“Either lose the weight or you’re going to have a heart attack and die”
Yeah, those words got my attention real fast too.
As my dad kept talking about his doctors appointment... I kept thinking:
“I wish I could grab a pair of scissors and chop it off” while grabbing my own muffin top.
Growing up, every doctor's appointment I went to came with a look of concern accompanied by my doctor asking:
“are you still playing soccer?” as I stepped off the scale.
Basically, this was my doctor’s way of politely and passively checking to see if I was getting enough physical activity.
The times I asked about trying to lose weight, I was told it was “baby fat” I would grow out of. When I asked about how to make better choices during meal times, I was told that dieting wasn’t safe for children.
Except neither was living with
⦿ a BMI of 29
⦿ blood glucose levels on the verge of type 2 diabetes
⦿ feeling completely helpless
at 12 years old ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Overwhelmed with myself, I broke down crying sitting on the floor of the Dillard's dressing room with my mom because not a single dress I had tried on seemed to fit right.
Yeah ill say it... I thought "why me?" A LOT.
I was disgusted with myself, not to mention frustrated af not knowing where to start, who to go to, or what to do with myself. So, I asked my dad if I could go with him to his weight doctors. I had to know what type of magic happened at these secret weekly appointments he went to.
Flashback to the beginning of my personalized nutrition journey circa Feb 21, 2011.
Unfortunately, my months of effort led me to lose only 5 pounds before I told myself:
"This is the way my body was built and the way it's gonna stay I guess."
I spent two years trying to come to terms with “the way my body was built.” Then, my scale read 155 pounds. In that moment I dreaded my doctor’s concerned expressions at my upcoming checkup more than ever.
I chose to return to the weight doctors, but this time the appointment was for me. In my prior attempt, I tried to follow the guidelines given to my dad that I had learned from sitting in on his appointments.
The doctor scanned through my food-diary, proceeded to look up, giggle a little, and say:
"Elle, you have chocolate every single day."
I was SO embarrassed, and SO sad. I expected to be told I couldn't have chocolate anymore.
"Can we reduce it to maybe 3 or 4 days a week" she said.
My entire body relaxed as fast as it tensed up. All my "why me's" had finally led me to my fat flushing fairy god mothers. Dr. Darnell and Dr. Pierson didn't try to lead me on my journey, but instead walked beside me - we were a team.
These woman not only saved my life, but they gave me a new perspective, and ultimately the fire and drive to reach where I am today.
I am here to tell you that I have walked the walk, and I am ready to talk the talk now too.
The thing is, these women were personalizing nutrition before personalizing nutrition was even a thing! Weight battles don't have to be fought with shots in the dark like they used to!
The developments in nutrigenetics & nutrigenomics helping clinicians personalize nutrition and identify individual needs I would seriously consider to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. I'm still astonished by it all.
I feel like it's only right to leave you with a quote from the man who inspired me:
"This life... it's not a f*cking dress rehearsal. You get one shot at it. Take it or leave it."
- Craig M. Kolkin
Dear Dr. Darnell & Dr. Pierson,
I still eat chocolate everyday ;)