My name is Jeff Taylor. My wife and I were referred to Dr Muse for weight loss in December of 2020. At this time I weighed 263 lbs, the heaviest I had ever been in my life.
I have always been fairly athletic and enjoyed being outside. Over the past ten years and through the course of my career as a firefighter, I experienced a couple of work injuries, one of them being pretty serious in nature. I slipped on ice and woke up in the emergency room. I had sustained traumatic brain injury as well as damage to my spinal cord that required surgery. This almost ended my career but thanks to some fantastic doctors at St Mark’s Hospital they were able to get me almost to 100% again. Over the next year I suffered from multiple bouts of dizzy spells making it very difficult to exercise. I was already heavy and ended up gaining so much weight I was very uncomfortable. My overall cholesterol was in bad shape and, in particular, my triglycerides. My A1C was pretty high as well. I felt lower back pain constantly and was tired all of the time. I was unhappy with my health and knew that I needed to make some changes.
I had tried a few other weight loss programs, I would lose some weight and then rebound gaining more than I started with. For Christmas my wife wanted us to try this program with Dr Muse. Reluctantly I agreed to go to the first meeting. On the initial visit as Dr Muse was explaining his weight loss plan and I realized that my calories would be restricted to 1000 a day. I had my doubts that I would be able to stick with it. I also knew that my health was very poor and that put my job and crew at risk. I needed something drastic to give me a kick start and this program was definitely drastic. I decided to go ahead and give it a go, why not what could I lose except some money .
The first month as weight started coming off I began to believe that I could really do this. Although, I came across a few problems along the way. I had to stop eating with my crew at work, which was difficult. Dinner time is always awesome at the station. It was a social time that I always looked forward to. I had to bring in my own food. I felt separated from everyone else because of it. It was eye opening for me to see the role that food played socially for me.
I started keeping a food journal. Logging my food was very difficult for me. I found out that I would want to eat some ice cream or some other snack and didnt want to log it. If it’s not logged then I didnt eat it, right? I quickly came to the realization that this way of thinking was shame based and that I needed to think differently about my food.
Cravings would come and I decided that it was OK to have a snack occasionally but if I completely cut myself off of these things I knew I would resent this new way of eating and end up just quitting. I am not saying that it was ok to just go eat what I was craving, I just knew that for me, maybe once a week, I could have something. Nutella ended up being my biggest temptation, but I figured out that if I put a little on a banana, that would usually do the trick.
The easiest way for me to count my calories was to buy frozen dinners. They are really convenient and I don’t have to worry about portion sizes. One night I was sitting down at the table with the guys and I pulled out my frozen dinner and compared my serving to what everyone else was eating. That is when the light really turned on for me. I was truly shocked at how many calories I was putting into my body and knew this was a moment of change.
Over the next few months Dr Muse talked to me about exercise. I was worried that at 1000 calories a day, working out would be impossible to do. I was wrong. Adding exercise significantly changed my weight loss for the better. I started out on the stair climber with just 10 minutes or so and built up to a point that I felt was acceptable to me. I started jogging again and hiking as well. This year I set a goal to hike across the Grand Canyon, from the South Rim to the North Rim in one day. I successfully accomplished that challenge.
I am so thankful to the doctors and PA’s here at Highland Family Practice for giving me hope and helping me get back into proper shape. My wife has also been very supportive and helped me be successful. My goal now is to stay fit and stay at my goal weight so that I can retire from work and live a healthy life with my wife.
Weight loss can seem so overwhelming and so difficult. My mindset has been, and continues to be, to take it one day at a time. Sometimes it’s even one meal at a time. I can do that.