By Susan Shelton, UK Dept. of Early Childhood, Special Education And Rehabilatation Counseling
I have always had a weight problem and been a yo-yo dieter. I would lose 20, gain 30, and so on. Not only does that kind of dieting seems to be a gene in my family, but I have always had an excuse for being over-weight, even at an early age. I would say: I am not overweight, just under tall... I am not fat, just pleasingly plump... You know the drill! It wasn’t until Spring 2013 that I took the matter of weight loss seriously and looked at it as a matter of life and death.
By January 2013, I was the heaviest I have ever been in my life. I felt horrible, depressed and really didn’t care. I knew I needed to lose weight, I just wasn’t motivated. During the next few months, I found myself falling asleep at my desk, nodding off for what I thought was no reasonable explanation. Then it started happening while driving. Yet, I thought I was having some sort of spell, not really falling asleep. When I had 2 fender benders because of what was happening, I knew I had to do something. I immediately went to the doctor and after a series of tests, I was diagnosed with a severe case of sleep apnea.
I have polycystic ovarian syndrome and knew that my diabetes was related to the PCOS. What I didn’t know was that sleep apnea was related to the PCOS as well. As I left the doctor’s office, her last words to me were “I want to see you again in one year and I want to see less of you”. That was on July 8, 2013. On July 24, I began a lifestyle change with Weight Loss Matters.
With this wake up call, I realized that I could no longer be a yo-yo dieter. Instead, I needed to make a real change. I was determined that eating healthfully and exercising needed to become my way of life and I'm thankful I had the resources at UK Health and Wellness to help me.
The folks in the UK Health and Wellness program are a great asset to anyone trying to make this type of change. In the weeks and months since July 24, 2013, I have lost 65 pounds and have more to lose. My attitude is so much different from a year ago. No more dieting. This is a way of life for me now. I have to keep the weight off simply to live. I am blessed to work at an institution that offers this type of program for its employees. I am so very thankful that UK employs knowledgeable and caring dietitians to work with people like me who need the encouragement and knowledge both Vanessa and Karen have.
I went to my doctor on August 25, 2014 for my six-month checkup. She is even more excited now over my progress and my bloodwork – so much so that she is cutting in half dosages of three out of four of my medications. I go back in three months for another checkup and if my numbers are still good or even better, I'll be completely off three medications. My cholesterol is still at 106 when it should be under 100, but because my mother’s cholesterol issues are hereditary, the doctor feels like mine are as well. So I will keep taking a medication to help with my cholesterol. I can live with that. Taking only one medication is better than taking four! If this isn’t motivation to stick with my lifestyle change, I don’t know what is!