My name is Lana, AKA, The Queen (at least in my head anyway). I have struggled with weight issues for as long as I can remember. My earliest memory of my struggle was in grade three. It was then that my teacher made me stand up in front of the class and proceeded to let my classmates know that if they didn't exercise that they would end up being fat, just like Lana. Those words still ring loudly in my ears, and it sometimes still stings, just the same way my tears stung my face as I walked home in the cold, crying the whole way and feeling shame. A shame that I would endure throughout my life.
Even as I type this, I am having a hard time. By putting it out there, I am admitting the things that I have not addressed my entire life: I have a problem, I am fat, really fat (I hate the O word, but one day I will get over it and say it), I love food, especially the bad stuff, the gym scares me, the couch is stuck to my ass and has been for some time, and last but not least, I have no one to blame for this body, but me. There! I said it! Wow, that was a lot to confess... I feel lighter already!!
Nearly three years ago I began going to this wonderful doctor while I was pregnant. My former doctor was not listening to me or my concerns, so I decided to look for someone that would. A friend mentioned a new doctor in town, a woman doc, that was taking new patients. I quickly got an appointment and she became my new doctor. I felt a great connection to her and was able to talk to her so easily. As we met regularly during my pregnancy, she had mentioned a program that she was facilitating, and asked if I would be interested in it after the baby and breast feeding was done. She explained that it was intense and all I would consume was liquids (four Optifast meal replacement shakes, water, herbal teas, minimal caffeinated beverages) for 12 weeks. I stopped listening when I heard that, but I humoured her and said, sure keep me in mind. I felt bad that I lied about being interested, but at that time, I had no interest in giving up my bad habits. I never asked about the program again.
So fast forward to September 2009. I woke up one day and I looked in the mirror and really did not like the person I saw. I got in the shower and cried. I hated how I looked, I hated how I felt, I needed a change. And it was up to me to make that change. Today, I would accept accountability.
I think the reason I hit this point was because I had been reflecting on my life the day before. I kind of evaluated my life and for the most part I have a great life, an amazing life to be honest:
- I have a wonderful husband who loves me and makes me feel loved every day, and reminds me that love never hurts,
- I have a beautiful, healthy, hilarious daughter who fills my heart with so much love that I think it may burst,
- I have two parents that are together, alive and live close by, and they are so proud of me it borders on embarrassing sometimes, but I like it,
- I have three sisters and a brother that I love as though they were my own, and I am so proud that they are in my life. Each one of them brings something so special to my life, and I am thankful for them everyday,
- I have two dogs that I love, even when they are bad,
- I have a kick ass job, and work with so many wonderful people. I, truly, love my job and I am so thankful to have this opportunity,
- I have a home, not a house. It may not be a $700,000 house, or have the big back yard that I always dreamed of, it may be in a trailer park, but it's ours, and it is filled with love,
- I am financially stable. I got bills, but who doesn't, but we live within our means, we have all we need and more, and our financial worries are minimal.
Yes, life is good, great, amazing, yet here I was crying in the shower, not happy, and it hit me; I, was what I, was unhappy about in my life. I, was what needed to change.
I made the call to my doc, and at my appointment, I asked about the Optifast program. She told me that there was a waiting list and it was quite long, but I could begin the process to get on the list. I started attending the required sessions, and completed them all, now I just had to wait. I was told that it would likely be a year before I would get in. Disappointed, but not discouraged. I would wait.
Thankfully, some how the stars aligned, and my wait was not too long. I got a call in February asking if I was still interested. Of course I was!! Went to the appointments, the assessments, the blood work. I was in!! It amazed me that I was so excited to be a part of this program. I was excited to give up food, and change my life. I felt alive, I felt ready, I felt strong!!
March 18, 2010 was the first day of Optifast shakes and it was hard. Harder because I seemed to be surrounded by food that I loved, at various work meetings and functions. Some times I just needed to walk away, for the most part, I just drank a lot of water. I survived.
March 19, 2010, I began going to the gym. I met with one of the trainers from the program, and she was wonderful. Just an inspiring woman who encouraged me, and understood my insecurities at the gym. She got me, and she reminded me that we would go at my comfort level. Baby steps, she kept staying! I am very thankful to her.
I continued on with my program, drinking the shakes, lots of water, major cravings, but livable. I made a major effort (with the support of my sisters Whitney and Sage) to hit the gym everyday. I was using a pedometer to track my steps, averaging more than 5000 a day since I started. I was doing it, and I was finding the strength inside of me, somewhere!
Last night was my weekly Optifast Program meeting, and weigh in. It was judgement day, the moment of truth! Would I see a difference for all the sacrifices I made during the past 6 days? The scale would let me know.
I am happy to report that after 6 days, I have lost 14 pounds!!! WOW!!! Fourteen BIG POUNDS OF ME... GONE!! When I was told, I cried. I worked hard for this, I did it, and I was successful! Those 14 pounds fueled my determination, and have given me the strength to continue. I do feel better, I can feel a difference in my clothes, and I do have more energy. This is just the beginning. One thing the facilitators remind us is that we should not be discouraged if the results are not always as high as our first week. Hell, I won't be discouraged as long as the number keeps going down. One pound less, is still one pound less. Loss at any amount is a fantastic thing!!
One week down, and 11 more glorious weeks to go. I can do this, I want this, and I will not give up. My success is determined by me, and I am accountable for my choices, and I choose to change. I choose to live. I want to see my child grow up, I want her to have her mother for a long time, I want to have a long life with my wonderful husband, I want so see my siblings continue to grow up into amazing adults. Not a lot to ask for really, but things definitely worth working towards and living for.
I am so thankful for the support I have gotten. My family and friends have been so encouraging. They have all told me how proud they are of me. Hearing, "I'm so proud of you", makes me feel amazing!! I know that I am not alone in this, and I have so many people to turn to when I need a kick in the pants during this journey! I could not do this without them!! I won't let them down, but most importantly, I will not let myself down.
Thanks for reading, and I promise to keep updating my progress. I put it out there, so now I gotta do it.
I am 14 pounds closer to a Brand New Me!!
Love, The Queen!