As a framework for understanding the leg of the journey I'm on, it's important to understand where I was when I decided to start my weight-loss program. I've battled my weight for the majority of my life, and by the time I signed up for the MNP program, I was almost 300 pounds. It frightens me to admit that, and it doesn't even begin to give a sense of how miserable and desperate I was feeling about myself, my weight, and my health. I felt like something was wrong with me, even though none of the medical tests I'd had done indicated any problems. In some ways, the lack of medical explanation made me feel even worse about myself, because there was only one reason left in my mind for why I was still overweight: I was a weak, undisciplined failure.
Despairing of ever making the transformation to the healthy person I have always hoped to be, I began to explore more dramatic options for weight loss than I had considered before. After all, Weight Watchers, for whatever reason, wasn't cutting it for me. I needed something that would work, and would hep me hit a "reset button" on my health and fitness. In the past, I've considered surgical procedures, but I have always been reluctant to go that route because of the potential side effects from the surgery as well as the fact that surgery wouldn't change how I think about eating or exercise.
Then I started hearing about very-low-calorie diet (VLCD) programs from two different friends of mine. Each friend had been able to lose a significant amount of weight pretty quickly, and one of them was going through the maintenance program and had been able to keep her weight off for at least a year. I'd never considered a VLCD before, but I found it an attractive option because it didn't carry the same amount of risk a surgical procedure would. Also, both of the VLCD programs available in my area had a strong emphasis on not only losing weight, but also understanding why and how it got on there in the first place, and keeping it off.
After almost a year of research and debate with my husband, I joined the Metabolic Nutrition Program (MNP) through John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek. The program is a VLCD which consists of 5 shakes a day, bi-weekly doctor visits (to make sure there are no health-related problems while on the diet), and weekly group therapy meetings. I was nervous about how well I would be able to follow the program, particularly the part about only eating 5 shakes a day, but all of the other options scared me, so I bravely charged ahead. I had my first group meeting on June 14, and had my first MNP shake on June 15.