Thursday, September 19, 2013

The post about my life as an invalid, Meridia and why I can't give weight loss advice


Pictures from yesterday.  Since I was heading out to pick up my
prize, I wanted to wear make up to hide the discoloration that
is still on my face from fracturing my cheekbone.  Other than a
lovely hue of yellow and a divot in my fractured cheek, I'm almost
back to normal.  Really needed to get my nails done too.  It had been
over a month since I had them done! Doesn't the boy look devilish?


Yesterday I went to the Juravinski Cancer Center to picked up my second place prize from the raffle I won through the Bright Run.  I got a gift card for $750 that can be used at one of the Vintage Hotels in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and the use of a Lexus convertible for the weekend from Performance Lexus in St. Catherine's.  What a fun prize!  My 11th wedding Anniversary is coming up on November 2nd.  Guess what hubby and I are doing that weekend?

I have gotten pretty good at rocking the crutches.  I can get around with them comfortably.  Just as long as I have a chauffeur, I can get out of the house for a bit.  (The problem is I only have one chauffeur who is also my personal assistant and I think he wants to quit).  I was chatting with my supervisor from work today and he said that a sure fire way for me to make the paper would be for me to do the marathon with my crutches. Well, I'm not necessarily looking for media attention and we had a good laugh over it because I definitely wouldn't finish the marathon in the allotted time. I'd still be on the course at dinner time.  Maybe the 5K? I'm kidding of course.  I'll be out of the cast by the time the Road2Hope rolls around so it's not really an option.  I'm just pumped that if everything goes as expected, I can start training for a half marathon at the end of November.  Just in time for the frigid temperatures to roll in once again. Awesome!


Finally finished my freakishly hard puzzle and started on
a new winter scene.  This is as exciting as it gets for me.


My days are passing by slowly.  When I'm doing some work, I can focus on what I need to do, but I also can't be sitting at the computer for longer than a couple of hours at a time.  It bugs my eyes and my back gets stiff. Although I have an office space in Toronto when I'm working my regular 9-5, I'm rarely there.  I'm in the community visiting clients.  I'm not suited for an office job.  I've not had one since my early 20's and I couldn't stand it then.  I'm definitely feeling a little claustrophobic at home right now.  Getting out for even an hour a day is a huge treat for me.  Other than my work projects, all I really have are books, puzzles and evenings with Julien. I don't have many friends in Hamilton. And everyone is busy anyway.  With the five weeks I was off over the summer for vacation and the five I'll be off because of my ankle, I'll not have worked for 10 weeks before I go back.  And that's if my next set of x-rays go well.  This is the longest I've ever been away from work.  And although some may think it's a treat to be off work for so long, I assure you, I'd much rather be working my regular job and seeing my clients.

I requested that I be allowed to work from home for 21 hours per week.  During my phone conference with Human Resources, I had to have Union representation and I was advised not tell management anything about my condition and to prepare myself for being assigning work that wouldn't necessarily be part of my regular duties (which I was fine with if it could be done from home and kept me busy). I got a bit freaked out, and for nothing.  The meeting went well, I pretty much requested what I wanted and it was approved.  I couldn't figure out why everything had to be so hush hush.  Then it dawned on me that some of these meetings are likely done with people who don't want to work, but are capable of doing something.  I rarely call in sick and being off right now feels punitive to me.  I'm crossing off the days on my calendar with x's like I'm in prison. Less than three weeks left!


Top left: The "before" of my toes as well the differences between my good (left)
leg and bad leg.  My right calve is skinny from the muscle not being used.
Bottom left: My much needed pedicure.
Right: My meet the teacher outfit reminiscent of Austin Powers. The pants are too
big for me but I had to wear them because they fit over my cast. 


Yesterday I got a Facebook message from Dr. Poon's son Doug who read my last blog post and sent me the link to a Canadian Press news story about a class action law suit against the anti-obesity drug Meridia. Basically six people are fighting to launch a lawsuit against the drug makers because they are arguing that Meridia caused them dire health problems including heart attacks and stroke.  I took Meridia for years.  I remember when it came out on the market and I was sure that since I could no longer take Fen-Phen (because it had been pulled for the same reason's Meridia was finally pulled) that Meridia was going to be my answer for permanent weight loss.  I even knew about the health warnings and still chose to take it.  

Frankly, I didn't care about the health warnings because I wanted an easy way to lose weight, and this seemed like a simple solution.  I could still eat what I wanted and the drug would make me feel full on less food.  I did lose weight on Meridia.  I used it prior to getting pregnant with Julien and got my weight down to 265 before gaining 45 pounds during my pregnancy.  It baffles me now that I had no care about how the drugs I took for weight loss could affect my long term health. When I attempted to lose weight again after Julien was born, I went back to weight loss drugs and looked into weight loss surgery, because I thought both options were the easy way out again. After learning more about WLS, I realize it was never an easy road to take and the pre and post op diet are more restrictive than what I followed on Dr. Poon.  

When Meridia was finally taken off the market in 2010, I panicked.  Not because of the health reasons, but because I no longer had my go to weight loss method.  And really?  The method sucked.  How many years was it on the market, and I took it for part of all those years.  If it truly worked as an effective way to lose weight, I'd have been thin long ago.  I am very thankful that I have finally figured out the weight loss method that works best for me.  Structure, simplicity, restriction and consistency.  I had that following Dr. Poon's diet (for weight loss), and continue to have it following the Paleo Diet (for maintenance).

I get lots of emails from blog readers and people who know me from Dr. Poon's Facebook group.  I read every email I get and answer them all.  Sometimes it takes me a day or two to answer, but I take the time to respond personally to each and every person that reaches out to me.  Sometimes I get a response to my response, and sometimes I don't.  I don't know if I inadvertently offend people because although they are asking for my help, I can't give out weight loss advice.  I can encourage and (hopefully) motivate, but I am not a doctor. I can only tell them what has worked for me.  And what has worked for me, may not be the right fit for someone else.  Not everyone is able to follow a really restrictive diet.  Not everyone can become a runner. And that's okay.

If I do give out advice, it's to do some self exploration and perhaps get some help (through counselling or a support group) to deal with eating disorders/behaviors.  I strongly believe that figuring out why we turn to food for comfort and finding alternatives to dealing with upset and stress is key to long term weight loss success. Food is an emotional subject for a lot of people.  No one wants to hear that they may have to give up their favorite foods permanently.  It was devastating for me to realize this about processed carbs and refined sugar.  But not nearly as devastating as dying young and leaving Julien motherless.  I lived in denial about my health and my weight for far too long.  I convinced myself that since I only had high blood pressure (and was on two types of medication to control it), I was still fairly healthy.  At 300 pounds, I do not believe that is possible. Especially since type II diabetes runs in my birth family (I was adopted).  It's hard to hear the truth sometimes, but the truth really did set me free.  I thank Dr. Stephen for being honest with me from the get go.  It was what I needed to hear.  I didn't like it, but it was his blatant honesty about my situation that made it possible for me to recover from morbid obesity.  Perhaps honesty is the best medicine.  It can be a tough pill to swallow.


My eats from the past two days. 

9 comments:

  1. Hi Leigh , Made my soup and it is amazing thank you so much !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  2. I just checked my holiday photos from last year and that latest puzzle is where I went!! I have a photo just like it that I took :) It's a town called Vernazza at Cinque Terre, Italy.

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  3. Congratulations on your big win, that is wonderful!

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  4. I almost passed out in my kitchen when I realized that wheat in the pizza crust... then all wheat was triggering me to overeat. All those years. I'll never forget that day. It is hard to hear, as I was told earlier.

    Glad you are posting about this, Leigh. We've come from all different weight loss methods, but maintenance is a whole different experience.

    Good stuff and hope those days go quick.

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  5. I totally 'get it' re the pretty well uncontrolled high blood pressure, and yet still thinking we were fine. geesh.

    Congrats for coming out on the other side!

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  6. Hi Leigh! I did stupid things in my eating past too. It took me a long time to learn: The short-cut is the long cut, and the long cut is the short-cut. Basic rules of eating well work best in the long run. :D

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  7. I think this is a photo of the exact place of your puzzle--per Lynda's tip:

    http://cinqueterre.a-turist.com/vernazza.php#.UjxMZz_lfms

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  8. It took me a long time to lose the weight because I DEFINITELY didn't want to give up my favorite foods permanently (pizza, oreos, etc). Ten years ago, I would have LAUGHED and LAUGHED if you described the way I eat now (no bread AT ALL, mostly veggies). I like that you say you can't give weight loss advice - so many bloggers forget they aren't doctors. We are all just pooling stories and anecdotes of what worked for us to give people ideas and hope!

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  9. That is so awesome on the win Leigh! The Vintage hotels in Niagara-on-the Lake are gorgeous.

    One of the things I love about your writing is you are so honest, up-front and straight forward but also so encouraging. No wonder you are an inspiration.

    Love the pics! You look lovely - your hair is so long now and is beautiful on you!

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