Once upon a time…so all fairy tales begin…however, this is not a fairy tale. This is my journey to having better health, adding years to my life, increasing my self-worth and maintaining my career. In an effort to share my journey of weight loss with friends and family and people looking for insight to make take their own journey, I am going to blog about it. I welcome your comments and input as you read my journey. Thanks for taking it with me.
Let me take you back a few years and give you the background to bring you up-to-speed so you understand the seriousness of my journey.
I think it was 1970 or there about when I realized that not only was I the tallest girl in my class but also the heaviest. While I maintained friendships and participated in activities, it seemed that I wasn’t quite as coordinated or pretty as other girls in my class. I was the chunky friend who learned very quickly to take my personality and put it to work winning friends and creating relationships.
Fast forward through many,many years of diets – Jenny Craig, Nutri System, Phen-Phen pills, Physician Weight Loss Program, Weight Watchers (multiple times), fad diets, trainers, gym memberships, more fad diets, and much, much more I am sure. At some point, I simply lost count of how many ways I had tried to lose weight.
Approximately, 10 – 15 years ago the medical journals started publishing studies that weight and genetics were possibly tied together along with a person’s culture and environment. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs – DUH! I could simply look at my family and see that genetics played a part in our struggle to keep weight off. I have always said, that if you lined up all the women in our family and not show our faces, you would quickly see that we were related just by our build – there were very few exceptions to the group.
As I think back over the last 30 years of my life, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t trying to lose weight in some fashion. However, at some point, I accepted that my weight was my ‘cross to bear’ and ‘accepted’ that I would always be overweight. I compensated by working hard, being funny (in my strange way) and developing skills like creating amazing relationships with friends, vendors, exhibitors, suppliers, and co-workers.
As I advanced in my career, so did the internal pain of being overweight. Have you ever tried racing from one side of an exhibit floor to another only to have to stop multiple times to get there? Or race up a flight of stairs only to be so winded that you couldn’t breathe? Well, that is where I was about seven years ago when my highest weight hit about 300 or so. It was at that point I wanted to cry every day. I was tested and diagnosed with PCOS (poly cystic ovary syndrome) and was told that my extra weight only added to the side effects – excessive hair growth, menstrual cycles that came and went when they wanted or not at all, but the best was testing positive with testosterone at 4x the level of most women. Now that is just want every girl wants to learn she has an issue with…not this girl.
Solution? Put me on pills to slow hair growth, keep sugar production down (which was turning to fat) [and I wasn’t diabetic], an anti-depressant to help with anxiety caused by all of this information and worrying. Saw an endocrinologist on a regular basis who put me on high blood pressure medications as well. I hate taking pills so this was not an answer for me. So I went back to trying diets again, exercising as best as I could with the weight and trying to be normal. Results? Lost a few pounds but not enough to get off any of the medications.
It was at that point that I started following the bariatric programs that were being developed. I read with vigor every article I could get my hands on, talked with my doctor about it and thought about having surgery from time to time. My doctor encouraged me to considered it but also warned that it was so new that all the risks were not known. As I trusted him, I decided to continue following it and watching as more and more positive results were being reported on people.
So that brings me to 2010 and present day….more info in my next post.