Starting Weight: 237 pounds
Current Weight: 165 pounds
Total weight lost: 72 pounds*
*In a CMWL multicenter randomized trial involving 550 patients who followed a CMWL Low-Calorie Diet (LCD) or Modified LCD Program, both with and without appetite suppressants, the average weight loss was 2 pounds per week over a 12-week period. The research was wholly funded by an independent third party with the exception of travel expenses. According to a study published in The American Journal of Medicine, participants completing a 12-week medical weight loss program lost 11.1% of their body weight, on average. Results may vary.
After 20+ years of being overweight, I began to experience excruciating pain in my right knee and hip. I walked like an old person, especially when coming down a flight of stairs. I would not exercise in any way and avoided all outdoor activities. Finally, I grew so tired of the pain, I sought medical attention, only to repeatedly be told that taking weight off my joints would make a tremendous difference. However, I was not a candidate for any knee surgeries.
I decided to pursue the Lap-Band surgery. I had no confidence in myself that I could lose the weight on my own. However, my insurance company refused to pay for that surgery. I was told I had to participate in a six-month, physician-supervised weight loss program to prove that I could not lose it on my own. The bariatric surgeon’s office referred me to The Center for Medical Weight Loss (CMWL). Angrily, with much reluctance and skepticism, I made the appointment with the attitude that, “I will jump through the insurance hoops only to come back in six months and have the Lap-Band surgery.”
I had given up on losing weight and resigned myself to the fact that I was fine the way I was. At one point I’d tried Weight Watchers and the Atkins Diet, neither of which proved successful for me. Then for years, I did nothing about it.
Cynthia’s Weight Loss Journey
In the beginning, I was extremely skeptical about losing weight. To be told I was morbidly obese, addicted to food, not mindful of what I ate and what it cost me, and that I was an emotional eater were phrases that cut to the heart of my issues. I am the type of person who needs hard, honest truth, and I needed a strong doctor who was not intimidated by me and was willing to give that kind of truth for the sake of my health.
I am eternally indebted to the CMWL doctor that was assigned to me. Although I agreed to cooperate, I thought the idea of consuming bars and shakes tallying up to 800 calories a day was the most absurd thing I had ever heard. However, it was exactly what I needed to break the addictions, cravings, and emotional eating. From the very first day, as I pondered over the homework questions, I knew the CMWL program was going to be more than a “new diet,” and my journey has been as much about discovering truths about myself as it has been about what to eat and what not to eat. I began to journal on my own blog (www.ragamuffintea.blogspot.com) and honestly looked into my heart while cooperating with the program.
As I began to drop the weight and watch the body fat percentage number come down, it was motivating. One of the first things I did was get a calorie-counting book and start making myself aware of what my favorite things “cost me.” That was an extreme eye-opener. I would put a dollar sign in front of the number of calories of something and ask myself, “Would I spend $800 on those homemade potato chips from Zaxby’s?” To think through whether or not that was a wise “spend” was liberating. Throughout my journey, to this day, I am so mentally aware of what a food or drink choice costs me that I never put anything in my mouth without that knowledge. That has become a new way of life for me. Whenever I hit a bump in the road, a setback, a discouragement, or a week without losing any pounds, I’ve learned to ask myself questions, and I’ve learned to be honest with the answers.
Specific Ways the CMWL Program Helped Me to Lose Weight
Cynthia’s Weight Loss Challenges
Most of my challenges were mental and internal. So focusing on the homework and allowing myself to honestly answer those questions kept me in check and worked at the core to change my mind where it needed changing. My beliefs determined my behavior, so a lot of my “beliefs” in regard to my weight needed changing.
Another challenge was the people around me. Some were not supportive in many ways, and I had to realize early on that I was on this journey alone. It was helpful when I could take responsibility for myself regardless of what others around me were doing or saying. One of the most helpful things I realized was that when I had unrealistic expectations, whether of others, myself, or the results I was hoping for, I should relax and not be so hard on myself or those around me. I had to give in to the “process” of this journey and give it time.
One of my most challenging obstacles had always been to give up at the first hint of disappointment. Just making myself aware of that lifetime obstacle was the beginning of overcoming it. Then making a conscious choice to not give in to the same old patterns again and having a doctor and weight loss consultant to be accountable to was extremely helpful.
I believe that many people need this type of program, if for no other reason than to break the familial cycles that have been in place for years and even generations. For example, my maternal grandmother died of pancreatic cancer due expressly to years of unhealthy eating patterns that led to obesity. All of my mother’s sisters still eat this way and see nothing wrong with it. I followed suit and as a result ended up obese, shaped bodily just like my grandmother, on my way to the same health issues she died from. I made a decision along the way as I progressed in this journey to change that familial cycle. Those are the kinds of decisions and realities that have helped me overcome the continuing challenges I still face.
Positive Benefits to Weight Loss
Almost every day I am aware of another benefit of losing the weight. So, I am sure this list will be unfinished:
Keeping Off the Weight
I plan to keep off the weight in the exact same way I got it off: By continuing to be willing to ask myself hard questions and answer them honestly, and educating myself about good nutrition, metabolism, etc. I am currently participating in the study of natural health, which will certify me in that area. Knowledge is empowering for me as long as I cooperate with and appropriate what I am learning. This is still a journey, and as long as I live, it will continue. Learning to be mindful of what I eat and what it costs me is the key for me to losing the weight and keeping it off. It all starts with awareness. Also, being involved in helping and motivating others on this journey in return helps me stay focused.
Favorite CMWL Product:They’re all delicious.
Top Tip to Stay Motivated:Focusing on the homework kept me in check.
What I Like Best About CMWL:The metabolic scale showed my progress in all areas besides just weight and helped me keep things in perspective.
At CMWL, I learned valuable information from Dr. Kaplan to help keep me moving forward
"Being both a CMWL doctor and patient, I have first-hand knowledge of how well this program works. I will never be overweight again."
"I got the same results without having surgery…I accomplished something I thought was impossible."