My name is Craig Repanshek and I’m overweight. I’m 47 years old 5’8” and weigh 229 pounds. There, I said it. I am just like millions of other people who struggle every day with their body weight. As a result of my body weight I have suffered from back pain, knee pain, hip pain, high blood pressure, bad cholesterol counts…all things that quite frankly make me feel older than I should. I hate to look at pictures of myself or see myself in the mirror. I look like I swallowed one of our exercise balls instead of using it.

Let me tell you what this blog series is not. It is not telling you how to eat. It is not telling you how to exercise. I offer no miracle weight loss plans. I will not be burdening you with scientific facts or statistics.

What I will be doing is sharing with you what I am going through with my journey to lose weight. I will be truthful in all regards of this. I will tell you the good, bad and ugly of this and hopefully you will be able to relate to something here and see that you are not alone.

My journey began last week when some of my friends took me aside and voiced their concerns about my weight. They knew about my health issues and offered to do anything they could to help me. They offered to hook me up with a gym membership, go to weight watchers, even work out with them. After a good long talk, I made a decision.

Now, in my position with Fusion I meet with a lot of health care practitioners daily.  Knew there were places I could go to and people who I could talk to about my weight issues. Before I go on, this is the point in which I must tell you that every choice and decision I write about in any of these blog posts are choices and decisions that I felt were the best ones for me. There is no, pardon the pun, “one size fits all” answer to weight loss.

I decided to go see Shannon Solomon at Revolutionary Wellness with Colonial Internal Medicine Associates. I had known her for a bit professionally and liked the conversations I have had with her in the past, so I figured I would go and talk to her. She is a certified health coach who has also served in the Amy. I figured she could start me off by giving me some much-needed discipline when it comes to food choices and dieting.

We talked a lot about my career, my personal schedule, how much I was eating and how often I was eating. It was no surprise when she told me eating only one meal a day was not healthy. I was surprised, however, when she started to discuss my new meal plan. She tailored it to include foods I told her I liked and that I was instructed to eat 3 times a day and have a snack. I was also told to drink 4 16.9 oz. bottles of water a day. All chips, candy bars, fast food, sodas, milkshakes, and a lot of other products I once found enjoyable to much on were now banned from my consumption. My meal plan still had a lot of food on it that I like eating such as steak, chicken, cheese, greens, eggs…how bad could it be?

My first morning I got up, had 2 eggs, a small apple, and some peanut butter. Oh, and water. Not bad. I can do this. Everything went fine that first day until I finished dinner. I suddenly felt pangs of hunger. Oh well, I ate my allotted food for the day. Maybe some water would help. Temporary fix.

The second morning I repeated my meal plan. The second night, right after dinner, hungry again. Did I make a huge mistake? Suffered through the rest of the night and went to bed.

Day three. Again, following my meal plan. As part of my daily ritual, I must document my food intake in a journal that Shannon provided me. Everything was going fine until dinner. As I looked at the small steak, potato, and greens I had out, I worried. What would happen after? Would I still be hungry. This is no way to live. I was greeted that evening to a nice surprise. For the first day, I ate 3 meals and wasn’t left hungry before or after any of them. I must be on a good path.

I continued this ritualistic eating pattern and was feeling like I could do this. Then Saturday hit. We were set up at the Fredericksburg Women’s Lifestyle Expo at the expo center. When the expo concluded at 4:00 pm I loaded all our stuff back into the car and was ready to go home. I called my wife and she said that she and our daughter had just gotten to Wegmans and asked if I wanted to come shopping for healthier food options. I agreed.

At this point I need to tell you that I have spent the last thirteen years sober. I have no problem being around people who are enjoying an alcoholic drink and can even go into an ABC store to get a gift for someone and be at ease.  It took me a long time to reach that point, but I made it. It was terrible for me in the beginning. The grocery store was a complete flashback.

As we went up and down the aisles, I saw all the foods that I knew were no longer going to be a part of my diet. The cookies, cakes, pizza, those chocolate covered pretzels with the peanut butter inside. Pudding, ice cream, hot pockets, Eggos, hot dogs, hamburgers, pop tarts…the agony I felt at Wegmans was akin to what I went through when I gave up alcohol.

I went home Saturday night feeling awful. I looked at my paltry 5 oz. steak, green beans, tiny potato, apple and peanut butter and felt a despair I hadn’t felt in years. I ate my dinner. I didn’t feel hungry afterwards.

The rest of the days up to today have been more normal. I follow my routine, drink my water, pee A LOT, and don’t feel hungry at the end of the day. So I got that goin’ for me (Bill Murray voice in my head). I have my second meeting with Shannon today at 3:00 pm. I’ll have a weigh in. Hopefully I will have lost some weight.

For those of you who are interested, I will be updating this blog weekly and letting you know how things are going. If you have made it this far, I would encourage you to like and follow our Fusion Rehab and Wellness Facebook page for my weekly updates. I will also be answering any questions you may have on the posts on Facebook as well. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Written by: Craig Repanshek

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