I was always a chunky kiddo. I could look at an apple and gain five pounds. I remember being called “thunder thighs” pretty much all through childhood.
I was always insecure about my body and have been all of over the map with weight and eating disorders including anorexia, bulimia and morbid obesity.
I’ve felt very out of control with food most of my life but particularly the last decade—from 1999 to 2009 I was morbidly obese—and I was a hot mess!
Food consumed me. Always planning my next food binge, I didn’t exercise and wasn’t able to participate actively with my children. I sat on the sidelines of life watching and wishing I could join in. I sat on the bench and watched the kids play at the park. I couldn’t run around and chase them. I couldn’t even climb the stairs in our house. I sat on a lawn chair at the pool, fully clothed. I wouldn’t go in the pool, and sure as heck would put up a fight about wearing a bathing suit.
I was already on metformin for my high blood sugar and blood pressure meds were coming soon. I was always short of breath and sweaty without much effort. I’d tried every diet out there for ten years with no success. More accurately, I deprived myself off and on under the guise of a calling it a diet, but I was never able to maintain it and I never changed my lifestyle.
What happened to me—in a nutshell—was that I had to go to the ER twice within a six-month period. My resting heart rate the first trip was 201 bpm and 206 bpm on the second. It scared the ba-jeezus out of me, and I knew at that moment I had to do something and I had to do it fast!
Fast forward to August 4, 2009 when I had a laparoscopic Roux-en-Y bariatric procedure. Since then, I’ve gone from 300 pounds to my current weight of 150, a weight I’ve maintained for a year and a half now. It has not been without its struggles and a ton of work.
But I only had to change one thing…and that one thing was, well, EVERYTHING! I made the required dietary changes. I started exercising. I changed my thinking, too. Even though I’d had a surgical procedure that made my stomach smaller, I was still left with my “fat thinking,” and therefore, the accompanying bad habits that got me in that shape in the first place.
Now, three years later, I work out five days a week and eat small meals throughout the day. I choose protein over carbs as often as possible, although I don’t agree with giving up carbs. Your body needs them; it just doesn’t need the white rice or the two-plates-of-pasta kind of carbs that I used to eat all the time. I go for whole grain carbs, and I start every day with oatmeal.
Today, I can fully participate in my own life as well as the lives of my children. We run. We play. We ride bikes. And guess what . . . we go to the pool where I rock a bikini and feel great about it!
I’m an example of healthy living today. For that, I’m truly grateful. You couldn’t have told me three years ago I would be sharing my story with shapefit.com. I’d all but given up on ever getting out of that fat body. And I’d been eating myself to death for a decade.
I should also add, that I did have some plastic surgery on my tummy and buns to remove excess skin and had my breasts put back in the northern hemisphere where they belong. But, to my surprise, I haven’t had anything done to my arms, they are all me.
My message to anyone struggling with weight is this: No matter how you achieve your weight loss, you’ll not be able to maintain it unless you change your lifestyle to match. And you can do it! Never give up . . . I almost did, and look what happened to me.