When food threatens to kill you

The main reason for which I’m writing this blog is because I’m trying to slim down and I’m having a hard time doing so. I believe that sharing my experiences with others  would help me track my progress accurately and motivate me more. But let me tell you how it all started…

fatloss1Exactly 1 month ago I visited my doctor to pick up the results of some tests I had undergone the week before. Upon entering her office, she sat at her desk with my file in front of her. Her facial expression revealed that the tests were no good. She told me quite frankly that with my current weight and lifestyle, my life expectancy was at best 10 years. I stared blankly at her. I just turned 44 last autumn. I couldn’t be dying before i retired, could I? She pointed out that my weight (152 kg at that time) was putting my heart and other organs under severe strain.  After another 30 minutes of going through gloomy predictions, she handed me the number of a dietitian. “You have to lose at least 50 kg.”, was the last thing she said.

I had my first appointment with the dietitian 2 days later. We immediately started working on a plan to help me lose weight in a sustainable manner. He wanted me to start walking at least 4km per day. No sugar beverages anymore, but green tea and water. The menu was mainly consisting of:  lots of vegetables, wholegrain rice or pasta and lean meat and fish. We made up a menu for the coming week and he even printed me the shopping list. On my way home i stopped at the supermarket to buy groceries. When I got home, I cleaned out my fridge and tossed away all unhealthy food, which was kind of all there was in there (at least according to my dietitian). Bottles fatloss2of coke, potato chips, frozen pizzas, bags of frozen French fries and other snacks to fry… They all went into the garbage bin. Although I was motivated to lose weight, I wasn’t fully convinced I would be able to get through the day without my bottle of coke. That day I went for my first long walk. Although I walked at a moderate pace, my knees started hurting halfway through. I was used to sitting in my car, in my couch or at my desk. The longest walk I took on most days was the one from the car to the elevator that took me to my office on the 32nd floor. I had a deeply relieving feeling when it popped into my head that the dietitian could have demanded that I used the stairs instead of the elevator.

The first week went better than expected. Although I did experience the withdrawal effects of sugar, my motivation was high and my family, friends and colleagues were aware of my plan to lose weight and supported me. I kept to the diet and managed to cook healthy meals every day, although it did sometimes take willpower to do so, especially when I had to work long hours. I even started enjoying my daily walk. At a 10 minutes driving distance from my home, there is a small fatloss3lake and I went all the way to that place every afternoon. It was actually quite relaxing. Sometimes, I listened to music or an audio book. I got myself a couple of audio books on World War II history (that used to be one of my reading passions in the past, but about which I completely forgot when I began working extra hours) to catch up with the latest discoveries and studies on the subject.

A month has passed since I was forced to change my lifestyle. I kept losing weight; I weigh 145 kg now, which means I lost 7 kilos in one month. Even with these satisfying results, it is still challenging at times, I admit. At work, I sometimes feel envy when I see my colleagues eating candy bars and drinking soda from the vending machine. Apparently it doesn’t make them fat. But all in all, I know I am fighting for my life now and I am aware that if it wasn’t for this decision I would probably enjoy my every afternoon audio books in a hospital bed.