Well Friends … it doesn’t seem possible that the 90 day challenge has already come and gone. Yesterday marked the end officially. The final weight loss count comes to 18.4lbs lost in 12 weeks. That’s an average of 1.5 lbs lost a week and given that the recommended amount for healthy, sustainable weight loss is 1-2lbs a week I’m feeling pretty good about that.

OH! I’m happy to report that I am still alive and well after hitting the BIG 3-0!! 😉 For my birthday, I had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory with 3 of my closest girlfriends. We sat there for four hours and laughed till we cried. It was a precious time of friendship. I did have a nice slice of their chocolate raspberry truffle. I have no idea how many carbs it was but it was well worth it. I also enjoyed their lemon-garlic shrimp with a cup of angel hair pasta. It was very good and I did not go into a carb hangover the next day as many thought I would. While I have missed pasta I haven’t missed out by not having it. Does that make sense? Last week my sister made me some spaghetti squash and it was really good. I’m going to make use of that when I just really want something that resembles pasta. Ha!

So what do I have to show for the last 3 months? By the grace of God, I have lost 18.4lbs, grown more confident in who I am and in my relationship with the Lord. Those last are priceless to me. The changes that I have noticed not only physically have blown me away. I still have a loooonnnng way to go in my weight loss journey but I am so thankful for the foundation that has been laid. But I am “ending” this journey so thankful for the life lessons, the “small” victories that have been won.  I couldn’t have seen these results if it was not for the fabulous doctors that I work for and their vision to see their patients lead a healthier lifestyle without a dependency on medication.  No quick fix “Band-Aids” passed out here but there are plenty of life changing options offered to you!

A few weeks ago I recalled a memory and wanted to share it with you as to why this program and practice is different. When I was 21 years old I had to get a physical form filled out for a college I was transferring to. I was a patient at another office at that time and just made an appointment with the first available doctor. I’ll never forget the doctor looking at me and saying, “You know you are morbidly obese, right?” Well that certainly wasn’t news to me but to hear it said stung. His advice … you need to lose weight, exercise & watch your portions. He then signed my form and my appointment was over.

Fast forward to 4 years ago when I first started working at Trinity and one of our fabulous Nurse Practitioners ran a laundry list of labs on me and started the process of figuring out why I was hurting all the time. This office was the first one to actually listen to me and hear what I was saying. One of the labs showed an elevated cortisol level so I was sent to an Endocrinologist. I sat in his office for a total 45 minutes for him to look at me and say, “Your lab is fine you just need to lose weight. That will take care of that.” I then explained that we were also trying to figure out the joint pain that I was having and that I didn’t have the energy to exercise (Lab results: several positive ANA results for scleroderma and as well as a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and arthritis from the rheumatologist). He acknowledged that his exam of me didn’t show that anything was wrong and that it was really that I just needed to exercise. He did let me know all the things that would happen if I didn’t lose weight … diabetes, that PCOS was an inevitable reality for me, etc … and that was it. I remember paying $300 and rushing to my car so I could cry in private. I was humiliated.

While he was right that no one ever really “feels” like working out I can honestly say that simply watching my portions never made me feel better or like I was ready to exercise. However, implementing a low carb diet has given me energy and actually makes me want to move around! I also believe the low carb has been highly beneficial to the fact that I haven’t had a fibromyalgia flare up in months. For the last 4 years, the winter was devastating to me physically but now the difference is like night and day.

Friends, you’re health isn’t a joke. You deserve to lead and live the best life possible in a healthy body but like everything else in life you have a choice to make. If your environment is enabling you to make poor choices then change your environment. If a change isn’t possible then get a backbone and say, “No!” Unless someone is physically holding you down and forcing you to eat Krispy Kreme donuts then I believe you have the willpower to stop. And please know that stopping doesn’t mean you’ll never have another donut in your life ever again it just means you are learning better habits so that you can stop after one (not one dozen but one. Ha!!).

I’m so thankful that the Lord lead me to Trinity 4 years ago because I wouldn’t be here today taking control over my health if I wasn’t working here. I’m serious when I say that these doctors and practitioners sincerely want to help you but it’s up to you to call and make that appointment. Are you ready?

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!!

Thanks for walking this journey with me …

– Melody