It was November 21, 2012.
The day before Thanksgiving.
A few days earlier I had been at the doctors for my semi-annual checkup. When the phone rang at 9:30am I thought it would be the usual conversation, “Doctor wants you to stay on your blood pressure and cholesterol medicine. Blood work was good. See you in six months.”
Not so, this time.
Years of reckless living and not watching what I was eating and drinking finally caught up with me.
“Scott, Doctor wants to speak to you, can you hold?”
The first thing that went through my mind was, “oh shit.”
My doctor came on the line and was blunt. “You need to change things and you need to change them now.”
He’s been riding my ass about my weight forever, so I thought it was going to be another lecture.
“Your blood work came back and your sugar levels are in the diabetic range.”
My heart sank.
I was speechless.
As he went on to tell me I needed to start exercising, eat healthier, and get the weight down, I was staring out into space. He said since it’s early, if I begin to take things seriously and make changes, I had the chance to turn things around.
That was all I needed to hear.
Throughout the day I began to think about what life would be like with diabetes. People on my mother’s side of the family all died from it at an early age. People on my father’s side lived forever. I began to wonder which family’s footsteps I would be following in.
I was petrified.
I kept the news close to my chest. At Thanksgiving dinner the next day I didn’t gorge myself with turkey and stuffing like I normally would, instead I just said I wasn’t feeling well when asked why I wasn’t eating.
As thoughts of insulin injections swirled around in my head, I knew it was time for me to make radical changes in my life.
Those changes started on Friday, November 23, 2012 – the day I weighed 322 pounds, wore a size 48 pant, a 4XL shirt and could barely walk steps without shortness of breath.
I was an eater and a drinker. Breakfast was two Bacon, Egg and Cheese bagels from McDonalds. Lunch was hamburger with fries. Dinner was soup, salad, appetizer, main course, maybe some extra and dessert. Five, six, seven, even eight martinis were the norm. Not your regular martini, the sweet ones laced with sugary liquors.
I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app for my iPhone and began tracking my weight and what I was eating. I started out with a 2,000 calorie a day diet. It was torture at the time. I was watching the Dr. Oz show and he was talking about various supplements for losing weight and one of them was Garcinia Cambogia. I researched the product, picked up a bottle along with some others including Raspberry Ketones, Green Coffee Bean Extract and Green Tea Extract and have been taking them religiously every day in order to kick up my metabolism and suppress my appetite.
Breakfast turned into a greek yogurt. Lunch a salad. Dinner… seafood – something I never ate or liked.
To kick start my weight loss, I was prescribed what was basically a medicinal version of speed. I was on it for the max – three months. Three months of chest pounding heart rates, uncontrollable energy and about two to three hours of sleep a night.
At the end of those three months I was down 35 pounds, but my time was up. By law I would not be able to take any more of the prescription until after a certain time passed. I didn’t really care at that point, I just wanted sleep and to get back to normal energy levels.
For the first six months I was at the doctors once a month for blood work and an occasional EKG to monitor my heart. My sugar level dropped and stabilized to a point my doctor was comfortable with. I dodged the bullet.
But I wasn’t stopping.
With each ten pounds I would lose, the app on my phone would recalculate my calorie intake for the day. Each ten pounds resulted in less to eat.
I never exercised before, so I started walking. Each afternoon I would walk down to the beach. From one end to the other was a half-mile. I started out with one mile. As time went on, I upped it gradually until I was walking about three miles a day. I added mild weights into my routine and some water exercise.
Two months ago I went to the doctors and he was amazed that I lost a total of 75 pounds. Trust me, I was too. We talked about how I did it. I explained what I coined the “Sanfilippo Diet.” Yogurt for breakfast, a Bloody Mary (no alcohol) for lunch and a healthy dinner. No more soda, no more alcohol, some Hydroxycut Gummies and my walking routine.
While he didn’t totally agree with everything in the Sanfilippo Diet plan, he said, “if it works for you – which it is – keep it up. See you in six months.”
I left the office with a goal to come back six months later with even better results.
People who haven’t seen me in a while stop and question what happened? Did you get the gastric bypass? Were you sick? What happened? I think I disappoint them when I tell them I did it on my own.
There’s not a day that goes by that someone doesn’t stop me to say how good I look or to ask me what I did to lose the weight. That’s motivation in itself for me to keep going. I get ribbed constantly about my obsessive calorie counting and my new penchant for eating healthier foods. “My God what have you turned into?” my friend Pam said to me as I looked up how many calories were in dinner we just ate together.
I weigh myself every day. There I stand in the bathroom, naked as can be, on the scale. I log my weight each time I lose in my iPhone app. I’ve been closing in on a major milestone and today I hit it. As I stepped onto the scale I wondered, “will this be the day?”
“Fuck me!” I screamed at the top of my voice. That’s not something you usually hear coming from my house, but this morning I’m sure the neighbors thought I was getting a little.
I did it.
I looked down and there is was.
“One-hundred-fucking-pounds!” I screamed like I was at some ball game rooting on a player going for a homer.
I did it. I quickly took a picture and like a father who just was told, “it’s a boy” I texted it to some of my friends who have been super supportive through all this.
Today is October 2, 2013. A little shy of one year since my journey began. Remember the 48 inch waist? I’m now a 36. Remember the 4XL shirt? I’m now an XL moving into an L. Remember the…. well, yeah. It’s true, while you’re losing weight, that’s one part of the body that gets bigger!
Just because I hit the magic 100 doens’t mean I’m stopping.
I’ve adopted a more rigorous exercise routine which involves me hitting the gym every day with a goal of burning at least 400 calories. Never in my life would I have thought I’d see the inside of a gym. The folks at the club I belong to, where I work out, pause and ask me if I was in there sightseeing or working out.
I continue to eat healthy and my current calorie intake is set at 1360 a day. I’ll have a glass of wine or a light beer with dinner, but I’m not drinking like a fish anymore.
I no longer have to take any prescription medication as my blood pressure and cholesterol levels have normalized and my sugar levels are right where they are supposed to be.
I feel great and may I boast for a moment, I even look great. Just look at the before and after pictures to see the change. Looking at those alone are all the motivation I need to keep going and kick even more ass.
I’ve got only 37 more pounds till my ultimate goal of 185. I’m more excited than ever to kick it up a notch and get there even faster.
I can’t wait till I walk on the scale that morning and scream “fuck me!” once again. Because by then I’ll be looking good enough that I may actually want to!