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Cyndi: Lost 86 lbs.

on Apr 2, 2012 in Patient Testimonials

Cyndi - Lost 86 lbs.

My name is Cyndi Kalbaugh and in 2007 I lost 86 pounds in Kaiser Permanente’s Positive Choice Weight management Program.

We all have our stories of how we put the weight on, mine started soon after I married.  I was  busy with “life” and pressing forward,  working on my marriage, planning a career, helping my parents, and starting a family.

I was devastated when my Dad passed away after losing his battle with heart disease. He had been obese most of his life.  Still, I pressed on.  I had a marriage to focus on, a career to develop, and I was taking care of my Mom who had been ill for many years.  I focused on everything and everyone else but myself.  I thought, “If I put everyone in front of me I won’t have to deal with myself and my emotions.”

The pounds were creeping on… first 10 … then 20, then my first son and oops there’s another 20.  A couple years later I had another child and added another 20 pounds.   I had to take care of them, no time to worry about myself.   At least that’s what I convinced myself of subconsciously.

I strayed away from taking photos. I kept telling myself “I’m in control, I’ve been under a lot of stress, but if I get this weight off,  I can take care of it from there.”  That was the beginning of several years of yoyo dieting.

I’d manage to lose weight, or at least some of it, but when it came to maintenance and I hadn’t dealt with my personal obstacles, then the weight would creep back on. It was hard for me to admit that I could have some personal issues.  Even when my closest friends would tell me it’s okay to need help, I’d think to myself,  “Not me,  I’m in control.”

Then a family member called me and shared devasting news of a serious health issue. I was turning 40 and all of a sudden I thought… “Oh my gosh I could be type 2 diabetic or have some other serious ailment and not even know it.”

That was the beginning of this new journey. I decided to join Kaiser Permanente’s Positive Choice Wellness Center’s Weight Program.

Within several months I had lost 86 pounds, but more importantly, this time I was ready to listen.  Before I would have sat with other overweight people and thought “I’m not like them, I’m different.”   In the program I realized that  the reasons people gain weight may be different, but we all need to deal with our ‘why’s’ if we want to keep the weight off.  I worked with my counselors and started to talk through my feelings. I began keeping detailed food logs and slowly I began to change my way of thinking.

My counselor, Vince would encourage us to exercise. “JUST DO IT or maintenance will be near impossible.  New information? NO, but I was finally willing to take action on it. Vince asked me if I had ever run before, and I chuckled. Me, are you kidding?  Ignoring my excuses, he directed me to try it. I thought of this as a challenge. So I walked a little, ran a little, and then walked a little more. Plugging along, Vince pushed a little more… “Have you ever thought about running a 5K?   With his support and training I soon registered for my first 5K.

That was an exciting day.  When I finished my son said to me, “Mom you may not have done as well as you would have liked but you are better than all the people that didn’t even get up this morning to try.” He was so proud of me and that felt great! After that I was motivated to keep trying.

Since then I’ve completed several more 5K’s, 10K’s, five half marathon’s including the Triple Crown last year, and my first ever sprint triathlon last year.

I am so excited about my new life that  I want to pay it forward in any way possible, and share my successes and challenges along the way.  That  is why I wanted to share my story here.  My hope is it touches someone’s life and  then I will have made a difference.