This blog post title sounds a bit like Finding Nemo. I know, because it is sort of the same plot. Like Nemo, before I started this journey, I was feeling terribly lost in the body (weight) department.
[Disclaimer: what you are about to read, will contain a fair amout of drama & self-pity. You have been warned.]
Don’t get me wrong. I have a wonderful life. I am hugely blessed. But, if you have crossed the 30-mark & love to cook (like me) & eat (like I do) & arrange life around food & events & entertaining (such fun!), then you might have found (like me) that it is no longer so easy to control your weight.
Then comes a pregnancy, two years of craziness; trying to navigate a new lifestyle & finding a “new normal”. And boom: I found myself feeling ‘lost’ in the body department. I would look in the mirror & ouch. I see a stranger. I’ve known for some time now that it has to change. In a sense I am like Nemo who desperately wants to go home. Back to feeling & looking like me. Carrying so much extra weight has impacted my confidence. With a family history of high cholesterol & heart disease, I was also getting more & more concerned about how the extra weight would impact my health. It has made me hate shopping for myself (something that I used to love) & sorting through my (pretty, skinny clothes) recently left me sobbing. It has also impacted the amount of joy that I get from cooking & entertaining – two of my favourite things to do – because I feel uncomfortable in my body & worry that it will lead me into further temptation. Plus I’m short which makes 5kg’s look much worse than on a tall gal.
I started to think: was this it? Did I really have to kiss my figure goodbye forever? The answer, I knew, was no. But I needed the right solution & help.
Then, at the end of March (literally a few days before leaving Jozi), I met with Dr Natasha Chapman at Laserderm, Sandton, & officially started the Slender Wonder Medical Weight Loss plan.
I’ve interviewed the team from Laserderm before for articles & have total faith in them. They are knowledgeable & medically trained, so I knew that I am in good hands. It might sound like the timing was so wrong. The truth is that there is always an excuse or a reason not to start. (But it’s Easter. It’s holiday. Start after the long weekend. You don’t look that bad. Just wait for the adjustment of moving to another town to pass…) But for me now was the perfect time. I figured that with lots of change happening already, I might as well change my lifestyle too.
Basically, Slender Wonder is the solution for those who want to see results fast, but are not interested in yo-yo dieting. This sounds a bit contradicting, I know. Actually it is not. Being a 40-year old medical weight loss solution (which is run & prescribed only by medical doctors) it is safe & effective. It is focussed on treating low leptin levels & has three components: a low GI & low calory eating plan, supplements in the form of capsules & a series of injections. The self-administered injections bring your leptin levels back into balance which basically encourages your body to get rid of “abnormal” fat in a safe & controlled way. This is not a miracle programme & you still have to work hard, but if you stick to it, you will be a loser (which is a good thing in this case).
As I was preparing to leave Johannesburg at the end of March, I was also super excited at the prospect of feeling like “me” again. Plus, my sister-in-law is getting married towards the end of May, so I had the incentive of looking & feeling much better by then. And, the excitement of buying a slightly smaller outfit.
Pre-week 1: End of March 2015
Amidst rushing to meet deadlines & packing, I had a meeting with Dr Natasha. And such a positive one it was too with a detailed conversation about the plan, measuring, weighing, taking pictures, encouragement & the demo on ‘how to inject yourself’ (eek). Plus she told me that I should “eat all I want” before the diet starts officially on Monday, 30 March. This is the “Stimulation” phase of the diet where you eat lots of nonsense to get rid of all your crazy cravings once & for all. So, I had… a few freezochino’s (one of my favourite guilty pleasures in life); lots of take-aways & pizza during the move; a McDonald’s Happy Meal (nuggets, fries & OJ) followed by an ice cream; loads of dessert & whatever else was on the menu that week….
It might sound like heaven, but eating as much junk as you can is totally unsatisfying & makes you feel like a garbage bin. It was rather convenient though with the packing & moving, but I was actually looking forward to the detox phase that was to follow – especially with the flu that I felt coming on. Eating badly is not a good idea when feeling run down.
Week 1: from 30 March 2015:
The week kicked off the day after we arrived in town. It was tricky not in my own house, having flu symptoms & with a super busy little guy in tow, but I managed to start my three day detox of only fruit. This was tough, but easier than I anticipated. I managed to sit out on the homemade risotto, the pizzas & wine at family dinners.
I also had to inject myself every morning. Sometimes this is easy & sometimes hard. It is not that painful, but always rather unpleasant.
Then I also had to keep my head together with all the supplements that I needed to take.
After three days of the fruit-only detox, it was time for us to move into our home & for me to start the low calorie (1200- 1400kj) diet. It was crazy & hard.
Week 2 – 6 April 2015:
Still rather sick, but managed to stick to the diet for the most part. I was hangry (hunger leading to anger) often, but when I found that I had lost 3.2kg since starting my confidence & motivation were fueled. Wowee. Such an amazing feeling.
Week 3 – 13 April 2015:
I was getting a bit slack with my diet & was worried that I would not be losing. Dr Natasha did an email check-in after week two, but I also needed to do a personal check-in (with a doctor) & have the bi-weekly booster shot. So I googled ‘Slender Wonder’ & found the wonderful Dr Adri Hoffmeister at SkinLogic right around the corner from me.
Our meeting was amazing & I was surprised that I had lost another 0.4kg – even amidst the busyness & being sick. I was so impressed with myself that I changed the little ‘3.2kg’ note on my fridge to a ‘3.6’.
Dr Natasha cheered on via email & mentioned that 4kg’s is a dress size. I also remembered the 1kg of ‘fat’ that she showed me when we had our first meeting.
At my appointment with Dr Adri, I thought briefly of telling her about the pain that I was having in my left rib (which felt like an intercostal muscle injury – probably from jumping on the trampoline with little Oliver). I also figured that the slight rash in the same area was from the bra I was wearing. We had various conversations & I never mentioned this to her. Mistake.
By the following day, I noticed that the rash was getting worse & a day later I was at the doctor with lots of pain. The diagnosis: Shingles (read: severe pain, discomfort & tears).
Week 4: 20 April 2015:
The Shingles officially got hold of me, so I was (wo)men down for days. Sleeping as if in a coma. It wasn’t good news for my work, my family or my diet. Oh my word. I was in pain, my head was pounding, cold sweats, then hot, then freezing. Uncomfortable. I felt awfully sorry for myself. Not having the energy or courage to do the injections because I was so uncomfortable already. What followed was bad eating. Whatever was brought to me or available including chocolate, starch, fatty things. Oh no!! By Friday, the 24th I was rather despondent. Disappointment. Losing my sense of humour. I did so well. I was so positive & then this. I went for a check in with the sister at SkinLogic. I was hoping for motivation, inspiration & helpful tips to get me back on track. Instead she said that I should take two weeks to recover from the Shingles & then start again in full force. Wise words, but I still can’t help how disappointed I was.
For now I just need to rest & get rid of this most awful virus. I’ll carry on with Part 2 of this journey in two weeks. Until then, I’ll have to remind myself to still be sensible in the meantime, but one thing is for sure: Slender Wonder really works, so it is worth getting back into it again.)
Check in again soon to see how I’m doing. Your comments, questions and cheers from the side line are all most welcome.