I walked into my patients room, and it was one of those moments when you look at someone, and you can tell, just by their eyes, that they have been through some stuff. And later on that evening, I discovered just how right I was about that.
I am a part time Registered Nurse, part time Nutrition Coach, Part time fitness trainer, and it never ceases to amaze me how in each of these roles, I discover clients that are so far on each end of the health spectrum.
Over the course of my shift at the hospital that day, I learned a lot about this particular patient.
I learned that 20 years ago, he had lost his wife, and over the course of the next few years, he coped with his sadness with food, and soon he saw 450lbs staring back at him on the scale. I learned that he had also undergone countless surgeries and had an endless list of chronic diseases, most due to his excessive weight gain. I learned that he had lost his ability to do what he loved – ride motorcycles, and that he often felt hopeless, helpless, and stuck.
However, I also learned that at this point, he had cut his body weight completely in half, and that he had recently found the strength and willpower to get his life back on track, make changes, and pursue health.
The part he didn’t tell me right away, was that it took gastric bypass surgery to get him there. He told me about the months and months on end he had spent in the hospital due to one chronic condition after another, and how one had led to needing something done for another reason.
He described the problem perfectly. He said,
“I felt sad about one thing, so I ate. And then when I ate, I gained weight. And then I felt bad about gaining weight. But the only way I knew to cope with those feelings was to eat more. Until I couldn’t take it anymore.”
He went on to tell me that although he has lost over half his body weight, that he still needs to lose more in order to feel truly healthy, and that while surgery did help….
He said, “it’s taken me this long, but now I realise it comes down to exercising and eating healthy.”
Yeah. Friend. You’re right. You’re exactly right.
He has learned new coping strategies, and has a new plan. He has a WHY and is sticking to it. He is making changes, setting goals, and incorporating nutrition and fitness into his life now so that one day, he can ride that motorcycle again.
While it might have taken a few extra bumps in the road to get him there, he finally understands that although modern medicine can do incredible things, there is no replacement for putting in hard work, and doing the challenging things.
We don’t want it to take this kind of trauma for you to reach your health goals. We want to support you in doing the hard things now, before it’s too late.