Deciding to change my life was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
Hi, I am Amanda Jordan, and if you are joining me for the first time, please be sure to read my first two blog posts about my journey to weight loss and being healthy. Thank you for returning if you have been here before, and I am glad you are here.
I will never forget sitting in the waiting room at my doctor’s office with my husband by my side and realizing today would be the day I would change my life. I anxiously waited for my name to be called as I flipped through a magazine. My heart raced, and I was excited as the nurse came out and called me. We walked back and headed to the scale. I stepped on and froze, 280 pounds the numbers read, and I could not believe it. How had I gotten here, and if I could get to this point and not realize it, how would I ever fix it, and was it too late? I held back tears as we walked back to the examination room. I sat quietly on the table while my vitals were taken, and my mind was racing. I was no longer excited but scared out of my mind. When the nurse left and I had a moment alone with my husband, I expressed my fears to him. He just looked at me and said it would be ok. I could not tell what he was thinking, and before I could ask, the doctor walked in.
First I have to tell you about my doctor. He is a funny little man who always smiles and makes you feel amazing no matter why you are there. He listens openly to your opinions and thoughts and never talks down to you. He is exactly what I needed at this point in my life. He sat on his stool and asked me what had brought me in. I blurted out, “I am killing myself, and I need help.” He couldn’t help but laugh and say, “Ok, let’s back up for a minute.” I explained everything, from my aunt passing away to feeling scared and lost. He listened and nodded his head, and when I was done, he recommended a bariatric program that I could do. It was surprising that I could be so far gone that my doctor thought I needed bariatric surgery. He told me that he didn’t feel that I needed it, but the program was so in-depth and detailed that it could teach me a lot. He also told me that losing weight would be more challenging for me with my thyroid condition. He said he wanted to start running a blood panel on me to see what other health issues I had, but I should start immediately with this program. The program would last six months, and there would be monthly doctor visits, weekly weigh-ins, twelve nutritionist meetings, and two behavioral health meetings. He explained that this program would help me learn how to eat correctly; it would also help me understand why I was overweight and get to the heart of the problem. My husband, who had been quiet through all of this, suddenly popped up very excited and asked if he could do the program with me. My doctor loved this idea and called the nurse in right away. He made my husband an appt right after mine, and before I knew it, they had hurried him out to be weighed.
While he was gone, I talked to my doctor more about the program and what should be my first move. Before he could answer, my husband walked in looking like he had seen a ghost. The nurse handed his chart to the doctor and left. The doctor looked over it and then back at my husband with a compassionate smile. “Did you realize you weighed 293 pounds?” he asked my husband. I was shocked and heartbroken. I had been so focused on my weight that I had not realized he was just as bad off as I was. My husband explained that he knew he had put on weight, but like me, he hadn’t realized how bad it had gotten. The doctor ordered blood panels for both of us, set us up for a sleep study, and made our first appointment with a Nutritionist. We didn’t know it yet, but this was the first day of our new lives.
We both felt very overwhelmed and a little lost, but we knew we wanted to make the right changes. When we got home, we sat down and talked about the obvious problems, like overeating junk food and drinking too much soda. We were not stupid, so we knew we needed to eat better and work out more, but we didn’t know exactly what to do. We decided the best thing to do was be patient and wait until we met with the nutritionist before making significant food changes, but we decided to join a gym right away. Doing this was not easy as we lived in a small town and the closest gym was 25 miles away. We decided that Anytime Fitness would be good for us because we could go anytime. We were super excited and signed up the next day and went out and bought new gym clothes and gym bags. When we got home, there was a message waiting from our doctor, saying we needed to call him right away.
I called him back, but he had already left for the day. The receptionist made us an appointment for first thing the following day, and there was nothing left to do but wait. We both agreed that there was no reason to worry or get upset until we knew something, but my head instantly went to the worst. I started thinking of all kinds of horrible things that could be wrong, like cancer and heart disease. I didn’t want to upset my husband, so I excused myself to take a bath and cry. I stood in the bathroom, looking at myself naked in the mirror. I hated what I saw and how I felt, and I was so disappointed in myself for allowing this to happen. I took a bath and cried my eyes out while looking up fitness and health articles. I stumbled across an old People magazine article on Ricki Lake and her weight loss success story. I always loved her as I was a big fan of the movie Hairspray when I was a kid, so I just had to read it. Now, I could not tell you how she lost the weight or what was so different about her weight loss regime than others, but what I remember the most about this article was how she talked about learning to love herself no matter what size she was. I realized that was my problem. I grew to hate who I had become because of how I looked, which was not ok. I needed to change my mindset, maybe even more than my body.
I got out of the bathtub and dried off. I then did one of the hardest things I have ever done. I dropped my towel and looked at my naked body in the mirror. I then forced myself to find three things I loved about my mind, body, and life. I stood proud, and I smiled back at myself, and I said out loud, “I love my family, my creativity, and my kick-ass calves.” I decided to do this every day for a week to see how I would feel. You know what, I felt terrific, and I realized how beautiful and sexy I was, no matter what size I was.
The following day we went to the doctor to find out what was going on. He came in with our charts, and for the first time since I had known him, he was not smiling. He sighed and started to list all the things that had shown up on our blood work. My husband has high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and acid reflux. The doctor was surprised that the list was short considering his weight, but he was optimistic that he could do very well with some lifestyle changes. Then he looked at me and sighed some more. My blood work showed high cholesterol, vitamin d deficiency, high creatinine (kidney failure), low calcium levels, uncontrolled thyroid, high glucose levels. I was officially a type two diabetic. I later found out that I also had sleep apnea from being morbidly obese. Yes, that is what they called me. My doctor put me on different medications to help with the cholesterol and diabetes, and then he told me that it was good I came in when I did because I was headed down a dangerous road. I left the clinic, and on the drive home, I realized that I was too young to be this unhealthy, and I loved myself too much to die this way.
Stay tuned for more on my journey and how I lost 100 pounds and continue to keep it off…
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