Once upon a time, I told my old friend Nick Jacobs I was going to a weight loss class that I was going to call: “The Fat Mitch Class.” Nick stomped her foot and said she wouldn’t accept that. Instead, she said, call it “Wonderfulman Class.”
That was in 2009. At that time, I was embarking on a program using medically managed high protein diets, later combined with meal supplements, before slowly guiding us back into the world of normal food and healthy eating habits. I went through the program and stages changing with the amount of weight loss I garnered, until I lost over half my body weight. No seriously – in September 2009 I weighed 405 lbs, and by summer of 2011 I reached my low point of 192 lbs. From a few people, I proudly took the nickname: “Half-ass”. While on that program, I had loads of support from nearly anyone I knew. In all honesty, while it was tough at times, it was a lot easier for me to lose all that weight than you think – because the way I am built, losing weight is easy.
Yeah … losing weight is easy … but guess what, gaining it is just as easy.
From that low point in 2011, I started creeping upward slowly. By the time I moved to Alaska in 2012, I had already put on 40lbs; another 20 or 30 more came on before I settled down. Then, away from the program, the accountability, and the day to day support; it came back – in addition to being surrounded by great pizza, beer, and months where the weather isn’t worth going out in (not the winter mind you, but the rainy seasons); not all of it but enough to say “all of it”. As tough as it was to deal with the changes that dang near brought me back to the top the 400 mark, I knew I wouldn’t have the same program that helped me before and was jaded by many of the standard “it’s easy, eat less exercise more” programs that exist. I had to find something.
My doc recommended the Alaska Premier Health Clinic. In essence, its the same kind of concept. Diet & exercise using a liquid based fast start program with weekly weigh-ins and meetings. One difference that stands out, instead of group meetings – it’s a one-on-one session with the person who defines the plan specifically for you. It is seemingly more behavioral based, my behaviors. At this point of time I am only 2 weeks, and doing well, feeling better and fitting into clothes more often.
That being said, this time I want to change things. A key one is what I just mentioned — that I am focused on behaviors first and foremost. I know how to make lifestyle changes, I know how to lose weight, and I know how to exercise. The problem is, I don’t know why I overeat. For instance, part of this program I am on allows me to leave my liquid diet if I am having urges to have leafy greens or light veggies, and to treat them as nothing calories – which is good & healthy. But what I don’t get is why I felt the need to eat three salads Saturday night … sure it’s healthy and good for me, but replace the word “salad” with any other edible food and that is a typical behavior of mine.
Another thing I want to do this time is to change the conversation I have with others. Last time, I was swarmed by support. I loved it. It was awesome. In time, every conversation began and ended with something to do with weight loss. After awhile, I was defined by my weight loss. It drove me to lose more and more, and applied more of my own personal stress to find the answers keeping me from gaining it back. The problem was, life threw a lot of issues at me at once – and as I slowly lost grip of the weight control, I lost control of my identity. In a way, I want to lose weight this time, but I don’t we to be “that guy who lost all that weight” either. There is a reason for that, but it’s hard to capsulize in just a couple quick sentences.
So I mentioned in a previous post that this blog is going to change somewhat with the work on improving my health. This is the kind of thing to expect. I am facing a long road ahead, but not one that is new to me. The thing is, I am not one to ask for help because I don’t expect help – if I am doing it, I can get it done. Any and all support is always welcome (even if it sounds unwelcome) but truth is some parts of this road need to be walked alone. Wonderful man or not.