As I continue this adventure, no matter how difficult or how emotional yesterday was, when I wake up, it is always fresh and new and there is hope. That is the hardest part of the journey…to believe there is still hope.
I went to the orthopedic surgeon last week. As expected, my weight is an issue as well as the lymphedema. At 5′ 3 1/2″ tall 335 lbs. is too heavy. I have over the past 44 years since my 20’s, learned to hate and accept the label of morbidly obese. In December I will turn 65 and you learn to live with certain things. One of mine is that it has always been difficult to practically impossible for me to lose a certain amount of weight. I have lost 100 lbs. more than once using different approaches. Usually what works is to give up anything of interest and eat only bland foods with lots of vegetables. Thank goodness I always liked veggies! Even so, the pounds will come back when you begin to add back to your diet things that most normal people eat.
Add to that, I tend to be a stress eater. I used to binge eat and have managed with the grace of God to leave that behind. My favorite thing to do would be to eat the largest bag of Doritos with a 1 lb. bag of m & m’s until they were all gone. To this day, we can’t keep chips or candy or cookies in the house. It helped a lot when my husband developed diabetes. His is minor, easily managed with oral medication, and he still eats sweets but usually hides it from me. LOL But not having sweets in the house changed my taste buds a lot. I haven’t eaten chocolate in years.
The last time I lost weight was on nutrisystems. I used to weigh over 425 lbs. So, to me, maintaining a weight of between 325 and 335 has been a success. Now, with all of my health problems, the weight has once again become a major issue.
Back to the knee surgeon…he said at least 3 times how bad my knees were. Since I struggle just to get to the bathroom each day, it was not something I didn’t know. But he also said I needed to lose some weight before knee surgery and recommended I see a bariatric surgeon. So, we are once again in a hurry and wait period. They are attempting to get me in to see the surgeon and someone will call me with an appointment. What was interesting to find out was what the brochure on understanding obesity and metabolism had to say…
“Metabolically resistant obesity is essentially obesity that strongly resists dieting and weight loss. When an individual reduces their calories and loses approximately 10% of their body weight, their own metabolism will actually stimulate intense hunger through multiple neural gut hormonal changes and at the same time lower the body’s metabolic rate so that fewer calories are burned. This produces the typical yoyo cycle that patients experience when trying to diet down to a healthier weight.
Normally, as our bodies gain fat and weight, a hormone called leptin is released which triggers multiple mechanisms to control food intake and raise the body’s metabolism so that weight remains stable. Normal leptin metabolism is critical for weight control. Leptin resistance occurs when an individual’s metabolism no longer responds to the hormone leptin. After consuming a high fat diet for several years, many people develop leptin resistance. This drives their body’s set point weight higher to unhealthy levels. Some individuals are genetically predisposed to leptin resistance. Other factors that contribute to leptin resistance include food additives such as antibiotics, hormones, and preservatives. Unfortunately, once a patient’s set point for weight is in the ‘morbidly obese’ category, there is less than a 1% chance that significant weight loss through dieting will be successful.”
What!?? Wow! less than 1% chance? The struggles of the past 40 years all seem to make sense now. You can’t know how much relief there is in knowing the past failures weren’t totally from my lack of trying. I know you’ve heard if not said some of them…’just quit eating’…’just push away from the table’…’just use will power’…but all of that is for another rant on another day.
Meanwhile, my primary care physician had told me about a “new” diet drug on the market. It is a combination of two drugs…used for other purposes with an unexpected side effect of weight loss. It is very expensive and the insurance will not cover it. I tried to get it about 2-3 weeks ago but couldn’t afford $237 a month. With a 15% off coupon it runs about $185 which is still quite pricey. I gave up on trying it. And then my son said he probably could give me the money to try it out. I thought it would only take one month to see if it had any benefit for me and so voila! we now, beginning today, are trying out Qsymia. Even a jump-start on losing weight once again would be helpful and any weight off of these tired old knees will be greatly beneficial. And so, we shall see what happens. We are still waiting for the appointment with the bariatric surgeon but can try this until then…and the journey continues…