Welcome to a new section of our blog. Here I will be documenting my weight loss journey, so every woman [or man] that has struggled with weight loss knows they are not alone and never will be. As you can see by the title it is Monday yet again. I am 29 and am a Doctor of Chiropractic. As a Chiropractor, we encourage a person to live to their optimal ability. Please, let me digress for a moment but hopefully you will understand why shortly.
I have struggled with being overweight most of my life, if I had to say probably since I was 8 years old. Over the years, I have deduced it’s from my love of food and my dislike of exercising, so that equates to a very bad combination and downward spiral. When I was very young, potty training age, my grandmother used to babysit me. Although I do not remember this, I was later told that my grandmother bribed me with candy if I would use the toilet. I mean really, what kid doesn’t love candy (hopefully my future child!). As I got older my mother would pack me healthy snacks and lunches to go to my grandmothers with, but I was never fed the healthy stuff my mom would send with me. Breakfast ended up being: corn flakes with tablespoons of sugar added on, lunch would be a cucumber and mayonnaise sandwich (heavy on the mayo) or a hot dog fried in bacon grease with chips and soda and many snacks like chips, cookies or ice cream bars.
Yes, after reading all of what I just wrote you are probably thinking, “hey fatty, it’s not your grandmother’s fault you are overweight!” and yes of course I’d agree with you, it’s no one’s fault but my own. As I grew older I knew better than to eat such junk, but it continued. My mother would never have anything such as junk food in the house when I was younger, I didn’t even know what Kool-Aid was until I was 15. So, what did I do? I used my chore money to sneak little Debbie cakes or chips or both at lunchtime in school. Whatever I could get my fat grubby fingers on really.
I started developing health problems such as PCOS, IBS and was told that I was ‘borderline’ diabetic. My endocrinologist put me on metformin for the blood sugar issue and my GP put me on birth control to regulate my menstrual cycle. I must give credit to my mom that through it all, she stuck by my side and encouraged and helped me in any way that she could. Honestly though, what teenager wants to have a breakfast composed of cottage cheese and fruit to make a not so smooth smoothie!? EVERY DAY! So, the journey continues.
A well-known pediatric gastroenterologist saw me due to my IBS issues when I was a junior in high school. Before an exam was done or anything was discussed, he introduced himself and asked me when I wanted to schedule my surgery. I looked at him as I could only image in the most confused and dazed look because he said to me, “your gastric bypass surgery.” I immediately looked at my mother and said we are done here and got up and left. He did not realize I didn’t go there to have surgery, but to find answers to my issues. Although I do not prefer to exercise and eat healthy, I knew I could do anything I put my mind to.
Fast forward 5 years. I was engaged to someone who portrayed he loved me and cared for me, but never encouraged me to get healthy. He never had any healthy lifestyle encouragement as a child so how on earth did I expect him to be able to help and encourage me? Well, as most of you know love is blind and along with that I thought I could eat anything he could. Pancakes for breakfast, Doritos and spray cheese in a can with pizza for lunch and and and…He never gained weight and he was a bean pole, so, why should I? That is when I got up to my heaviest. One day I stepped on the scale and it read the absolute highest number on the scale that I had ever seen, way beyond what I ever even thought I weighed. It had been a few years since I weighed myself and even though I knew I was “obese,” I never thought it had reached that level!
That day I knew I had to do something so I sought out a new diet fad program in my hometown that many people I knew were raving about. I couldn’t believe the results that I was seeing! I would lose anywhere from 2-8 pounds per week! Although I lost 70 pounds within a few months, that diet plan got old and expensive fast. I don’t want to forget to mention also that the fad diet was composed of fake and unhealthy “food”, so even though I was losing weight how could it be healthy??? So, I dropped it and began to gain weight again, until one day I was pushing that number of extreme sadness, disappointment, anger…every emotion I could have felt.
A few short months after I gained the weight back, my relationship ended in a whirlwind. The life I had led for the last few years was over and I didn’t know how I would continue. Being a strong willed and determined woman my family raised me to be, I picked myself up by the boot straps and forged on with love and support from my friends and family. The first major life change I did after that relationship ended was apply to Chiropractic school, which I had put on hold to plan for a wedding. Through the long days and nights of studying and exam after exam, I continued to maintain my weight. Upon graduating from Chiropractic school there were many scary life changes that took place, almost losing my dad and moving back home to help take care of him for example, so again since I am a stress eater over the last 3 years I have eaten my way back up to almost my heaviest weight.
Now, for the last 11 months, I have been in a relationship with the most incredible man. He has 3 children from his previous marriage and when we first started dating in July, the kids were 10, 9 and 7 years old. You better believe that they are all active in school and extracurriculars so after working 9 hour days and having a commute time totaling an hour and a half and then going to wrestling matches, dance recitals, school functions, softball games and scout meetings, the last thing I want to do is cook dinner. This is where it needs to begin though. It begins with me, and even though it sometimes seems impossible and I’m exhausted, the lives and health of me and my fiancé and his children depends on me. Jason and I grew up in households with families who express their love to people through cooking for them. On our first valentine’s day, we agree to not get each other anything but we would spend time together. He wanted me to make him chocolate amaretto cheesecake and I requested him to make chicken parmesan and crab legs (mmmmm!). After the 11 months, I have gained about 20 pounds, now I really have love handles!
It was last night that I decided it is time to do something about our weight, Jason is overweight too. To live long happy lives together and for our children and future grandchildren, health starts now, today. It cannot wait any longer, so I have created this blog to document my journey, from when I was an 8-year-old chubby kid until who knows when. Each day I come into my Chiropractic office I preach health to my patients, well if I’m going to preach health to them because I care about them, shouldn’t I follow my own advice? In all reality who really wants to take health advice from an overweight person who can’t even take control of her own health? When I was thinking of appropriate titles, I thought back to every time I told myself and everyone around me, “I have the weekend to eat whatever and do whatever I want, I’ll start Monday.” Well every Monday for the last 29 years has come and gone with no results. So today, for me and my family, I vow to get up earlier to exercise and have me time to prepare a healthy meal plan for my family no matter how much of a struggle it is because they are worth it and I have realized that I’m worth it too.
Yours in Health,