Missy Knows-It-All
A Behavior Modification Study
Big boned. Serious, I have a doctor's report to prove it.  But that still doesn't give me the liberty to top the scales at 300 pounds (my heaviest) in February of 1996.  Oh sure, there were other factors, such as the day I gasped at the results from the scale I was just hours away from delivering full-term twins (who weighed 7 lbs. 3oz and 8 lbs. 13 oz.) and within 24-hours weighed in thirty pounds lighter.  Nonetheless, after the boys were weened a year later, I had lost around twenty-five more pounds (not that I was eager to jump on a scale, I was just elated to get a full night's rest) and breathed a small sigh of relief that I could begin concentrating on modifying my diet for weight loss -- not substaining three lives as I had been doing. 

It was time for my wake-up call. I did some research on the Internet and learned all that I could about the "new" drug cocktail, Phen/Fen. Convinced this was what I needed to help me lose the weight, I found a doctor willing to prescribe me the medication.  My first day in, I weighed 245 pounds and within a few months, I shed nearly 50 pounds. But that's when the FDA banned the practice of prescribing those two medications together for weight loss and I discovered my doctor was less than ethical.
Please, go right ahead. Tell me something I don't know.

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Years passed and slowly, but surely, the weight returned.  Before long I was back up to 235 pounds and deeply depressed. Some of it I attribute to post-partum depression, some I believe is hereditary and I even think a portion could have to do with S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder), but I was never gutsy enough to go get an official diagnosis.  After all, I had worked in Forensics Mental Health for several years and the idea of admitting I had any form of mental problems was horrifically frightening.  I had seen many infomercials for the Michael Thurgood Six-Week Body Makeover program and then one afternoon as I was perusing the Smart Bargains website, I found they were offering the program at a substantial savings. On a whim, I ordered the kit.  Four months later I had whittled down those ugly thirty pounds and was toned - moreso than I had been when I was working out every day for upwards of two hours! .

No sooner would I lose the weight, it would come rocketing back on my large frame, clinging onto my bones as if it was hanging on for dear life.

Frustrated and depressed, I tried a gamut of "plans and programs" including Slim Fast,
Lean Cuisine, The Apple Pectin Pill Diet, 5HTP, the bogus St. Joseph's Healthy Heart diet that left me severely anemic and even Weight Watchers.

Still, nothing was working.
I kept the weight off for a year, but then took a high-stress, full-time temporary job and before I knew it, the weight had returned.  I tried to go back on the plan, but the idea of eating bland foods and depriving myself of pastas and dairy kept me from taking the plunge.  Once again, another opportunity availed itself while I was bouncing around the 'Net -- this time an online Weight Watcher's program. Given that my mother and her youngest sister (who's actually closer to my age than my mother's!) had gone onto the program and lost quite a bit of weight, I decided to give it a try.  It was, after all, one of the most sensible, healthy dieting plans out there.  I struggled with the plan.  As much as I stuck within the points, exercised and drank plenty of water, the weight refused to leave.  If anything, it clung to my bones -- hanging on for dear life.  Unwilling to give up, when WW offered a "kit" with a pedometer, a points calculator and some other "tools", I  bought it, lying to my husband when it arrived by telling him I got it for a fraction of what I really did pay for it.  He, after all, had seen me go through a great number of these programs, including the alleged (but bogus) St. Joseph's Healthy Heart diet that left me severely anemic.
I still wasn't getting anywhere and had begun to battle depression once again. But there was good reason, all of which encircled the whole cause for my problems with weight and a lot of other crap in my life. I shifted gears and began to deal with the real crux of the problem from the root. It entailed hypnotherapy and than shifted over to Psych-K.  It also enveloped some huge confrontations that allowed me to finally deal with the crippling past, my childhood.  No longer was my weight an issue.  Oh sure, I was still overweight, but I had enough on my plate getting rid of the toxins left over from my past that were invading my life now that I was raising my own children. I didn't realize it until I went into intensive therapy (even though I had been in it off and on since I was fifteen) that one of the reasons I was suffering from cyclic post-traumatic-stress was because as my children grew, I was reliving the horrors of my past -- even when I wasn't remembering the specifics.  Washing that out of my system gave me a new lease on life and thus, a new conviction to get the weight off of my body once and for all.

And so here I am, on the cusp of turning 42, taking a hold of my future with both hands, a firm grasp and my feet planted firmly on a treadmill.  Life doesn't suck.  And yes, Virginia, it's all that you make it to be.  No more excuses, no more waiting until tomorrow to see what is in store. 
In November of 2004 I walked into a doctor's office and began a new diet, this time with a new attitude.  This was it.  There is no turning back, no more being fat, no more yo-yo dieting.  Once the weight is off, it's staying off and that means behavior modification

With the help of appetite suppressants, a tailored eating plan and a targeted exercise regime, I'm getting the
results.  I've had set-backs, but not as many as I've had in the past and not without visible cause. I've been able to study and learn about cause and effect, then alter my lifestyle to prevent backtracking.  I'm not done yet, even though I'm quickly closing in on my goal. I won't be there until I have passed my fifth anniversary of weight maintenance.  I know it will be a struggle from time to time, but by losing this weight, I am able to say: I am a victim no more and that, Dear Reader, is the most empowering thing I've ever been privileged to say ... or write.