I stepped onto the digital scale and watched the digits roll around a bit until they settled on a number, I winced a little and looked away.
I had taken off my cowboy style belt because it was heavy and would have added to my weight, but now that small amount I had shaved off seemed pointless. The nurse gave me a big smile and scribbled the number down.
“This is the beginning!” she said.
And she was right, it was. I had signed up and paid for this medically supervised Weight Management Program (WMP) and there was no where to go but up… or down rather, in weight. After being weighed and a conversation with the doctor who ran the program, I got in line to purchase my food. For the next 10 dress sizes, I was going to be eating:
- Shakes (made with powder, water and ice.)
- Snack Bars (in one of three flavors)
- Tiny Entrees (the size of two iPhones put together)
But I could eat as much of the above foods as I wanted… *sigh*. According to the informational meeting I attended, these meals, combined with weekly weigh-ins and meetings were going to bring my weight down tremendously, without surgery. I looked around at the other participants, they were chatting and munching on Snack Bars– complimenting each other on inches lost, and slimming faces. The program had a rolling admission, so I was the new girl.
After purchasing food for the week, we were ushered into one of the hospital’s conference rooms for our meeting. I walked in and took a seat at the huge table. I started reading the back of my shake container and when I glanced up, I noticed that everyone was writing their name and weight on the whiteboard. Hopefully this part of the program was optional, because my actual weight was something I did not want to share with strangers. I mean, the number was something I didn’t care to see for a brief moment on the scale– why would I want to stare at it in red dry erase marker for 90 minutes?
Natalie, the counselor for the WMP, entered carrying a blender, a bottle of water, a box of shakes and a bowl of ice… and so the meeting began. She made us a chocolate shake and added little pieces of the prescribed peanut butter snack bar to the blender before whipping it into a smooth drink. She passed out samples for us to try and called it a “Reese’s shake”. She explained that if we are creative with our limited food selection we wont get bored.
“You can eat as much as you want– as long as your eating the prescribed foods!” she reminded us. Then she asked everyone to go around the table and state their name and weight loss for the week. As people shared their progress, she would give encouragement and kudos where needed.
Then she got to me…
“Hi, I’m Celeste”
There was a chorus of “Hi’s” “hello’s” and “welcomes” and surprisingly Natalie didn’t ask me about my weight. Maybe she saw the fear in my eyes or maybe she forgot– either way I was grateful.
The following week I followed the program 100%. I avoided social gatherings where dinner and/or drinks were involved. I drank shakes, eat small entrees and nibbled on snack bars. And when I wasn’t doing that, I was at the gym.
Seven days later, I was in the doctors office for my second WMP meeting. The nurse ushered me into the room to be weighed.
I slipped off my belt buckle stepped onto the scale and watched the digits roll around a bit. I couldn’t believe my eyes– I lost EIGHT POUNDS!