Will Aguila, M.D., “Dr.A”
As a physician, I couldn’t understand why I allowed myself to become overweight. In my training I learned all about nutrition and health, yet I chose to ignore these benchmarks. I felt tired, fatigued, and short of breath all the time. My blood pressure was up and my blood sugars were on the borderline. I also felt embarrassed and vulnerable.
I tried multiple times to lose weight but I couldn’t keep it off. Intuitively I knew that in order to be successful I had to change the very fabric of my life, and that is what I did.
I looked deep inside and found the courage to face the real issues that were making me use food for comfort. I had always been a perfectionist and afraid to fail. Now with lack of time and working very long hours I was always afraid that I would not meet the expectations that I had placed on myself; not the ones that others placed on me which were far more lenient. I always tried to be all things to all people because I wanted people to like me. I realized, however, that I could not live like that and that I had to learn to accept good or good enough…I had to do my best and be satisfied with that.
Learning not to be perfect was no easy task, but I realized that I had to take it in spurts. First thing was to find a way to make more time for my family and for myself so that I could lessen the burden of never having enough time. We need to slow down; making more money is not worth missing the treasure of watching your kids grow up. Relieving the pressure of time allowed me to accept giving things my best effort and not pushing to be my definition of the best. I took a while but I learned that my best was far more than what was really needed and existed only in my mind. I still have my moments, but I can reason with myself now…and I listen!
Controlling my perfectionism also allowed me to understand that I will never be able to please everyone and that, as long as I do my best, I will help many. It felt like a boulder was taken off my shoulders and I am in a better place now to fight off the stresses that invariably come in life…but not with food.
You see what I now realize is that I had to go through being overweight and sick in order to understand why it happens in the first place, even to a doctor. No one is immune to this even if they think they are.
Later, after I had lost the weight I was looking for an explanation as to why I gained so much weight and, more importantly, why I was able to keep it off this time. I realized that it wasn’t about the eating at all; it was about the reasons why I was overeating. Now don’t get me wrong, I worked at it and I changed my diet as well as exercise, but in the past that wasn’t enough to keep it off. This time I found the root causes and I fixed them. It was then that I discovered the Cycle of Obesity. I called it obesity because it is a medical term and I am a doctor. The word “obesity” offends some people and I am sorry but I was obese too and I acknowledged it. The word “fat” I think is very derogatory, yet people seem ok with it…doesn’t make sense. You can call it a cycle of obesity or a cycle of overeating, either way the effect is the same. But understanding the cycle is what will keep the weight off.
I understood this when one day for whatever reason I was in my office and I started writing down the different culprits that I thought made me obese. I searched deep inside myself, almost painfully to find them, but what emerged was something that made intuitive sense. Better yet, the cycle is easy to follow and anyone can identify with it at first glance if they are struggling with their weight.
It wasn’t until a year later that I was able to really identify the root causes that put us in the cycle in the first place. What helped me with this was taking care of so many patients with the same problem that I had and empathizing with them every step of the way. More time passed until I gathered enough insight to find solutions to all the root causes and put it all together with the cycle to help others with it.
Discovering this cycle also led me to discover my newest cycle, which is the Cycle of Success. What I found is that these two cycles are intimately connected and explain why we get complaisant and ultimately fail when we reach our goals.
I can go on and on with all this, but that is because I am extremely passionate about it; I can feel it down to my bones…I lived it!
This is my story; I hope it helps you.