Pam P: 128 lbs. Lost
The year 2012 was the year of change for Pam P. Two events involving family members made Pam realize that her weight was interfering with her life and family. While visiting her son and walking with him, Pam had to keep stopping to rest and catch her breath. Her son begged her to address her weight problem because he loved her and “needed her to live for both herself and for him.” The second event involved simply going up the stairs in her home. Her husband, 18 years her senior, bounded up the stairs while she breathlessly lumbered up them. Both tearful and embarrassed on both occasions, Pam knew she had to make some changes in her life.
Pam tried the OPTIFAST program five years previously, but mentally was not ready and could not make the necessary commitment. She wondered if CONCI still had an office in Columbus. Ironically, a night or so later, she was amazed to see a CONCI commercial on TV. That was her call to action. She contacted CONCI the next day.
Pam began the OPTIFAST program in early December 2012. Now, 14 months later, she has lost 128 pounds, and she walks over an hour on the treadmill a minimum of five mornings a week! In December 2013 after having lost 120 pounds and giddy with her success, she did a cartwheel in the CONCI office! That was her first cartwheel in 18 years! Her goal is to lose 136 pounds…and to weigh 135 pounds. When she reaches her goal she will weigh less than the number of pounds she lost!
Pam was asked what she can do now that she could not do while overweight. Her partial list includes the following. Moving around takes far less effort. She no longer requires two prescription medications she needed previously. She can now fit into the size 8 jeans she wore 24 years ago. Prior to losing weight she wore size 28. Her son is thrilled that she can walk without shortness of breath. She can walk, talk, and breathe at the same time! She can cross her legs, paint her toenails, fit into a pedicure chair, take a bath effortlessly, and tie her shoes from a seated position.
Her list goes on and includes things that those who have never struggled with weight would ever think of. She is no longer fearful of going into a restaurant that has booths. She can lay on her back and see the TV now that her belly is no longer in the way. She can wear jewelry that, because of her weight gain, had gotten too small. Going to see a movie is a pleasure now that she can fit in the seat. It is even now possible to use the armrests! She takes pride in effortlessly going up the steps in an NFL stadium to the nosebleed section and fitting in the seat. A very interesting comment made by Pam was that she is no longer embarrassed by the size of her shadow!
She painfully remembers a conversation with a flight attendant who told her she would have to buy two seats the next time she would fly. Previously, she was repeatedly embarrassed when given seat belt extenders. No longer does she have to worry about such comments. She can easily use the regular airplane seatbelt and can even lower the tray table. As a tribute to her weight loss, Pam had a belt made out of her old seatbelt extenders that she now wears with her jeans!
Her greatest joy was an instance when, after having lost 116 pounds, she did not have her car and was waiting for her husband to pick her up. Her husband did not realize it was her standing there when he arrived to get her!
Pam encourages every patient to take advantage of the classes offered by the CONCI dietitians. She found the classes to be helpful, informative, and an opportunity to get support from both staff and patients. Pam realizes she does not yet know all she needs to know to succeed. She plans to take full advantage of the monthly maintenance program and come back to CONCI for support, education and accountability. She recognizes CONCI as a safe place where staff members really care about patients and their success.