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Category Archives: Losing Weight USA

Phentermine – Could it Help You Lose Weight?

Posted on February 21, 2019 by

I’d like to talk to you about Phentermine. Phentermine is an appetite suppressant. It’s been around for a long time. Appetite suppressants are really carefully regulated by the FDA, so there are some hoops to jump through for those people utilizing them, but it’s very doable.  Potentially it can be helpful from a weight perspective, but also from a hunger/craving perspective.  It works very well for cravings.

A lot of appetite suppressants have come and gone.  There have been a number of them over the last 20 years or so. They got approved by the FDA, were around for a few years, and then gone.  One of the reasons is because the drugs were causing other problems.  There are a couple of newer ones in the last few years.  None of them really work any better than phentermine.  The new ones can be really expensive.  Phentermine has been around for about 60 years now. It can be very helpful.  And it’s very safe. We’ll talk about the risks, which are something we do have to keep an eye on. It can help with any medical weight loss plan. You have to be doing the right things. Phentermine will not make up for a bad eating and exercise plan.  It’s very closely monitored by the FDA. Part of that is because back in the 90’s they had phen-phen. It was a combination medication of phentermine and also phenfluramine. They put two medications together and it worked wonderfully. Unfortunately, the phenfluramine ended up causing heart problems. It was taken off the market.  Because phentermine was associated with it, it’s very closely regulated. Overall, it’s a very safe medication.  It has stood the test of time.  It can actually be used long-term but it needs to be monitored.  There can be some potential side effects. You do have to watch blood pressure. It’s rare but not impossible.

The clinical indications for using phentermine are a BMI over 30 or BMI over 28 with medicals problems.  It’s similar to having weight loss surgery.  Generally what they’re talking about mostly are sleep apnea and diabetes.  Chemically, phentermine looks like amphetamine. Because amphetamine can cause all kinds of problems, and can be addicting, it was thought that phentermine was in the same class as amphetamine, and therefore just as dangerous. It was more regulated by the FDA. A lot of those theoretical problems really never panned out.

I’ve been utilizing phentermine in the patient population for about 15 years now. Just like surgery, it’s a good tool. It’s just another tool in the toolbox. There’s nothing magic about it. It can be a good additive tool along with the surgery. All it really does is takes the edge off hunger.  It really takes the edge off cravings. It won’t prevent you from eating. It can also help with carbohydrate withdrawal. Most of our patients are very sensitive to carbohydrates. If they fall off the wagon and start eating too many carbs and then try to cut them back again they’ll go through withdrawal. Carbohydrates are like a drug. The phentermine can help with the carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms.  We have found that phentermine can give you 8-12 pounds of extra weight loss. It’s the same with our surgical patients. If they feel like they’ve stalled out, the phentermine can give them some more weight loss.

If you are keeping your carbohydrates down while utilizing phentermine, you can lose a tremendous amount of weight. The weight loss from phentermine will vary from person-to-person depending on age, genetics, sex, and other health problems.

There are potential side effects. You absolutely need to have an EKG done prior to starting phentermine. You want to document that your heart is fine. It’s not going to cause a heart problem. But if you’ve already got a heart problem, it can worsen the problem.  Almost everyone starting phentermine gets a dry mouth. Make sure you’re drinking a lot of water. It can make you feel slightly jittery. It’s kind of like having a few cups of coffee. They typically fade away in about 7-14 days. It’s a side effect. It’s not how the medication works.  I tell people that if it makes you jittery and it bothers you, then quit taking it. The medication will be out of your system within 12 hours. One of the uncommon side effects of phentermine is insomnia. If you take it too late in the day you might have a hard time going to sleep. But that typically over time goes away. Other uncommon side effects are tremors, dizziness, and high blood pressure. It’s really rare for blood pressure to go up, but that’s one of the reasons why we have to monitor it. Theoretical potential problems (which are related back to the phen-phen) are heart problems and addiction/withdrawal. You can get used to the medication, but that’s not necessarily addiction. You can build up a tolerance to the medication where it stops working as well. But you can’t go through withdrawals.  You don’t have to wean off the medication. You can just stop taking it.

There are some real reasons to avoid phentermine. If you have an allergic reaction to it, obviously you shouldn’t take it. If you have a history of heart problems (no matter what it is), I would discourage you from taking it. You shouldn’t take it if you have high blood pressure that’s poorly controlled.  You can take it if your blood pressure is well controlled. Theoretically you should avoid phentermine if you’re taking antidepressants. Because of the chemical make up of phentermine, there was a thought that there would be a cross over, and some antidepressants would make this exacerbate heart problems. It would make antidepressants not work as well or the antidepressant would make it exacerbate heart problems. But it’s absolutely fine to take it with antidepressants. There is actually some antidepressant affect with phentermine.

Legally I have to have a discussion about the” art” of taking phentermine to a patient if they’re going to be taking it. I have to talk about the potential side effects as well as the” art” of using the medication. It tends to last for 10-12 hours. So, since most people don’t wake up starving, don’t take it first thing in the morning.  There’s no sense in taking it then.  Take it mid to late morning.  Play with the timing. If you find you’re having a hard time getting to sleep, then take it earlier. If you have a lot of hunger and cravings right before bed then you need to take it later.  It’s one of those medications that work if you take it.  It doesn’t work if you don’t take it. You don’t have to build up to it or wean off of it.  Therefore you can use it intermittently. It’s fine to use it certain days of the week. We typically write it as a daily dose but there’s no reason you need to take it every day.  Take it as you need it. It can be used long term. It originally was written in the PDR to be used for only 8-10 weeks. They originally said that because the original studies were only done for 8-10 weeks.  It was then approved by the FDA but never approved for long term use.  It has been used for long term use for many years the PDR has never been changed. So most physicians only prescribe it for a few months. It’s kind of silly to think we can fix something in a couple months. I’ve had people on phentermine for 10-12 years. It just has to be monitored. We’re making sure there aren’t any blood pressure problems, ensuring it’s still helping, and make sure there are not side effects bothering you. If it’s not helping, you shouldn’t be taking it anymore. There is evidence that if a person is taking it long term that if they stop it every few months for 7-10 days, and then it tends to work better.

There are some cautions about phentermine. Sometimes it may work so well that you don’t eat. We’ve talked about intermittent fasting and how that works.  The problem with skipping meals and intermittent fasting are two different things. If you’re just skipping means, then it was unintentional. Fasting is intentional. You don’t want to be skipping meals all the time. If you’re doing intermittent fasting for a day or two, you can take phentermine. It’s another tool in the tool box. Starvation has never been a good weight loss plan. Phentermine won’t stop you from eating. If you’re eating for many reasons (not hunger), then it’s not going to help you. You need to take a good look at the behavior side of things.  Why are you actually eating? Work on solving those problems. Without a good nutritional and exercise plan, any weight loss with the phentermine will likely be temporary.

In summary, phentermine has been around for a long time. It has stood the test of time. It can be very safe. It can be very helpful, especially for cravings. But it still needs to be used with a good diet and exercise plan. It doesn’t work to fix a poor life plan. You need to have a normal EKG. We have to monitor your blood pressure as well as side effects.

Come in and get your body composition done.  Make sure your losing body fat and not lean body mass. You should be receiving the health tips and weekly recipes. Tune in each Tuesday at 6pm for the next webinar. Watch your e-mail for the invite and link! Remember it’s your life! Make it a healthy one!  Take care everyone.

Weight Loss Tips for Tough Times

Posted on January 20, 2014 by

changeThese 30 tips are tried and true. They come from Dr. Clark and the entire team at CFWLS and our successful patients! Remember, reading is one thing – applying what you learn is where you can make the most progress.
1. Start your day with approximately 30 grams of protein.
2. Stay away from foods that contain sugar.
3. Explore different tastes with a variety of spices – without adding carbs!
4. Carry a carb gram counter and your journal with you so you can analyze what may be causing your cravings or hunger.
5. Hit a plateau? Try reducing your carb intake by 5-10 grams.
6. Learn how to read food labels to count effective carbs.
7. Avoid excessive caffeine which may trigger hunger or food cravings.
8. Eat slowly; extending the time it takes for your brain to realize you have eaten.
9. Only eat until you are sat-isfied, not until you are full.
10. Use smaller plates at meal times. It may help you feel like you’re eating more.
11. You can have a bite of something without eating a complete piece.
12. If you have gone over your limit at a meal, forgive yourself and re-focus at the next meal.
13. Eat your meals at a table, concentrating on your food, avoiding watching TV or reading.
14. Don’t use a business trip or vacation as an excuse not to follow your plan.
15. Don’t miss a meal. Your body is counting on you to provide for it.
16. Always carry some emergency food with you (protein bars or nuts are good choices).
17. When eating out, engage your server in your eating plan. They may have some suggestions.
18. When eating out, ask about the ingredients of each dish.
19. Drink an 8 oz. glass of water prior to each meal.
20. Include your hunger scale in your food diary so you can analyze any patterns and im-prove planning strategies – your counselor at CFWLS can really help with this too.
21. Place any tempting foods in an out of the way place in your home so you don’t visualize it every time you open the pantry.
22. Keep your grocery trip on a list to minimize spontaneous buying.
23. Stay to the perimeter for the grocery store. Most processed foods and higher carb foods are in the aisles.
24. Plan your day ahead of time. Then stay on track.
25. Surround yourself with supporting friends and family.
26. Return to your food diary for successful weight loss weeks and repeat them.
27. Keep your protein levels equal to or higher than your carb level with each snack.
28. Avoid carbs prior to bedtime to keep your glucose levels event throughout the night.
29. Find ways to reward yourself in ways other than food.
30. Eat to live, don’t live to eat.

losingweightusa-thumbSign up for Losing Weight USA – Direct access to one of the most experienced  bariatric surgeons and bariatricians in the United States! Dr. Clark  covers up-to-date topics filled with information on how to increase your weight loss efforts in live weekly webinars. You won’t find this anywhere else!  Each week brings you new tip sheets, recipes and fitness ideas. Visit www.LosingWeightUSA.com for full details.

 

Stretching for Optimal Fitness

Posted on October 30, 2013 by

B Vitamins and Weight Loss

Posted on October 30, 2013 by

Boo-rrific Kisses

Posted on October 25, 2013 by

Boo!

Boo!

Ingredients:

3 egg whites at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1/8 tsp salt

3/4 cup white sugar

Mini chocolate chips 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray.

2. Beat egg whites until foamy, add vanilla, cream of tartar and salt. Beat on high until stiff peaks form.  Add sugar 1 Tablespoon at a time and beat until glossy and smooth.

3. Drop by spoonful onto the pan.  It’s okay to place them close together since they don’t spread much.  Mound a smaller dollop on top and lift with spoon to form a peak.

4. Press 2 mini chocolate chips into each for eyes.

5. Bake for 40 minutes. Turn off oven but do not open door. 

6. Allow to cool in oven for at least 3 hours or overnight.  Store in airtight container.

Nutritional Info:  Makes 75 (3 kisses per serving) 

Calories 9, Protein 0g, Effective Carbs 2g, Fat 0g

Fat is Not the Enemy!

Posted on September 25, 2013 by

Are some fats okay?

Are some fats okay?

Nearly every week at CFWLS, I hear a couple of comments from people just like you.  In fact, perhaps these are/were familiar to you:

“I exercise every single day and I am not losing any weight!”

“I eat a very healthy low fat diet and yet, I seem to be gaining weight!”

The reason this occurs is usually a misunderstanding of how to balance your carbohydrate, protein and fat intake.  That’s the focus of this month’s newsletter and of course, there is much more to learn but that’s the joy of your weight loss journey.  Once you understand the concepts of these macronutrients and     balance them in your life, you will find yourself less hungry, losing weight and likely resolution of some underlying metabolic problems you have.

With regards to fat, I want you to understand that Fat is not the Enemy.  If I had to pick a primary “enemy” source with regards to food, it would be insulin which is controlled primarily by your sugar intake (all carbohydrates break down into sugar).   Thus, when I am out and someone says – “Look, I am going healthy – I bought no/low fat” I cringe.  If you compare labels for whatever the item is, you will find that the manufacturer has decreased the fat but increased the carbohydrate content.  If they didn’t, you likely wouldn’t eat it because it would not taste good.  Here are a few facts about fat: P Fat is the body’s preferred and most reliable form of energy, which is why we store excess energy as fat on our bodies.  If your body has less carbohydrate (sugar) as an immediate source of energy, it can     finally get to breaking down fat for energy (which = less fat).  P Fats help keep you feeling full (less hungry = a good thing).   P Eating a controlled carb diet with adequate protein and healthy fats like those found in salmon or avocados is the easiest way to inadvertently eat less without sacrificing satiety.  It also improves your ability to access stored body fat rather than lean body mass, which is helpful for fat loss and long term success (since your lean body mass is what drives your metabolism).

So…the next time you reach for the low-fat/no–fat options, you might want to think again.  More on these power foods in this newsletter and Weight Management University™.  See you at CFWLS – we are here to help!

LWUSA square iconFor direct access to answers to your weight loss questions, sign up for Losing Weight USA!  Your connection to the expert – www.LosingWeightUSA.com

The Common Myths of Low Carbohydrate Diets

Posted on August 14, 2013 by

Low Carb Diet Myths

Low Carb Diet Myths

This week’s Webinar (Tuesday, August 13th from 6pm-6:30pm) is called “Common Myths of Low Carbohydrate Diets”.  What to eat can be so confusing.  Low calorie…low fat…low carbohydrate??  Dr. Clark dispels some myths you wonder about and simplifies this whole “diet” thing.  You won’t want to miss it!  In the meantime, start your day out right with Dr. Clark’s breakfast tips below.  Your body and mind will thank you!

What’s the big deal about breakfast?

A Message from Dr. Clark:  I not only have the privilege of giving medical and surgical weight loss advice every day to some pretty awesome people, I really do “practice what I preach” each day as well.  One of my daily habits is eating a breakfast which includes at least 30 grams of delicious protein.  This prepares me mentally and physically for my busy day…and keeps my appetite satisfied until my next planned meal/snack.

I not only eat this breakfast for the reasons I mentioned, I eat it because my metabolism has slowed during the night while I was sleeping and I want to get it revved up and back on track.  I also want to support my lean body mass (which ultimately supports my metabolism) and 30 grams of protein for breakfast gets me off to a great start…and closer to my daily total of 90+ grams of protein each day.   If I can do it, you can do it too – and feel great!

Over the years I have been amazed at how many people struggling with their weight don’t eat breakfast.  We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day so why would we choose to skip it?  Besides arguing that they don’t have time to fix breakfast, individuals complain that they are not hungry for breakfast.  However…research suggests (and I agree) that breakfast skippers may be more prone to overeating later in the day.  It may lead to excessive afternoon snacking, extra-large dinners and nighttime snacking.  Research from the National Weight Control Registry has shown that weight loss maintainers are more likely to eat breakfast than not.  Many people who struggle with their weight skip breakfast and skimp on lunch.  By the time they eat a decent meal, they lose control over what and how much they eat.

If you’re not hungry when you wake up, avoid snacking too much in the evening and/or avoid large dinner portions so that you don’t feel too full to eat in the morning.  I suggest that you stop eating after 7:00 pm so that you are hungry within an hour or two of waking up and that seems to work for many people.  Think of eating a morning meal as refueling your body.  It has been said that “eating at night is like stoking the fire when the demand for fuel is low”.  Give it a try and you will find that starting your day off with a healthy protein rich breakfast will set you up for a more successful day and improve your ability to reach your weight loss goals.

Breakfast ideas with 15 grams of carbohydrates or less (thanks Dawn!):

  • 1 slice whole-wheat toast, veggie omelet
  • ½  cup cottage cheese, 1 cup strawberries with 2 Tbsp. slivered almonds
  • 1 egg, 2 turkey sausage links, 3/4 cup blueberries
  • ½  cup low-carb yogurt, 3/4 cup raspberries
  • Breakfast burrito with low-carb tortilla, 2 eggs, ¼ cup cheese & salsa
  • Cantaloupe wedge & ½ cup cottage cheese sprinkled with cinnamon
  • Peanut butter wrap with low-carb tortilla, 1 Tbsp. peanut butter & sliced strawberries
  • 2 fried eggs and jicama ‘hashbrowns’

Another Great Idea from Dawn – Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast Burrito

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese
  • 1 tbsp. salsa
  • 1 low-carb tortilla (e.g. LaTortilla Factory with 8 effective carbs)

Instructions:

Coat skillet with cooking spray and fry or scramble eggs.  Sprinkle cheese on top of the tortilla and microwave for 30 seconds or until cheese starts to melt.  Top with eggs and salsa and roll into a burrito.

Nutritional Information: 

28 g Protein, 11 g Carbohydrates and 320 calories.

Remember…It’s Your Life – Make it a Healthy One!

Dr. Clark’s Dieting Myths (Part 1)

Posted on August 11, 2013 by

  Bio-fuelThis week’s Webinar (Tuesday, August 6th from 6pm-6:30pm) is called “High Fructose Corn Syrup – Sweetener or Fruit of the Devil?”  If you are trying to lose weight, this webinar is a must!  Find out what’s best for that “sweet tooth” desire.  Enjoy this week’s tip sheet as Dr. Clark share some of his top dieting myths.  And enjoy our recipe this week too – Breadless Pudding.

Dieting Myth #1

“Abdominal crunches will give you a flat stomach”

If you belong to a gym, chances are that at some point you have seen someone who is overweight performing an endless amount of crunches in the hope of achieving a flat stomach.  It’s not going to happen!  There is no such thing as spot reduction.  Fat comes off all over and not in one specific area.  You can also spend time tightening up your abdominal muscles but if you have fat lying on top – you will never see them.

Dieting Myth #2

“Grapefruit, Cabbage Soup, and Acai Berry are magic foods for shedding pounds”

Fad diets usually promise fast weight loss and often cut certain foods or food groups out of your diet.  You may lose weight at first but strictly limiting calories or eliminating certain foods is difficult to follow for any length of time.  As a result, any weight lost is quickly gained back.  There is no quick fix for a lifestyle change as habits are not changed overnight.

Dieting Myth #3

“Lifting weights will bulk me up and add weight”

Only intense strength training combined with certain genetics can build very large muscles.  Resistance training is a dieter’s best friend because as you build muscle you improve your ability to burn calories. Muscle burns more calories than body fat even while you are sitting doing nothing!

Dieting Myth #4

“Red meat is bad for my health and my waistline”

Eating lean meats can be part of a health weight loss plan.  Red meat, pork, chicken or fish may contain some cholesterol and saturated fat but they also contain healthy nutrients like protein, iron, and zinc.  Protein is essential for keeping lean body mass as you are losing weight and also helps to keep you full as it breaks down more slowly than many carbohydrate foods.

Just be aware of portion sizes as one serving of cooked meat is typically around 3 ounces and that is only the size of a deck of cards.

Breadless Pudding

Breadless Pudding Guilt-free Comfort

Breadless Pudding
Guilt-free Comfort

Ingredients:

3 eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup water
1 cup cottage cheese, full fat small curd
1/2 cup granulated Splenda or equivalent liquid Splenda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

Beat all of the ingredients with a mixer until as smooth as possible. There will still be some lumps of cottage cheese. Pour into a buttered 8×8″ baking dish. If desired, sprinkle some additional cinnamon on top. Bake at 350º for about 1 hour or until the top is nicely browned.

Makes 6-8 servings – Do not freeze

Nutritional Information:

With granular Splenda:
Per 1/6 Recipe: 186 Calories; 15g Fat; 8g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 4g Net Carbs
Per 1/8 Recipe: 140 Calories; 11g Fat; 6g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 3g Net Carbs

With liquid Splenda:
Per 1/6 Recipe: 178 Calories; 15g Fat; 8g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 2g Net Carbs
Per 1/8 Recipe: 134 Calories; 11g Fat; 6g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 2g Net Carbs

Common Medical Problems that Influence Weight

Posted on July 24, 2013 by

Week of July 22, 2013

Dr. Clark’s Tips for Family Weight Loss Success & Recipe of the Week

Congratulations on your decision to improve your health! This week’s Webinar is called metabolic check-up 1“Common Medical Problems that Influence Weight”.  Do you ever wonder why you work so hard and still don’t seem to be losing weight?  Dr. Clark shares information about common medical problems that wreak havoc on your weight loss efforts and helps you learn what you can do about it. You won’t want to miss this webinar!  Also, enjoy this week’s article on another very important topic and learn about our favorite healthy breakfast at CFWLS.

What Behaviors Keep You from Losing Weight?…and what to do about them!

Sometimes you know what to do and you know why you need to do it but somehow you can’t makebad habits it work in your life.  This is likely due to habits or behaviors that are comfortable or just “easier”.  Not many people really like change – especially if you have memories of deprivation. However, with the knowledge you have learned here, you can see that deprivation isn’t necessarily a good thing.  If you eat the right kinds of foods in the right combination, you will be quite satisfied (that is if you take the time to ask yourself if you are “really” hungry).  Couple that knowledge with changes in your behavior and you have a recipe for success!  At CFWLS, here are some of the more common behaviors that we find prevent people from losing weight (unfortunately, there are more but don’t despair – we can help you overcome them).

 

  1. Level of Commitment – If you want to have good weight loss, you cannot just “kind of” try to lose weight.  You either want it or you don’t, and commitment is crucially important.  Your commitment is closely linked to your motivation which is generally linked to your short and long term goals.  So start with setting realistic goals and imagine yourself at the “finish line”.  Write your goals down and make sure they are time limited (i.e. I will lose 10 pounds in 5 weeks and decrease my body fat by 1%).  Post the goal where you will see it a lot!  Employ the support of others and you are on your way.

 

  1. All or Nothing Attitude – This is such a common thing.  You get all excited to start your new lifestyle on Monday which includes an entirely new way of eating, exercise for 1 hour 5 day/week and no more desserts.  Hmmm – does that seem realistic to you?  The truth is – life happens – and you need to allow yourself to respond in a flexible way so you don’t end up guilt ridden when things turn south.  Those with an all or nothing attitude will throw in the towel, start eating, skip exercise and “try again” on Monday instead of making an allowance for this hiccup.  Does any of this sound familiar?  Baby steps will result in accomplishments that increase your motivation and guide you on a steady path to short and long term goals.

 

  1. Lack of Sleep – Studies show that you need about 7 hours of sleep each night.  Inadequate sleep has been shown to interfere with metabolism of carbohydrates and as a result, cause high blood glucose levels which increases insulin levels and results in fat storage (not good).  It has also been shown to decrease leptin levels which affects our appetite (causes us to crave carbohydrates).  Another significant effect is reduction in our levels of growth hormone which can result in storage of fat as well.

 

  1. Saboteurs – This is a very expansive topic.  Saboteurs can consist of yourself (yes – your negative self-talk), others (friends/family/acquaintances) or situations (vacations/holidays).  The trick is – you have to let them sabotage your weight loss efforts.  This means that you need to be able to identify saboteurs (people or situations) and know how to deal with them.  This ability to stay in control is easier said than done.

 

When you are faced with sabotaging thoughts or situations, you can do a few things.  First, you can give in (this will never help you reach your goals). Second, you can run or avoid them (this is sometimes a viable short-term option as you navigate your way through how to better manage them but will not be a long term solution).  Third, you can learn to turn those sabotaging thoughts or situations into something helpful instead.  This takes work/practice (but is very worth it) and often the help of a coach such as the ones at the Center for Weight Loss Success or if necessary, a clinical psychologist.

 

The Most Common Breakfast of CFWLS Staff

Ingredients:Choc shake

Chocolate Weight & Inches Meal Replacement Shake

12 to 14 oz cold Water and Ice

 

Directions:

Start with cold water (keeps powder from sticking to the bottom).  Add packet of Weight & Inches and the rest of the water (add ice if desired). Shake or Blend. You can drink it directly from a large cup or transfer to a travel cup. Cat Keller likes to add some instant coffee, others drink it straight up & Dr. Clark doesn’t get to eat until the afternoon so he adds a Chocolate Mint/Pudding Shake for added protein (keeping him even more satisfied).  Others add flavor drops (available in the CFWLS store too).  Drink & go!

Nutritional Content: Calories 200; Net Carbs 14g; Protein 29g…satisfaction – 100%

Anna’s Magical Number

Posted on December 07, 2011 by

What's your magical number?

What’s your magical number?

Sometimes numbers can be magical.  I knew somewhere inside that I have always believed it even though my rational mostly insisted they were only important. Numbers are important. We need them for finances, schedules, sciences, systems and basically everything. Obviously numbers are very important in weight loss as they help track proteins and carbs and of course, the scale. I certainly have had a number in my mind for a long time and that number has represented a clothing size. As I ate my way through the last decade, I imagined that if I reached that goal number, my size ________, that I would be happy and satisfied with my appearance. It was the magical number.

A funny thing has happened during the past few months in the CFWLS Weight Management University. I spent all of my time paying attention to the ‘important’ numbers, monitoring proteins and carbs and calories. Perhaps too intently, I was watching the numbers on the scale like a hawk. Of course, I did realize that my clothes were all looking baggy and not fitting properly. Anxious to arrive at the end of the journey, I was so focused on the idea of losing more before buying new clothing that I was having trouble feeling satisfied.

Then last week a friend of a friend of a family member passed on some clothing they no longer wanted. The original giver had no idea that I had lost any weight and in fact, doesn’t know me at all. When I opened the bag I was instantly pleased at the quality and attractiveness of this donation. That is until I picked up a pair of pants and read the size tag. There was that number, my magical number. My heart sank as soon as I looked at it because I was sure that they would never fit. I almost cast them aside, but then I figured why not try? So I did.

Imagine my surprise when not only did they fit, but they were roomy too. As unbelievable as it may sound my rational mind took over and told me that it was a fluke, surely the pants were mislabeled. It’s the honest truth….I was justifying how impossible it was that I had succeeded at a goal I wanted for ten years. Needing more conformation, I pulled out another pair of pants (and even another after that) and slipped into them with the same excellent results. Wow. Size ____? Really? Yes, really.

I realized then that sometimes we can miss the magic that exists in the moment of accomplishment if we are only looking ahead to the finale. It is important to stop and take a breath and soak in all you have achieved. To take a look around and see what right choices have brought you to the place you have arrived at and to appreciate the support and encouragement that have helped you on the way. It’s important.

My time in the program is not over, and my weight loss is not finished. I still have more goals ahead, and I feel confident that I can achieve them now that Dr. Clark has given me the tools I need. But I can take this moment to feel satisfied. The numbers don’t lie and that’s just magical.