About 4 years ago I thought my life was over. My mother had died and I was alone to carry on somehow. I fell into a dark place yet I kept working a full-time job, taking care of my patients at the VA hospital, caring for my pets and slowly eating myself to death. It wasn’t unusual for me to spend up to $90 a day on fast food. I never cooked and my refrigerator was solely used for the left-overs from the fast food I ate the previous day. The first thing I noticed was that my breathing became more difficult. By the time I walked to bathroom about 5 feet away I was winded. I’d have to lean on the sink to catch my breath. Yet, I stayed in denial that it was just a temporary thing. Maybe it was just a cold or allergies? The only problem is that my shortness of breath worsened to the point that I never went anywhere except work. Even then I’d have to take frequent breaks between my car and the front of the hospital. I was embarrassed but I had no choice but to sit and rest every few feet. I would sweat profusely and wheeze my way to the elevator to the 2nd floor where my office was located.
I found myself sitting at my desk with my head in my hands asking for it all to be over. Would it be a heart attack in my sleep or when I was trying to walk down the hall to the bathroom? My nurse put an oxygen tank in my office just in case I needed to walk to a colleague’s office. I literally hated what was happening to me but not one person offered to help me until one day my good friend said enough was enough. She offered to cook my breakfast and lunches. She made me go to the supermarket, a place that I hadn’t been to in years, just so I could actually shop for my food. I fought her every step of the way because I had officially given up. After all I was 500 pounds. The good thing is that she didn’t give up on me. She had hope and through her compassion, caring, and support I let her into my life and accepted her help. She prepared my meals for over a year until I finally decided to have bariatric surgery in December 2012.
I lost weight fairly rapidly but then stalled in June 2013. No matter what I did nothing worked. I cut my carbs drastically, I increased my water intake, and I increased my protein but the scale didn’t move. I was devastated. I, unfortunately, became addicted to my scale not realizing how far I had come already. The other thing I didn’t realize was that I hadn’t incorporated movement into my life. I had more energy with the weight loss but I loathed exercise. I threw a tantrum for several more weeks and refused to exercise until one day I had no other options. Fortunately I met someone who would not only guide me to an even healthier place mentally and physically but someone who would be a friend for life, John Bogarin. He was both therapist and personal trainer for me. When I would tell him “I can’t” he would tell me “yes, you can” in soft, understanding tones. He would challenge me in a compassionate way and he never judged me even though I was beating myself up constantly.
Our programs are very comprehensive. They include personal training, nutritional and psychiatric counseling and much more. More importantly, what Body and Mind offers is people who have the passion and the vision to get you through this. We all have been there. And we will be there for you whenever you need us.
Fast forward to now and I’ve lost 300 pounds and feel like I got my life back. It’s not hyperbole when I say that I was dying almost 4 years ago. When I look back on my health at that time I don’t think I would have lasted the year without the intervention of two very special people. I wish I had realized that what I needed was the kindness and support friends to help me survive but I had to lower my guard and let them into my life. I had to swallow a lot of pride and let them see the true me otherwise they couldn’t help me.
If you’re reading this right now then you’re in the right place at the right time. Perhaps you’re wondering if you’ll be there to watch your kids grow up or maybe you’re hoping you can run around the park playing football with your family. Or it could be that you just want to be able to walk from your car to your job without being out of breath. You can do all of this and more. You have the inner strength to change your path. This is not the end of your story.
I’m not going to lie to you—it will be hard work. Positive change is rarely easy but the good news is that with support, understanding and unconditional caring you can live a healthier life.
People have asked us why we started Body & Mind Medical Weight Loss Center. We started it for you and for all that you strive to be. Your journey can start now.