Anyone who knows me knows that through the years I have been in a constant battle with my weight.
I was a SKINNY kid growing up. I was active, I played outside, ran through the neighborhood, and was generally healthy and within the BMI range for kids my age. As I got older though, I slowly started gaining weight. By the time I left middle school and was entering the 9th grade, I had packed on quite a bit of weight. I was already trying all kinds of fad diets. I was going to the gym with my father, and genuinely trying to live a normal life. The weight though kept moving up no matter what I did.
By the time I was a senior in high school I was to the point of starving myself. I rode my bike everywhere, I barely ate anything, and I was pretty much just drinking water. I wanted to lose all the weight I could so that I could go into the Army. I ended up losing the weight and went into the military. Basic training got me to the skinniest I had been in my young adult life. But even then, I had to watch what I put on my plate. I kept portions minuscule basically eating just enough to not die during runs and PT.
Once I left basic training and started living a normal military life at Fort Riley, Kansas…the weight started coming back. Suddenly I was not meeting the weight requirements during weigh-ins and had to be “taped” to make sure my measurements were within acceptable range. They barely were.
Eventually I got out of the military and went into civilian life. By then I was drinking a lot, and with boozing came eating. My weight was spiraling upward and out of control. I was always going on a diet and failing. At some point I decided that it is just easier to be fat than it is to work so hard at something only to fail and backslide to the point where I weighed more than when I started.
The years passed and I continued trying everything with middling to zero success. Fad diets, intermittent fasting, pills, potions; you name it, I tried it. Nothing seemed to work beyond the first few pounds and the wind would leave my sail and I would get depressed and eat.
I suffer from clinical depression, and unfortunately when I am in that valley, food is my comfort. I let food rule my life and give me false comfort. I would sit on the couch eating snacks, crackers, candies, cookies, and breads; and I would order delivery every night. It got to the point that I would order enough food for three people and eat it all myself. Chinese food night consisted of several eggrolls, several crab rangoon, several pot stickers, egg drop soup, General Tso chicken, and a full order of combination lo mein made spicy. Of course I had to follow that feast up with sugar biscuits!
This was how I was living. Everything was in excess. The truth is, junk snack weren’t my main problem. They contributed, but meals were the biggest issue. I had no idea when to stop eating, I didn’t listen to my body telling me to stop. I don’t even know if it did by that point.
Last year (2019) I suffered a pulmonary embolism that could have killed me. It was from living a sedentary life and being so overweight. During my hospitalization the constant order from my doctors were “Lose weight”. Yeah, yeah…I know. And I tried. And I failed. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Eventually I was up to 468 pounds. I was wearing a 4X shirt and I had just started buying 5X for more comfort. I would wear sweat pants all the time. I have season passes to Six Flags I have only used once because I was asked to leave the rides for being too big. I would have to buy first class seats on a plane when travelling just to fit, or pay for a second seat.
The big awakening moment came when in October of 2019 I went to my best friend’s wedding in Las Vegas. I couldn’t even wear a suit because I couldn’t fit into one. Then someone posted some pictures of me from the wedding and I was mortified. I always told myself that I was fat, but at 6’4″ I carried it well. That illusion blew up when I saw myself in those pictures. I could deny it no longer. Things had to change.
Come February 2020, after the holidays came and went, I decided it was time. But I was unsure of how to do it. Then, as if by some serendipitous happenstance, I saw an ad on Facebook for a new company offering a clinical trail of their weight loss program.
The Found ad caught my eye. It was a simple advertisement. It was just a picture of a nondescript medicine bottle filled with pills. They had little to say other than some facts:
It sounded simple enough and I loved the honesty. They weren’t marketing themselves as a miracle and they weren’t making outlandish claims. It was straight-forward honest marketing and I found that appealing. I had spent so much money on other products and weight-loss companies that I figured what could it hurt to give another company one more shot.
Found is a company that provides a service to help people gain control of their life and finally lose the weight. It is a combination of prescribed medication (real medication, not herbal supplements), individual coaching, a diet and movement plan, and participation in the Found Facebook community. It is about putting yourself on the hook and understanding that nothing is easy, but it can be easier.
Found is a membership program. For a low monthly price (currently as low as $19.75 for month-to-month), you get access to a medical professional who will review your initial questionnaire and determine if you qualify for medication. If you qualify, the doctor will determine which Rx best suits your need.
Two or three days later, your meds show up in the mail and you are ready to begin. Two weeks before your Rx is due to run out, you will receive a follow up consultation questionnaire where you answer to any progress you have made, or if there have been any changes in your life such as new medications or health issues. From there, you will meet with the doctor again who will assess your progress and make any necessary adjustments.
How indeed. This is not a magic pill. If you want to lose the weight you will have to eat better and move more. But you don’t have to count calories or report nutritional numbers to anyone. There is no app (yet) to download and keep track of. The medication serves to turn off the reward center in the hypothalamus that makes us want to snack. It also makes us feel fuller faster. At least that is the function of the combination I am on. Your meds could vary.
Take your medication every day as prescribed. Move a little more, eat a little less and you will start seeing results. I have mixed in movement with a lower carb (not low carb and not Keto) lifestyle and intermittent fasting. Doing this alone before barely worked. In combination with the Found program, it seems to be exactly what my specific biology needs to turn into a weight-loss machine.
Found is for people like me. Those who have tried everything and failed. Those who need to lose a significant amount of weight and are willing to commit to a program that could be long-term. Those who realize that if they don’t make a change, they may not live to see their 50th birthday. It is for those frustrated with pills, potions, and promises that have offered the world but delivered minimal results. It’s not for everyone and not everyone will qualify. It’s refreshing to see a company who values the health and well-being of applicants enough to turn them away if they do not meet the criteria. They could accept money hand-over-fist, but Found is not that kind of company.
Going at something new alone can be daunting. With Found, I never felt like I was alone. From the day I began, I was assigned a coach (Shout out to the amazing Coach Libby!) who immediately discussed my weaknesses and strengths and started building a meal plan centered around my biology. She also put together a movement plan with exercises I can do in the comfort of my own home.
This is the important thing to know. Your coach is a real person! Not a bot as I first thought. The more you interact with your coach the better the program will work for you. If you don’t respond to their texts, or respond with non-committal or dismissive one-word answers, they won’t know you well enough to offer you the very best they have to offer. Take the time to truly get to know your coach. They are your advocate, and they are your biggest fans. They want to celebrate victories and milestones with you! It is so much easier to keep myself on the hook knowing I have a supportive coach who is counting on me to keep myself accountable. The coach is the best benefit of the program in my opinion.
It is not perfect, yet. They are a young startup and they are learning as they grow. There have been and will be growing pains. As of now there is no app where you can review your progress, check membership status, and interact with your doctor. That can all be done through the mobile view of their full website, but an app would be nice.
Sometimes they miss things. I don’t recall being told when I joined that I would have to take follow-up surveys every month to assess my progress. The first month after my trial, I was charged, but did not get my refill. After waiting two weeks, I reached out and was told to take the survey, which I found in my spam folder. After that things went smoothly. I just felt like that process could be better clarified. That said though, they have already taken steps to streamline the process and make it easier to get your monthly survey and refills.
Their customer service is AMAZING. They are fast to respond and make you feel like you are their only customer. It’s all via email, you won’t reach them by phone, but this helps keep costs down so that you can take advantage of the program without going to the poor-house.
To wrap things up…for me, Found has been a life saver. I feel better both physically and mentally. I am down 100 pounds and counting. I haven’t taken any “after” pics, because I am still continuing my journey…but soon, when I get halfway through my goal of losing two-hundred pounds.
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by Insider Envy Staff