I've written some of my thoughts in the hope that
it may help others so here they are:
Wednesday, January 2, 2002
It is just over 2 weeks since I had my jaw wired.
I am thrilled to have lost 10lbs (started at 166, and am now 156), but more
importantly the feeling of achievement and well-being I get from not
overeating is wonderful. Although right now it may be an artificial sense of
self control but in a few weeks/months I hope that this will become a
lifestyle that I can continue "unwired".
I hope that by recording my odyssey that it will
be of use to anyone who is considering this procedure and also to educate
others who are shocked that anyone would have such a "drastic" thing done.
First, I want to say how very important it is that
Dr. Ted provide this service. For some people it is the only way to lose
conquer uncontrollable eating habits. Detractors
really need to gain a little more insight into the problem of compulsive
eating before being judgmental. I feel that the considerable and growing
problem of obesity and overweight in this country will not be solved until
food addiction is recognized as a valid condition the same as alcoholism,
smoking and gambling. Any amount of help is available for addicts with those
problems and one wouldn't dream of telling an alcoholic to just stop drinking
without any help, it is almost impossible so why then is it expected that
people with eating problems are told to just overeating? After all, doesn't
obesity cause myriad health problems also?
Enough of my editorial - I'll give you a little
background information on how I reached my decision to have my jaw wired as a
way to lose weight.
I have had a life-long obsession with food. I
wasn't really overweight as a child, I maybe carried an extra 5 - 10 lbs but
couldn't by any stretch of the imagination be called fat. However, having a
brother that constantly tormented me and told me how fat I was, did nothing
for my self image and I began to believe I was indeed as fat as he said I was.
I'm not sure when I started overeating but I
remember going on my first diet when I was 13 and, of course, not only did I
not lose weight, I gained - a pattern that would be repeated literally
hundreds of times over the next 37 years. I weighed my heaviest when I 19 and
20 years old - 200lbs.
Since then I have constantly lost and put it back
on. There have been periods of several years at a time that I have maintained
a reasonable weight but inevitably the weight returns.
Now, at age 50, and after being on cholesterol
medication for 3 years, my concern is as much for my health as it is vanity.
Despite taking daily medication, my cholesterol continues to rise and at my
last visit was told by my Doctor that if I didn't control my eating, my
medication would very likely be doubled. Even that dire news did nothing to
control my eating.
My efforts to control my eating and lose weight
include countless diet programs, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and L.A. Weight
Loss; I have a library of weight loss and behavior modification books; I have
tried numerous over the counter medications and the prescription Xenical; I
have been on every diet known to man; I have had regular consultations with a
Nutritionist - a lovely woman but a very simplistic approach of telling me
what to eat and what not to eat was no use at all. I knew that information 30
years ago. Finally I underwent months of counseling with a Nutrition
Therapist. Another lovely woman but my uncontrollable eating continued
After many years of self analysis, I have come to
the conclusion that my disgusting eating habits are not a result of being
unloved as a child or of being stressed or being unhappy, I don't eat to fill
a void or because I am bored or depressed. I continue to overeat because it
is a habit, a very bad habit and arguable addictive behavior.
So I decided that my last resort to change my life
for good would be to have my jaw wired shut to limit my nutrition to a liquid
diet. After months of mulling over this approach and weighing (no pun
intended) the pros and cons I went to the internet and found Dr. Ted's
website. I decided to go ahead and have the procedure done.
During the first 2 weeks I lost several brackets
and there were days, therefore, that I was not wired but I returned to Dr. Ted
yesterday and he replaced the brackets and rewired my jaw. So after a couple
of false starts I am back on track and I can honestly say I am so glad that I
had this procedure done. I feel very comfortable with no pain or discomfort
and it is working very well for me. The only hurdle is other people's
reactions, so I choose not to speak on the phone unless absolutely necessary
or to socialize for a while, but that is a small price to pay and I'm more
than willing to do it. I have told only my close family, who at first had the
predictable negative reaction and a response something akin to hearing I
wanted a head transplant, now are accepting and understand my actions and once
they learned about the procedure and how safe it is are now very supportive.
Surprisingly, I haven't felt deprived, I drink a
lot of water, never was a fan before, but am getting used to it. I am
drinking meal replacement drinks, soups, juices and using the blender a lot.
All in all, I am so glad I did this and I have a good feeling that this will
help me change my life. I will update my progress periodically.