Monday, November 5, 2007


Welcome Back!

The last time I wrote in this blog, I was gung-ho about a 3-month weight-loss challenge started by my fat sketch comedy group. I had officially started my diet in January, and by June I had lost 20 lbs. I was pretty ticked off at the rate of my weight loss; in years past, I would usually lose 5 lbs per week. In all fairness, however, I was working in catering at the time, with a good deal of enabling brought on by coworkers...and I'm pretty weak-willed.

I stopped going to Weight Watchers around Labor Day, continuing my old "Tomorrow is Another Day" diet philosophy: If I crashed my diet one day, I would promise to start again the next day; if it was a Wednesday, though, I would promise to start again the following Monday. The bad thing was, I would use the next few days to eat every kind of food I would have to spare myself - fried goods, pastas, and ethnic cuisine from all my favorite Chicago restaurants. Every weekend found me in this cycle.

Well, I'm fed up now - literally. I gained back all the weight I lost at the beginning of the year. I stopped going out. I would get involved with men, and when things went sour or fizzled, I would eat more and more. I don't think I have any friends left in the city anymore; I just didn't keep up with people, and I got overprotective of myself and thus highly sensitized to any form of judgment on another's part - real or imaginary. I suck.

I want to rebuild. I want to ignore myself when I question if it's too late for that.

I'm well-versed in all forms of diet quackery, so I know better than to give into miracle cures. However, I have chosen to do something drastic; at least, it's the most drastic thing next to bariatric surgery, which I've seriously considered.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a weight loss clinic to go over my options. When I researched the place, I liked that they offered options such as nutrition plans, prescription drugs, and the more restrictive meal replacement therapy. I thought I'd go to see if they can give me a good grocery list and some appetite suppressants. I wasn't really prepared for what happened.

I was weighed in on one of those fancy scales that also measures BMI, fat free mass, fat mass, etc. They have one of these scales at my Curves, and they are a great tool for measuring progress. However, at this point I hadn't been to Curves for close to 2 months, promising I would continue to go once I was settled in my new job. Same old Laura.

My BMI this time around was an astounding 54%. More than half of me is fat. Pure fat. What's shocking was that it wasn't very shocking to me. WTF? How could I just sit there in my greasy walk-of-shame hair (late night with a new beau) and too-tight hoodie and take that? A review of my BMI:

2004: 39 (First BMI measurement, taken after losing 100 lbs)
2005: 40
2006: 45
2007: 49 (January)

How could I do this to myself? I had yet to meet the doctor at this clinic, so here are my first thoughts of what he told me:

Dr: You have an addiction to food.
Me: I'm an expert dieter. I lost 1--
Dr: You are severely obese.
Me: I've been on Weight Watchers since 2001.
Dr: People of your size need to lose weight quickly to get you in a healthy BMI range. I will put you on a liquid diet to begin.
Me: But aren't there other methods?
Dr: You have a problem. We must break you of your addiction.
Me: Okay. I like a good salad every now and then, can I eat salads, too.
Dr: No, you will ruin the effect. Pure protein, pure liquid. You will lose a ton of weight.

To be honest, I felt very rushed, and pretty pissed off. This guy sits in a bare office with just a bottle of powdered beverage on his desk and my case file, and he doesn't even discuss with me my past successes in dieting or how I feel about making healthy food. His breath smells like Turkish coffee and he keeps repeating in his Eastern dialect, "You will lose a ton of weight." I ask how people normally deal with such a huge change - going from solid foods to liquid - and he brushes me off by saying there is no big difference. Umm? I can't get a word in edgewise, I can't fight my case. I can only feel like crap. I shake his hand and smile, not planning to return when I book a second appointment (so I can have time to think about it).

And think I did. I got defensive because I am addicted to food. I eat meals that a normal person could spread out over a week, and it only takes me 10 - 20 minutes. When I order delivery or take out, I get two entrees because I can't decide, then I eat them both (and appetizer) in one sitting without even thinking about it.

I think the turning point came on Halloween night, when I blew off a fundraising party for my friend's sketch group to stay home with my Thai Aroma takeout. In the course of the evening, I watched a TLC documentary titled I Eat 33,000 Calories a Day. I listened to these 1,000 pound people talk about food, and I kept repeating to myself over and over: I can easily be just like these people someday soon.

I went back to that doctor on Saturday. I began my all liquid diet on Sunday. I guess you just reach a point where you have to stop kidding yourself and commit to something.

I don't have the energy to fight myself anymore.

So there's that,


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