The Second Almond: The Change

I don’t know what I expected when I began this Transformation program. I guess when I signed up for it I did so with the idea that it would be pretty easy. I think I saw a lot of the patients who had gone through the process and came out the other side happier and I thought if they could do it, surely I could as well. I am far below the average age of the patients that generally go through this and maybe there was a bit of ego that just told me it would be easy.

I never had a specific number in my head as to how much weight I wanted to lose. I didn’t have an amount of inches I wanted to trim down on my waistline, although I do have a pair of jeans I kept from my “skinny days” that if I could fit into some day, well, I’d be pretty thrilled. What I wanted when I started this program was to learn what I was capable of; what I could do if taken outside of my comfort level.

What I am about to say is as honest and truthful as I can possibly be in my writing. In the beginning, I thought that because I live a relatively healthy-ish lifestyle, that I would skate through this program without much falter. But now, just two weeks into the program, I feel like I am standing at the base of a very tall mountain and all I packed was a pair of flip-flops to climb it in. THIS. IS. HARD.

I have always considered my diet one that was pretty healthy compared to the normal American. And its pretty funny to think that we use the word “diet” both to describe how we eat as a population and how we eat as individuals when we are trying to lose weight. Two very different things, but that is for another time. I thought that there would be very little change from how I ate two weeks ago to how I was to be eating during the program. Let me say this one more time so you know I really mean it… THIS. IS. HARD.

It’s not hard because I don’t like the food I am eating because I do. I enjoy fish and vegetables and the truth is, the food on this plan is not all too different from what I normally ate. What is so hard is the planning. I find myself thinking about what I’ll have for lunch when I am waking up. I think about fish at 6:30 AM and at what meal I want to have a grain. When I want a snack at work, I reach into my desk and grab a handful of almonds and drop them onto my desk. 1, 2, 3… is Greg counting with me? 4, 5, 6, 7… I feel like Dustin Hoffman in “Rain Man” every time I want something to eat!

THIS. IS. HARD. Definitely, definitely hard.

But this is also worth it. I have had days where I wake up and, despite my constant fantasies about chicken wings and beer and whether or not Pizza Hut delivers in the middle of the night, I have noticed a change in me. I want it, but I do not crave the same foods as I did before I started this. I can visualize how a pepperoni pizza might taste, but be able to shift to what’s “realistic,” and make a good decision about what I am going to have for my next meal. I see my waist shrinking in the mirror.

They say that every cigarette you smoke takes something like six minutes off of your life. Maybe it works the same way with food. Maybe every time I choose water over a Coke, or fish over chicken wings, I am not only subtracting from my waistline, but also adding a few extra minutes to my life. I think that might be something that becomes pretty important down the line and I like the fact that I am doing something that is making me a little healthier in the long run.

So, despite my struggles, I don’t want to give up. Not yet. I am grateful that the Transformation team is understanding and helpful throughout this process. I am also very grateful that I am living with someone who is also going through the program with me.

I will leave you with this: do not be afraid to challenge yourself and see what you are capable of. We are all capable of extraordinary things and we will never know what that is until we test ourselves. This first step is always the hardest, but there will come a point in your life you will look back and realize that the first step was also the biggest.



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