Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Dr. Peter Goldfarb - OPTIFAST.ca

September 2007 was my first real attempt at getting my weight under control.   I searched the net and found an OPTIFAST® program facilitated by Dr. Peter Goldfarb in Etobicoke, ON and made an appointment. 

I remember being very nervous in the waiting room, not knowing what to expect. 

The nurse called me to the back office.  Before seeing the Dr., she recorded some preliminary information about me…blood pressure, pulse and that sort of thing.  This was followed by my biggest challenge, to step on the scale.  It was in the room under the window just over my left shoulder waiting for me.  It had to be done but I felt panicky at the thought of revealing my weight to anyone, including myself.

I gathered the following information from the OPTIFAST® website which helped me to decide to choose this particular program.

Dr. Peter Goldfarb of Toronto, Canada is a weight loss coach who offers a safe, 
effective weight loss program from OPTIFAST®.
Obesity is a chronic health condition. The OPTIFAST® weight loss program in Toronto is a medically supervised weight loss program that provides you with the face-to-face support you need to control your weight.
Over a million people have benefited from OPTIFAST® since it was developed in 1974
The OPTIFAST® Weight Loss Program Difference:
  • Medically supervised –lose weight safely!
  • Program is flexible, easy to modify, and adaptable
  • Individually tailored to your situational, medical, personality and weight loss needs
  • Comprehensive –includes medical, behavioral, physical and nutritional aspects
  • Nutritional replacement meets Health & Welfare Canada’s daily dietary requirements
  • Easy startup –no food choices or cooking!
For the first time in more years that I care to acknowledge, I stepped on the scale only to find I was too heavy to get a reading.  It was quite traumatic knowing the maximum measurement was about 440lbs if I remember correctly. The nurse assured me it was ok and asked me to wait for the Dr.  

Minutes later, a tall handsome man entered the room.  He was very well built with a thick moustache, fairly dark hair and a really warm confident smile.

“Hi, I’m Dr. Goldfarb” he said with a comforting tone that made me feel at ease.  He presented his hand to welcome me.

“Wow, you have a great handshake” he commented which put me a bit more ease.    

I was embarrassed and uncomfortable because of the condition I had let myself get to but, he made me feel quite relaxed.

We chatted about the program and he assured me that this could be the last weight loss program I will ever have to follow, provided I follow the program and his recommendations.  It sounded pretty simple. 

After Dr. G, as I affectionately called him, explained how the program worked, I followed him next door to his office.  Behind the desk was a stack of boxes with OPTIFAST™ on them.  He offered me a choice of chocolate or vanilla.  I chose a box of each which was a week’s supply. 

“You can always add instant coffee in the vanilla to change the flavor” he suggested.   He put the two boxes in a brown paper shopping bag with handles and sent me on my way.

For several weeks, I would step on the scale and not get a reading.  It was extremely difficult but I perceived.  I remember clearly the day I stepped on the scale and finally got a reading.  That was a joyous day.  When Dr. G. came in, he was so happy for me and proud of my accomplishment. 

“See, I told you” he said with confidence.  He really believed in me.

I took the shakes religiously.  That was the only thing I was consumed at the time, four shakes a day.  They are a complete meal replacement with all the vitamins needed for each meal.  My favorite preparation was to blend them with ice cubes and water.  They had the consistency and would taste like a fast food chain frozen dessert…delicious!

My success rate was fantastic.  I had committed to going to each appointment every week and continued to lose weight until my husband’s Christmas Social on December 4th, I remember the date like it was yesterday. 

I talked to Dr. G. prior to the event and he gave me some great strategies to handle the Holiday food situation so that it would fit into the program.  My challenge was once I started eating, I didn’t want to stop.  Once I started eating food, I didn’t follow Dr. G’s suggestions and continued to cheat, first with snacking which then led to cheating on a daily basis.  Unfortunately, the only person I cheated was myself.   After continuing with the shakes and food for the next few weeks, I could see that I had for lack of better term “fallen of the wagon” and eventually stopped going to the clinic. 

Last month, I stopped by the clinic and the receptionist said he would be in the following day.  The next morning, I returned to the clinic.  I asked the lady at the desk to speak to Dr. Goldfarb, explaining that I only wanted a minute of his time.   She was cautious which is a good thing.  She asked me for my Health card and went to the back office.

While sitting in the waiting room, a gentleman walked by me from the back office.  He had a brown paper in his hand.  I knew what he was carrying.  A few minutes later, a familiar face was standing in the doorway inviting me to come in.  A few more grey hairs on top and through his moustache but…the same warm inviting smile that I remember so well.

“Wow, you look great!   How are things and how do you feel?”  He asked looking at me with what felt like a sense of pride for what I had accomplished. 

“Some days are challenging but for the most part, I feel fantastic” I responded, remembering how different I felt from the first time I had been at his office.

I shared my weight loss to date was 278.5lbs and he broke into a huge smile.   He in turn shared with me that my number broke his biggest weight loss success of 240lbs.   That really felt good to hear.

For the last few months, I had contemplated stopping by to check in with Dr. Goldfarb.  I’m so glad I did.  It truly made my heart sing and gave me the opportunity to take a very special man in my life.  He’s one of those heart centered people that I feel blessed to know.  

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Sharing the message!

On May 9th, I was asked to speak at the Feel Good Women's Expo in Burlington.  It truly was wonderful to share about my journey and my book "It's My Time".  I wrote about my weight loss journey.

I had always thought about being a motivational speaker but it's one thing to talk about it an another thing to be on stage.  One never knows who they are going to touch. 

After the presentation I spoke to some of the people that were at the event.   I made some wonderful connections.

I am very excited to be speaking at the AFW Connect Launch Party on Tuesday, May 27th.  http://absolutelyfabulouswomen.com/

I look forward to meeting you there! 

Monday, 23 February 2015

Absolutely Fabulous Women - Over 40 Event - March 8th 2015

The following are pictures from the 2014 Gala where I received an Achievement Award for writint my book "It's My Time" which was released August 19th 2014.

This year I will be signing my books at the event as they introduce the recipients for 2015. A huge thank you to Rosanna Penilla-Bharucha and Eddie Suliman! This is going to be a great event. There are no tickets at the door. To purchase your tickets, simply send it to afwomenoverforty@gmail.com and your Secret Question must be accessible by our codeword "afwtickets"

$40 for adults per person (HST included)
$30 for children 13 years old and below (HST included)
Award Recipients - Gratis
Once they received your notice of payment, they will process the transfer and send you a confirmation and receipt.

Receiving my award

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Life can change in an instant!

One of my best friends was planning to spend the day with me today.  He is a Wellness Practitioner and was going to come to our clinic giving free treatments and hang out with me.  I was so looking forward to it.  We’ve planned it for the last 3 weeks.

He called me last night at approximately 8pm to say that he had to reschedule...he was with the police because he had just been in an accident.  They hit some black ice and smashed into a tractor trailer I believe he said.  At that point I was in a bit of shock myself and I’m not 100% sure what he told me.  I asked him to call me when he could so that I knew he was alright. 

I got an email just after midnight saying he had just got home and that he was quite sore. 

As I read the email, it made me think how lucky he was to be alive.  I believe his truck is a 2013, well maintained with snow tires.  It doesn’t matter, black ice is dangerous.   Check in on your loved ones and make sure they are safe and that they know how much you care about them.

Monday, 5 January 2015

No is not good enough!!

This is not intended to be negative or a pity party.  My hope and goal is to help inspire others and bring awareness around gastric bypass before and after the surgery.  This was me just a few years ago.

In March of 2011, I began my weight loss journey.  Almost one year to the day later, I had gastric bypass surgery.  It was the best thing I’ve ever done.  Today, almost 4 years later, I have lost just over 270lbs..  My life has changed drastically.  I have mobility and the doctors say I’ve likely added 35 years to my life.

This is me in Sept 2014
In my personal circumstance, O.H.I. P. covered the cost of the surgery.  The down side is with losing that much weight, I’m left with large amounts of excess skin all over my body.  To have it all removed is not covered by O.H.I.P.   I have spoken to a few Doctors and they are all saying the same...removing the excess skin is not covered.  For those of us who can’t afford the very costly surgery(s), what can be done?  I know I’m not alone here.
I am also asking for any help from anyone who has information on affordable options for gastric bypass and skin removal.  Please feel free to post or message me.  I’m not alone here and I’m sure there are others who are looking for answers as well.