I have a lot to be proud of, but I can’t remember the last time I have been this unbelievably proud – so much so that I am moved to tears everytime I think about it.
For about 10 years now, my 19 year old son has battled with his weight. Out of respect for him, I won’t go into too much detail, but over the years he continued to get heavier and heavier and he became more and more sedentary and introverted. My husband and I were worried sick about him and his health and tried many tactics to help him – all to no avail. When he turned 18 my husband had another heart to heart talk with him and let him know we would do whatever we need to do to help him, but he would need to let us know when he was ready, really ready, to make a change.
And then we waited.
About a month after their talk, he came out of his room and told us he was ready. My husband and I went to work immediately looking for a program that we thought would be most beneficial to him. We settled on a program run through Washington University in St. Louis. The hospital is about an hours drive from us, but after speaking with them many times over the phone, and meeting with them in person, we felt this was the place he should be. We worried a little about him fitting in with the group, since the group consists mainly of middle aged overweight women, but they were flexible with us and set up a month’s worth of individual meetings with him. When he began meeting with the group, he was surprisingly just fine with it. I’m thinking it’s because he didn’t feel intimidated by them.
After his first meeting with the psychologist and the nutritionist, he and I went grocery shopping. I let him know I would buy everything he wanted, and he agreed not to buy anything on his own. On our shopping trip, we studied the nutrition facts on tons of food items, and we came home with a cart load of food that he liked and could eat without feeling guilty. He lost 10 pounds the first week. Each additional week he would make the long trip out to the university to weigh in and meet with the group. He steadily lost 2-3 pounds a week.
Occasionally he would get down on himself, and complain that it was too hard and he didn’t want to think about it anymore, and occasionally he would “mess up” as he called it, and I would worry that he would just give up and go back to his old habits. But he hung in there, and would get right back on track, and would be surprised to see that he had lost a pound or two despite the mess up.
He graduates from the program this week, and he has lost 65 pounds so far! He’s excited to graduate, but knows he needs to stick to some sort of program so that he stays accountable for what he eats and how much he exercises. We’ve decided the Weight Watchers program that meets only 10 minutes from us, will do the trick. He still wants to lose another 30 pounds or so, but right now, I am so extremely proud of his accomplishments, that I am literally bursting! 🙂 He’s a completely different person these days. I mean, he still sits in front of the computer – alot – but he also visits with us more often, and goes out for walks, and sleeps better at night, and is doing well with his college classes…. and even seems to be proud of himself. And that thought alone is enough to bring tears to my eyes.
This has been a life changing journey for him, and my husband and I express everyday how proud we are of him. It’s hard enough for an adult to be disciplined enough to lose that much weight, but for a 19 year old college kid? Once again, the pride I feel is overwhelming.
We would like to celebrate and acknowledge his accomplishments, but we’re having a hard time deciding how. He’s not a social person and he doesn’t have much interests outside of his video editing and music recordings, so I think we’ll be a little more subtle. I plan to have a basket filled with his favorite treats – Diet Mountain Dew, sugarfree watermelon gum, Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches, a Subway gift card, and gas money. 🙂 It’s enough to let him know that we’re proud of him, but not so much that he feels uncomfortable with all the attention.
Congratulations Kiddo! Job well done.