Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The post about another important anniversary - my Pooniversary

This was taken in 2008, but I know I weighed
297 here. It was Julien's baptism and I cried
the day before because I had nothing to wear.
Taken the day before I broke my ankle.
September 3rd, the first day back to work.
I weighed 166 here.




























Today is an important anniversary for me.  It marks the day, two years ago, that I permanently changed my lifestyle.  I started Dr. Poon's Metabolic Diet on September 17th, 2011.  According to my Tanita Body Composition read out dated September 16th, I weighed 285.6 with a BMI of 45.4 and a fat percentage of 54.4.  I had already been taking Xenical for 1.5 months and dropped 11 pounds just prior to starting Dr. Poon, under the supervision of my GP.  In August 2011, my official starting weight was 297 pounds.  I stopped using Xenical the day I started Dr. Poon's diet.

I remember going to the clinic for the first time so clearly.  It was the old clinic on Wilson Road (which is not there anymore) in Toronto.  I saw Dr. Stephen who pretty much laid it on the line and told me what I needed to hear.  I remember thinking that he was somewhat rude and harsh, but I appreciated what he had to say to me because no one had ever spoken to me in that manner before.  He didn't sugar coat anything and I really needed to hear the truth at that time.  I had been in denial about my weight for far too long.  Although I went to the appointment with the mind set that I was going to listen to what he had to say, but would likely decline the help offered me (because I was going to go the route of weight loss surgery), something in my mind told me I had to act on this opportunity. The reason I was hesitant to even try is because the diet, was in my mind, much too restrictive.  I thought that there was no way I was going to be able to give up processed carbs and refined sugar indefinitely.

I left the appointment with my phase one sheets in hand, and I did commit to (what I told myself was only going to be a trial) two weeks because I made a follow up appointment.  Following my initial appointment, I went into the office for the remainder of the day and went out for lunch at an Indian buffet with a couple of my colleagues.  I figured this would be my last supper.  Dr. Stephen could tell I was apprehensive about the diet and told me to take the weekend to muddle things over.  I woke up on September 17th (which was a Saturday) and knew that if I was going to do this, I was just going to go for it.  No apprehension, no looking back.  I made the commitment that very morning to start the diet immediately.

I was hungry and there were no "Poon" approved foods in my house except eggs, tuna and cabbage.  So that is what I ate for breakfast on the morning of September 17th.  Right after I ate, I showered, and I took off to Walmart to stock up on everything I needed to be successful following this lifestyle.  I made two week goals for myself because I got weighed every two weeks.  The first two weeks saw an 11 pound loss, the second two weeks, I lost 6 pounds of fat but retained water weight because I was not being mindful of sodium.  I only made that mistake once.  After that, I normally lost 5 pounds every two weeks.

I cheated once during my wedding anniversary dinner with my husband in November 2011.  We went for all you can eat sushi.  I was supposed to stick to sashimi (raw fish, no rice), but ended up eating a couple of pieces of sushi.  I spent the rest of the night on the toilet.  I never made that mistake again either.  A referral for gastric by-pass surgery was put in at the same time that I began Dr. Poon's diet.  I got contacted by the Bariatric Clinic at St. Joseph's Hospital here in Hamilton in November and was told to come in for an information/intake assessment for December 3rd, 2011.  I ended up cancelling that appointment because I had already lost 40 pounds since August, and didn't feel I wanted to go the route of surgery anymore.  I just didn't think it would be a good fit for me.  The bariatric surgeon I saw two years prior (this was my second referral for WLS), told me that the only way I would successfully lose weight was through surgery.

I have been at goal (give or take a few pounds) since December 2012.  So it took me a total of 17 months (Xenical and Dr. Poon) to lose 132 pounds.  Although I was successful with Xenical in the beginning, I do not endorse weight loss drugs.  I have taken Xenical off and on for years.  I would lose weight and gain it right back.  The only reason that the initial 11 pounds stayed off this time around was because I started Dr. Poon's diet right after I stopped taking Xenical.  I did nothing but yo-yo diet the many years I took Xenical, Meridia, Fen-Phen.  These were band-aid solutions for me that worked for a short period of time.  Not to mention that Fen-Phen and Meridia were taken off the market for dangerous side effects.  The reason I was always agreeable to taking weight loss drugs in the past is because I wanted a simple, easy solution for weight loss.  There ain't no such thing.

I still can't believe I am living in the body I have today.  I used to dream (literally) about being thin and the dreams would be so vivid and seem so real.  I feel exactly like I felt in those dreams.  Fit and healthy.  There is truly nothing in my mind that will make me think that it would ever be okay for me to go back to the way things were.  Losing weight is hard, but I have to be completely honest with you.  Maintenance is even harder (for me).  When I was losing weight, I had the mind set that it was just for now, not forever.  I can give up cake and pasta.  It's just for now.  I can indulge again once I'm at goal.  Once I reached goal, I knew that I couldn't indulge. It really was forever.  I'm a binger in the worst degree.  Even if I gained and lost the same 10 or 20 pounds, but at a much lighter weight (ie: my weight fluctuated between 165 and 185), I was still a yo-yo dieter and a binge eater.  I would have learned nothing about controlling my eating.  And that was the good scenario. My worst case scenario? I'd gain it all back, and then some, AGAIN!

This day means a lot to me because it signifies my re-birth.  I feel like I have been given another chance at life.  It would be completely selfish and destructive for me to throw that gift away.  This is the only life I'm going to have.  Although I continue to work on letting go of my "inner fat girl", and I will always have some demons from my past that will continue to haunt me, I am in such a better place today than I was two years ago.  I have changed, yes.  But I have also grown and flourished. Although it would have been nice if I was able to get my act together sooner, I wouldn't change the journey I have undertaken.  It has molded me into the person I am today.  I continue to learn from the morbidly obese version of myself.  Although she is becoming more and more of a distant memory, she has also given me infinite wisdom on what it truly means to be healthy.


My eats from the past two days.

Chicken soup with onion, cabbage, carrots and celery.

Lazy cabbage roll casserole made with extra lean ground beef, cabbage,
onion, diced tomatoes and Paleo taco seasoning.

15 comments:

  1. What beautiful pictures. I am really glad you decided to stay with the diet instead of the surgery. Congratulations on meeting your goals. Your success has opened the doors to my success and I will be forever thankful to you.

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  2. Your story is my story... in a way.
    Only once again I gained the weight back.
    I am hoping I can find what works for me before too long.
    You are an amazing girl, and I am just so very happy that you have won the battle with weight. {{{HUGS}}}

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  3. Happy Pooniversary Leigh! May all your dreams come true:)

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  4. Congratulations on two years!! You have come so far - much further that even you thought was possible. You have not only succeeded in losing the weight but keeping it off - a much, much harder thing to do in this crazy, food obsessed world we live in.

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  5. Congratulations, Leigh!!! Amazing story, amazing inspiration! You earned it!

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  6. You're so very very very awesome!

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  7. I'm glad you succeeded. It's people like you that motivate us when we feel like all hope is lost in our weight loss endeavors. Thank you and Happy Anniversary!

    The food looks delicious especially the cabbage roll casserole. My tummy is growling. :)

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  8. Happy Anniversary! You are a rock star!

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  9. Hi Leigh can you send me your recipe for your chicken soup , looks amazing ..Thank you for your continue inspiration and support to all of us ..Rosemary Gibbons

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  10. Happy Pooniversary Leigh! I read this post twice. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I have no words, you know? Just that you are awesome!!

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  11. You've made such progress and shown such commitment - very commendable!!! I love it!

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  12. Happy Pooniversary!!! Great Job!!! You are such an inspiration for all who come by Poonapalooza, love it!!

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  13. Leigh.. oh my god. I keep staring at the pics of you and it's hard to believe it's the same woman. You should be so proud. So proud!!

    And thank you, for welcoming me back into blogging. It means a lot to me. :)

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  14. Thanks for sharing your story. I did not realize you were so close to gastric bypass. I was starting to think the same thing when I got my break through (wheat/sugar free) during Medifast.

    Happy Anniversary and here is to many more thriving years, Leigh! :)

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  15. Hi Leigh, what a wonderful post. My progress was quite a bit slower than yours, but I was reborn again too. I never really felt like "myself" when I was overweight. Now, I look in the mirror and see who I feel myself to be. It is kind of awe-inspiring, isn't it. I'm so happy about your success. Happy Pooniversary! You are deserving of your success. :D

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