Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am now on Nutrisystem. Those commercials wore me down, and it seemed like the right time to do it. I weighed 304 pounds two weeks ago, but now weigh 286 pounds. This doesn’t seem much to y’all out there that are twigs, but it’s a major accomplishment. I thought I was eating right for the last year but my weight kept creeping up and up. My doctors, and my friends and family, all said the same thing to me: it’s the steroids, you can’t help it. I’ve been on Prednisone for Lupus for fifteen years and when I went on it, I weighed 140 pounds. I had done Weight Watchers successfully, losing 42 pounds and keeping it off until I had my son in 1998. But then my Lupus went haywire, and my steroids were increased, and my weight went up and up. I got frustrated, having to waste good money on size 26W clothes, but I had resigned myself to being an overweight, prednisone-dependent, disabled Lupus girl.
But something happened in the last two months, and I’m not sure what it was. Being humiliated at the theme park, when I couldn’t go on many of the rides because of my size (see a previous article that describes that) didn’t help. Continuing to look in the mirror and hating what I saw certainly didn’t help, but I think it was a combination of everything that culminated in me deciding to put my money on Nutrisystem and hoping it works.
Today was Day One and breakfast and lunch were so-so, mainly because we don’t have a lot of fruit and vegetables in the house, but I’m going shopping tomorrow. Dinner was delicious, and I’m trying to hold off until 9 p.m. to have my snack- a mint-chocolate chip bar. Tomorrow will be my first day doing Nutrisystem, while doing my water physical therapy. I’ll be curious if I feel better or worse after my workout. I’ll probably feel better, because I’m actually eating during the day, which I didn’t do before. Before today, I had coffee in the morning, iced tea in the afternoon and a full dinner. Then I snacked all night, which was my downfall. I didn’t drink enough water and had no good carbs all day. It’s no wonder I was exhausted in the afternoon, since my Lupus has been flaring for the last month and those flares cause fatigue in the afternoon by themselves.
So, who knows? Maybe I’ll get to meet Marie Osmond someday, and announce to the country the amount of weight I lost. In actual fact, I just want to do this without surgery. I’m not a candidate for Gastric bypass because of my body’s dependence on prednisone and my visits to the local ICU for respiratory failure. So I can’t do that route, which seems like the easiest, but I went through a portion of the “prep” for gastric by-pass before my first episode with unconsciousness, and it isn’t easy. You have to do exactly what Nutrisystem is doing for me: giving me proper proportions of food and making sure, at the same time, that you’re getting proper nutrition. And you have to go to weekly counseling sessions and lose a portion of weight before your surgery. Then afterwards, you can only have teeny, tiny meals for the first months and of course, you lose weight. But if you don’t exercise, you’re left with hanging skin that you then have to have cut off by a plastic surgeon so you don’t look as like my basset hound.
I’m not sure there is any easy way to lose weight. It’s a mind/body continuum. It’s making up your mind to do it and stick to it to see results. There are a lot of “magic” pills advertised out there, but none of them are safe. Or they don’t work and you waste a lot of your hard earned money. Weight Watchers is great for some people, but I have social anxiety disorder, and the thought of going to meetings, and getting weighed in public terrifies me now. It didn’t when I went to Weight Watchers, but to be honest, I only went to the meetings for about a month and then I did it on my own. But I didn’t have a 6 foot, 154 pound husband who can eat anything, and a ten year old growing boy who loves junk food, living with me. If I didn’t buy it, it didn’t come in the house. Now when my husband does the shopping, I know he’ll bring home junk food and snacks. But it’s not realistic for the two of them to suffer because of my lack of control and bad eating habits. I hope being on Nutrisystem will help my son eat better. He was always a good eater, never ate junk or candy until he started school. And now he has the ability to go the half block to the corner store and buy a candy bar when he wants to. I hope I can show him that better eating habits makes you feel better. And that’s all I want.