes, I had the determination and yes I believed I needed to make this transformation to avoid and reduce my impending health issues but I had attempted weight-loss countless times and failed in every attempt. Thankfully, yes I have achieved my goals and set new ones. I have removed all health issues and risks. I have reduced my body fat% to normal ranges (for my age), my BMI is under 30, I have increased my metabolism to “very active”. I have lost over 115 pounds and I have dropped a mind-blowing 10 dress sizes.
Before the Journey
Before I started on this journey I was very obese. I could not stand-up straight because my back would hurt. When I had to walk, I always wore my backpack to counter-balance my weight and to help support my back. I use to breathe heavily while just sitting still. I would snore so loud I would wake myself up. I got migrates often and it seemed like I was always sick. I was not physically active often and nutrition was just a word I heard when I went to the doctor. My health was on a downward spiral because I was pre diabetic and hypertensive. I started to have a side pain and nausea often because of the foods I ate. My husband’s health was also deteriorating and he was knocking at death’s door. In fact, we had to postpone our original start date for the program because he had a critical medical emergency that nearly turned fatal.
Unfortunately, I let my health push me into a corner but one year ago I finally came back swinging. We both joined the Kaiser Weight-loss Management Program which I truly believe was a lifeline.
First Phase – 16 weeks Active Phase
Before we started I removed all food from my home and briefed our support team. We officially started the program Nov 26, 2014. For 16 weeks we had meal replacements which included four shakes and two proteins bars; totaling only 960 calories. This was a far cry from the 3000 calories I probably consumed on an average day. We had to eat 2 -3 hours a day and drink at least one gallon of water.
The first week was tough with the lack of food, eating every 2-3 hours, and drinking all that water. I stayed focus and successfully completed the week. My success resulted in a 10 pound weight-loss. As the saying goes, the proof was in the puddling. The classes were structured to provide information and group support. We learned about nutrition, fitness and developed our health tool-box. The weekly check-ups (Weight and blood-pressure) kept us accountable. The monthly doctor checks ensured we were on the right track.
During class, the facilitator advised us to increase our fitness level. The second week my husband and I joined a local gym and began an early morning workout routine. On the weekend we would do at least 2 hours of cardio. I got over the looks and stares when we were working out. Even when we walked or rode our bikes the stares and snickers were ridiculous. How ironic, when you are obese people talk bad about you; when you are doing something about it people are laughing at you. I was so focused on my goals that nonsense couldn’t deter me. In the second week I dropped 7 pounds. Adding fitness helped increase my weight-loss. Every week I lost at least 5 pounds or more.
To ensure we were getting the most out of our workouts we hired a personal trainer. She worked with my husband first in individual sessions then worked with me. To maximize a workout, she taught us to include both cardio and strength training. This helped us not only increase our fitness but also save time in the gym by not waste energy on a two hour cardio session. She taught us about circuit training which guards against getting stuck on a plateau.
After 16 weeks on the program I lost 70 pounds and my husband lost over 100. We were both excited and scared to start on the next phase which was transition back to real food. You will be able to read about Phase two in the next installment of my 1 year progress report.
Here are the photos included in Phase One
Over a year ago I started on a weight-loss journey but it was debunked when Life happened. This life event was terrifying and I started eating very unhealthy foods to deal with it. I lost about 50 pounds but gain 30 back. When the Life event (MY husband’s health failed) was over we both decided enough was enough, we had to take a drastic step. We decided to join the Kaiser Weight-Loss Program. Yes this was a radical step but a must. It is medically supervised so I wasn’t concerned about the Health Risks. We started this program November 29th, the day right after Thanksgiving.
The Program – A lifestyle change (behavioral change) not a diet.
The Active Phase
16 Weeks of Meal-Replacements; 960 Cals/day
14 Weeks of Transitioning food back in; 1200 Cals/day
Weekly checks of Blood Pressure and Weight
Monthly check-ups from your Weight-loss Doctor
The Lifestyle Phase
When you “graduate” from the Active Phase, you will enter the Lifestyle Phase which lasts a life-time if you so choose.
In this phase you will meet with your peers to get support. You can attend meetings as often as you like.
I am currently in week 14 of the first 16 weeks. The first week was a little tough because you miss food and your body is still craving it. We are suppose to drink a gallon of water a day, which is hard but I got through it. Although I committed to this program, what really solidified it was my 10 pounds weight-loss the first week. I was baffled because I didn’t know how well the program would work. My husband also lost 10 pounds which was exciting.
We decided to add a workout regimen to the program so we joined the Gym and started to do an hour cardio everything day. This decision enhanced our weight-loss. Every week we dropped between 7 pounds for him and 4-5 for me. In under 90 days, my husband has already lost 100 pounds and I have lost 60. I feel great and I have more energy then ever before. We have both increased our fitness program by adding strength training. Our classes are teaching us how to have a better relationship with food and do not reward yourself with food. We have learned nutrition and fitness goes hand-in-hand.
I am looking forward to adding food back in within the next two weeks and to begin a healthy relationship with food. I am also looking to increasing the intensity of my fitness as more food is added.
This program does work if you stick with it and follow the guidelines. You definitely have to be in the right state of mind to truly commit to the program because if you don’t you will not see the results you hope for. I see this in the faces of my classmates that often cheat or have not added in fitness.