was talking to my mom last night about when she lost all of her weight. She went on a nutritionist created diet after a doctor told her if she did not lose the weight, she would likely be dead in a few years! I had NO idea this whole exchange had occurred and that she was suffering from health related issues due to her obesity. I thought she was healthy!
My mom was 61 years old and went in for a routine checkup after feeling dizzy and not well. She had been avoiding the doctor for several years (sound familiar?) due to comments she had heard when she stepped on the scale. She did not wish to suffer the humiliation and embarrassment many of us feel when doctor’s do that lecture thing. This time, she was not feeling quite right and was getting nervous about it. My mom is doctor phobic anyway and has ALWAYS avoided them as much as possible.
So, she went in for a battery of blood tests, urine tests etc. The doctor told her she was diabetic (they gave her glucophage, the pills) had high blood pressure 160/100, her cholesterol was 265 and she weighed 269 pounds on her 4’11” frame. She was a hot mess. Her triglycerides were through the roof as well although she does not remember what they were. So, the doctor made her an appointment with a nutritionist after suggesting she join WW first. My mom told him she had tried WW and was not a “joiner” as she was too tired when she got home from work to go to meetings (no online in those days) so he sent her to “Lisa.”
Lisa was a slim no nonsense young woman who was an R.D. She talked to my mom about her likes, her dislikes and they created a series of menus my mom could live with that were healthy and would allow her to lose 1-2 pounds a week. I do remember my mom had a handwritten chart on the refrigerator with her pounds lost each week at “weigh in” and that she did buy some of those sticky stars and put them next to the date she lost each ten pounds.
My mom was a “rockstar” on her program. She faithfully followed the diet and the weight began to come off and this was not easy as she has thyroid issues too so she loses slowly. (My mom will be 84 on her next birthday by the way) It took my mom almost 3 years to get to her goal weight of 122 pounds, but she did it! She is no longer a diabetic, she has excellent cholesterol levels and although her blood pressure is still a little high and she takes atenelol, she has come such a long way. She now weighs between 110-116 on any given month/year. She has maintained her loss. She did this without announcing it to anyone. My mom did not tell me when she reached 100 lbs lost or 150 for that matter.
As many of you know, my mom has “issues” with food from her childhood. She is part of the reason my relationship with food went a bit crazy as well. So, what she accomplished is amazing. Particularly the fact that she has maintained this loss for so many years. She said she remembers being winded climbing the one flight of stairs to get into our raised ranch home after work and walking to the parking lot from work was brutal. She was truly “dying” she said.
I am very proud of my mom’s dedication to eating and living healthy. She loves food and to this day will count the “calories” in any sweets she eats. Since she is not on meds except for the blood pressure, she allows herself dessert a few times a week. My grandmother also lost over 140 pounds when she was 62 and kept it off the rest of her life until she passed away at the age of almost 88.
The women in my family get smart late. But, they do it. My grandmother followed a diet she found in a magazine! I have no idea what it was but my mom said she tried to get her on board with it but my mom would not listen until the health began to deteriorate.
I am so lucky that I have none of the health issues my mom and grandmother had. It was only a matter of time until I did though. History tends to repeat itself health wise in families. I only hope I live as long as they are/did!
Thanks WW! I am ahead of the curve!