My Weight Loss Journey… Thus Far
Excuse me while I get extremely personal,
At this moment, my body and I disagree entirely on what is good for me. I’ve been MIA from blogging for a few months now because I have not felt great, mentally, emotionally, and especially physically. I’ve seen my doctors more in the past three months than I have in my entire life trying to figure out the jumbled mess of a code my body is trying to send me. A code that has been lost for years under layers of fat that is now able to send signals.
277 pounds. That is the weight I vow to never be ever again. My body was out of control, my mind was out of control, everything was out of control and it was all tied into my relationship with food.
Me at 277 in 2010
I’ve never defined myself by my weight. I actually have never imagined myself as that big. My mental picture of myself was distorted into thinking I was healthy and that I wasn’t obese at all. Occasionally, I would look in the mirror, see FAT and walk away and feel not so fat. This was the most dangerous part about my weight and the most difficult to change. The mind is a very powerful thing. We don’t realize that it controls everything we do until we start to make changes. It also opens old doors to old problems you thought you released years ago.
It’s difficult to explain my relationship with food as I can’t entirely remember one particular moment that it stopped being healthy and started being an addiction. I was a healthy kid in general. I remember being smaller for much of my young life, but in 3rd grade it all changed. Now, know that I’m not blaming anyone for my weight gain, as it is my fault, but I never had the tools to defend myself or deal with life’s problems. I was given food, and that was how I coped.
The summer before entering 3rd grade, my mom had the opportunity to try a new job about two hours from our hometown. I remember being scared to death we were going to have to move eventually and leave everyone and everything I knew and loved behind. For a month during the summer, while she was away, my brother and I stayed with my grandmother. My grandmother was from Alabama, and in her Alabama household, there was always bread and butter on the table. Many of the things that I ate at her house were potatoes and bread and carby bad stuff. We didn’t play outside often so the amount of food we were consuming outweighed the amount of exercise we were getting. I didn’t realize I had ballooned so much until many years later when I was comparing school pictures.
After that, the addiction to all food spiraled out of control. My mother controlled the food in the house and struggled to keep good food on the table, but we ate and we ate huge portions. I didn’t have any control in my life, but I had control over the amount of seconds I could have of each meal.
When I was in high school, and when food availability was a little more stable, things changed. I feel like I’m confessing my greatest sin. I’ve never told anyone about what I did then. I’ve never told them of the heartache I felt and managed to hide, both mentally and food wise. I literally would take food from the kitchen, stow away to my room and gorge on as much of it as I could. I would dispose of the evidence when I could and go back for more. This part of the addiction has thus far been the hardest to break, especially late at night, when I’m home alone and there is plentiful food available to me. I don’t hide it now, because I don’t have anyone to hide it from.
The Crux of the Situation
It was nearly two years ago when my weight exploded. After I got out of college, I decided then to lose weight. And I did! I lost 20 pounds. I felt better, more energetic and ready to move forward and become the physical person I always wanted to be. But then problem was, I just controlled the food. I didn’t touch on the reasons why I was controlling the food. I didn’t seek answers to those deep seated reasons for why I had hoarded food when I was younger. Because once life hit me, and it hit hard, I felt out of control and my food choices reflected that. The addiction returned and it returned with a vengeance.
For some time, I managed to maintain, but then I just ate and ate and ate. It was the only thing I could do and as a result my weight exploded. That was nearly two years ago. I was initially insistent that I didn’t want to take medication to lose weight. I wanted to do it on my own because I had done it on my own once before. I was back on track, eating right and exercising everyday. But between 3 months of endocrinologist visits (I had been seeing her for almost a year for an insulin resistance diagnosis), I gained 20 pounds and I felt sick. I felt sicker than I have ever in my entire life. I was bloated and just full of inflammation and pain. It took over my physical, mental, spiritual self and I was not me. I was damaged goods and I beat myself up every time I put something into my mouth.
I finally decided that I needed medical intervention to get my weight under control. My doctor suggested a few medications, but the only one I have been able to tolerate is Victoza. For the first six months on Victoza, I lost 25 pounds. I also noticed that my periods started regulating to the point that they came RIGHT on the day they were due, which was a highly unusual thing. I was feeling better and the doctor was encouraged with my progress.
January 2015 after the initial 25lb weight loss
After the initial 25 pound loss, I plateaued. But it was entirely my fault. I didn’t eat what I was supposed to. I was eating junk, processed foods, and fast foods like they were going out of style. Mentally, I had convinced myself that I was taking the medication how I was supposed to and it would take care of the rest. Boy, have I been wrong. And I realize that the medicine does not solve problems on its own. I have to do right so it can do what it’s supposed to do.
In February of 2015, I noticed that I was having severe depression and PMS that I had NEVER experienced before. The cramps were debilitating and I was confined to bed at least the first day. The only way I can describe how my body was feeling, it was ANGRY. Like Hulk angry. I just didn’t turn green. My mood swings got worse, specifically my depression and I started to keep a journal of those moments. I was to the point that in the depression, I wanted to end my life. Never had I ever had those thoughts before and it scared me. I made an appointment with my gynecologist immediately.
I realized that losing weight has revealed some of the effects that being a heavy weight had on me. My joints ached because they weren’t used to not carrying so much around. But the depression was revealed because my body had a chance to show me what I had been doing to myself. During my appointment, I showed my doctor my journals that I had been keeping during EVERY episode of rage, depression, and emotional turmoil. Initially, before I showed them to her, she wasn’t sure what the diagnosis would be. But after she read them, she looked at me and said she knew exactly what was going on and I was relieved. It was at this time I was diagnosed with PMDD, premenstrual dysphoric disorder and depression. (see http://www.webmd.com/women/pms/premenstrual-dysphoric-disorder for more information)
Once I got my hormones regulated, my mind cleared. I cannot describe what exactly happened, but it was as if the clouds had washed away and I knew what I had to do. My weight was not going to define me. My body was NOT going to keep me from doing the things I wanted to do. I wanted to be healthier and I wanted to be a stronger me. So I started the Fat Smash Diet once again, with great success.
I have lost a total of 63 pounds. My goal is to lose about 36 – 40 more. I also want to get off the Victoza and eat without having to use medication to help my body control the food. I have hit another barrier in the plateau department. I have fallen back into old habits but the habits are just that. Habits. There is no emotional ties to food anymore. I don’t feel “fulfilled” or “happy”. I just feel like I have to eat because if I don’t, I’ll feel bad. Its just the choices that have been recently available to me have been poor.
Current weight of 215 as of August 2015
So it’s back to the meal planning. Back to the fruits and veggies. Back to the exercising everyday.
I’m not discouraged like I used to be. I’m not disheartened. I have made an enormous amount of progress. I have a goal and I’m so close I can literally taste it!
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share something so raw and personal. I felt like if I could help one person with my story, it would be worth baring my soul in such a way. If you have any comments or questions, please leave them in the comments below. Look forward to more content in the future as I’m going to be committing a lot of time to making SquaRed Dishes a better place.