What Victory Looks Like During a Bad Week for Weight Loss - Mercy Medical Center

What Victory Looks Like During a Bad Week for Weight Loss

Posted on: October 10, 2013

Another week and another loss! I fixed a "bad-week" weight gain and lost a little more to boot! If memory serves me right, it's another 4.6 pounds.  I am under the 400 pound mark, and I never want to see it again!

I know this isn’t my biggest loss, but I really feel like I won a victory this week.  I had some challenges that made adhering to the diet a little tough.

How Winterizing a Pool Can Land You in the ED

First, I got sick. I was running a fever and just feeling worn down. I had a problem, though. You probably remember how excited I was that I built steps for my pool and was able to swim with my family this year. Well, the pool needed to be closed! I tried to do it twice and each time it poured rain that day. So, here I was, home sick, and it was warm and sunny out. Did I stay in bed? NO. But I should have.

I went outside and began packing things up and putting them away. I planned to cover the pool after winterizing it. What I hadn’t considered was taking the top off the pool steps to get the cover to fit.  The top and railing were attached to the actual steps in the pool by two screws – two screws that were, of course, below the waterline.

After asking my wife about my bathing suit, I learned it was still wet – forgotten in a plastic bag with the kids' suits from swimming at a different pool a few weeks ago. She suggested I just go in the water in my boxer shorts. While this made some sense, I think my wife just wanted a good laugh. So, on a bright sunny day when hopefully none of my neighbors were home, I stripped down to my underwear and headed into the pool.

The water in the pool was in the neighborhood of 45 degrees, thanks to the cool weather and freezing nights. I have wanted for years to do the Polar Bear Swim at the Portage Lakes (they cut a hole in the ice and people swim in the water in the middle of winter). Well, dear readers, this had to be a pretty close approximation. I was immediately shivering. I removed the first screw quickly, but the second required me to immerse my entire body up to the neck. While my wife was laughing hysterically, I replayed the scene from Titanic in my head where the lead characters cling to a piece of wood in the freezing water.

Finally, I thought, I have found a great reason to be fat! I can’t imagine how cold that water would have felt if I was skinny!  I got out of the water and immediately headed for a deck chair and a towel. Eric Buwala visits Canton Mercy Medical Center's ED

So, just to recap, we have a 396 pound man, soaking wet, in his boxers, running a fever, shivering uncontrollably on his patio. How could this get worse?  Let me tell you. The large, wet man could have a life threatening allergy to certain insect stings. One of those insects landed on the back of the chair, and when I leaned back and inadvertently squished him, the insect stung me on my back.

Yes. I stubbornly got out of bed to close the pool. After a quick injection with the EpiPen and my wife’s frenzied drive to the hospital, I was once again back in bed.

I know, not my most flattering picture. Normally I am thanking the great people at Mercy Weight Management. Today, I must also thank the great people in the Mercy ED. After several hours of observation and several injections of intravenous medication, I was allowed to leave that bed and head back home.

Pumpkin Overload at the Grocery Store

One of prescriptions I had to take afterwards was Prednisone, which I now realize can increase your appetite. Of course, I didn’t know this when I went grocery shopping the next day. I may have mentioned before that I love the fall season. I also, as you know, love food and, more specifically, love pumpkin. So, hopped up on Prednisone and armed with an OPTIFAST bar, I went grocery shopping thinking it would be no problem. I was wrong.

It literally was a parade of temptation that actually made me feel physical pain.

Really? Pumpkin Spice Kahlua? That would be great in pumpkin spice coffee! But why do they come out with this now? Why in the middle of my diet? I love apples, and I like an occasional beer. Woodchuck Hard Cider now offers a pumpkin version. Please give me a break!

And Jack Daniels? You betray me, too. Should Tennessee Cider even be in a grocery store?

With every single step I was confronted by an even more tempting decision: pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, and I think I even saw pumpkin Oreos. I literally had to avert my eyes and just call out items from the list to my wife.

There is nothing sadder than a weeping fat man pushing a grocery cart. I would have included a picture of what I looked like, but I was already freaking people out. I didn’t want to make matters worse by asking someone to take a picture.

In the end, I made it to the checkout without any additional items in my cart. I didn’t tear into any displays. I didn’t even take the free sample of pumpkin pudding someone was shoving at me. I ate my OPTIFAST bar somewhere in the middle of the trip around the store, but it was still a struggle.

Safely in line at the checkout, I thought I was in the clear.  Then I see a bottle of vodka on top of bags of Three Musketeer bars. I am left with no choice but to accept what the evidence is telling me. Someone is actually following me around and trying to wreck my diet. To be clear, I didn’t leave the grocery store – I fled like I was being chased demons.

I ended up having to have a long talk with myself. I need to lose this weight. I mentioned last week that I was going to start counseling and seeing a personal trainer. In my next blog, I will have lots to share on both. In the meantime, I need to stay focused on getting the weight off.

After the initial shock of grocery shopping wore off, I told myself that this is all just a moment in the story of my life. I will succeed at losing weight. Maybe not this season, but next fall, I will be able to treat myself (in moderation) with some seasonal goodies. Someday, when I am half the weight I was, I will look back on this and know that I did the right thing at the right time.

So, my friends, I continue to move forward with confidence and continue on my weight loss journey. Now, if I could just get that darn pool closed…

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Eric Buwala is our guest blogger and weight management client who's working (and writing) his way through our OPTIFAST program. Read all of Eric's posts in our archive.

Do you live in or near Canton, Ohio? Are you ready to join Eric in losing weight for better health? Learn more about Mercy Weight Management.

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