As a mom of 3 school aged kids, my eating and poor food choices had increased year after year as our schedules got busier. Meal planning and healthy cooking had taken a back seat to drive thru dinners and junk food on our way to the next activity. At over 5’9’’, its easy to hide extra pounds but finally they started having an impact on my comfort and health. I also felt like I was slowly becoming less involved with my kids because I was “too big” or “too tired.” I knew I had to do something but I did not want to jump into the latest fad diet. My patience paid off when a friend shared her experience with Scottsdale Weight Loss on a Facebook post. I immediately went to their website and read about their program and Optifast. Within days, I met with Sheila, the patient coordinator, then Dr. Ziltzer, and started my journey.
While there were definitely periods of time when the program was difficult, overall, I found it to work very well with my busy lifestyle. Taking regular food out of the equation gave me time to work on other areas of my life and see where I could make changes – especially with meal planning and finding other ways to manage stress other than reaching for a bag of Cheetos.
My weight problem was starting to show up in my blood work with very high triglycerides and cholesterol. After reaching my goal weight, I was elated to find out that all of those levels are now at normal healthy levels.
Prior to starting, I did have a good exercise routine that included strength training and I had built up a pretty good lean muscle foundation. I was able to continue this routine immediately after starting Optifast. As I shed the pounds, I rekindled my desire to be a runner and started a personal streak of doing a mile every single day, no matter what; a streak that I have maintained for over 150 days. I am very close to reaching my personal goal of running a 10 minute mile and I can run 3 straight miles without much difficulty. Now that I have reached my weight loss goal (and maintained it for a month), I feel like there are no boundaries! All of this in less than 8 months!
Being 98 pounds lighter has changed the life of my family. I don’t snore any more so my husband can sleep. I no longer exceed the weight limit on our backyard trampoline so I can jump with my kids. I can shop for my clothes with my teenage daughter in the same stores. My husband and I are even planning a trip to an indoor sky-diving wind-tunnel now that I am light enough to “fly!”
People tell me every day that I am an inspiration. What a great feeling that is! I can’t thank Dr. Ziltzer and all of the staff and instructors at Scottsdale Weight Loss Center enough. My life has been enhanced so much by getting healthy again!
Streak With Us
When I think back over the active weight loss portion of this journey, one of things that really made a difference was the idea of “streaking”. I learned about this at one of the Success Club meetings. Our “streak” is one mile (minimum, running or walking) per day, every day. Prior to starting Optifast, I did exercise pretty regularly. But, like many busy people, exercise could quickly take a back seat to more pressing issues and demands on my time. As a busy mom, I could always find an excuse to not make it to the gym.
Once I got a week or two into my streak, however, I really wanted to protect it so I wouldn’t have to start over again at “Day 1”. It was here that I learned the true value of healthy habit building. I learned that with a little creativity, I could actually exercise every single day. My streak went through some of the busiest months of our year and I still managed to get my mile done – sometimes at 11:30 pm. Sometimes after already being on my feet all day and being exhausted from other tasks, I found the extra energy to complete the mile. I even walked extremely slowly on our treadmill during the week when I was very sick with a fever and virus. It actually made me feel a little better to move around. Little victories add up and that confidence translates to the weight loss and diet portion of this program as well.
Somewhere along the line, I started running. I have always struggled with my endurance but as my weight dropped, running started getting easier. With the “streak”, I have lots of opportunities to practice completing a mile. Little by little I am turning into “a runner” – first running ½ miles nonstop, then a full mile, then a 12 minute mile and now I am closing in on a goal I have had for a very long time: running a 10 minute mile. I can run 3 miles straight now without much difficulty. As I approach day #150 on my streak, I am really thankful that I found out about this little challenge. It has made a big difference to me and I try to share that with others on this weight loss journey as well. It gave me something else to focus my attention on instead of my Optifast shakes.
The “streakers” of Scottsdale Weight Loss Center can be found on Facebook (“Streak With Us”).