The ONLY Fat Blocker is ME – My ALMOST 300 Pound Life Transformation

Yeah, you read that correctly. I’m not gonna lie. My heaviest weight was almost a whopping 300 pounds. I will never forget the morning I weighed in only to see that number on the scale staring back at me. It took all I had in me not to break down and cry right then and there. I couldn’t do that though, as I still needed to get ready for the day, get the girls ready for school, prepare breakfast and lunches, drive to the school, and then drive in crazy traffic to get to work. The whole time I was doing everything, that number haunted my mind. How could I let things get so out of control? When did I stop caring about me?

I just want everyone to know that I DID NOT gain that weight from making poor food choices alone. My PCOS added on quite a bit of weight. Me NOT being active literally weighed in on that, and me sitting all day long at my desk didn’t help matters either. I was eating horribly on road trips when I had to travel for events. I would eat late after work or events because that was the only time I had a chance to eat, and I was too hungry to skip dinner. Mind you, I didn’t always have a “real meal” to eat. I’d grab whatever was in the pantry to put some food in my body. Skipping meals isn’t a healthy option either, regardless of what people think.

So, here I am, a totally different person than I was then. The photo on the left was September 2015 (not even my heaviest weight), and the photo on the right was April 2017. HUGE difference! No pun intended…..

Transformation Tuesday 04-11-17

I sometimes cannot see the “big picture” of my weight loss journey until I see side by side images such as these. Let’s face it, I see my body every day when I look in the mirror. I do see transformation, but I also see the saggy, wrinkly skin from the journey. While I know I have lost 150+ pounds, sometimes what I see in the mirror sure does not make me feel like I have lost anything.

There are several contributors to my weight loss success. First and foremost, God’s grace. I know that He has been with me every step of the journey, giving me the strength, courage, and energy to face everything along the way. Secondly, Low Carb is key! Tracking everything I eat has put things into perspective as to what food choices I make. When you see it all out there in front of you, it is an eye opener. Thirdly, you have to keep moving. I don’t care if it is just walking for 10 minutes every hour. For the first couple of months on my journey, I just watched what I ate. Then, I added in some basic weight and strength training that I would do at home. I didn’t go to a gym to get my workouts done. I did create a workout group with some friends to have the accountability of keeping me on track with my workouts. Those women are awesome friends to have. It’s like we were working out together, but we weren’t. LOL I will write about my running and training journey in another blog. They deserve their own entry!

If there is any doubt in your mind about wanting to take control of your weight/health, but are scared to take that first step or think you won’t succeed at it, use me to prove that you have it in you to accomplish your goals.  You cannot just sit there waiting for something to happen. You have to take control of the situation and show it who is boss. Own up to what needs to be done. You are the only one holding you back from being all that you can be! I will be cheering you on every step of your journey!

Words Are Like Weapons….

If we don’t accept who we are, flaws and all, how can we expect others to accept us? These are my words to someone else, but this is one of my BIGGEST struggles. I have a very hard time accepting my appearance, my weight, and who I am because of things I’ve been told during my lifetime. I don’t want to be that way, but when I think about things that have been said, I can’t move on to think about myself any differently.

I always wonder what others think of my appearance or if they are making fun of me in any way. What are they thinking? Are they talking to themselves in their head about how I look? Do they think I just sit around eating tons of crap? I know that’s not what we are supposed to feel, but I just can’t help it at times.

I’ve always struggled with my appearance as far back as I can remember. My friends were thinner, prettier, wealthier, etc. I have always felt like I was in someone else’s shadow, not the person in the lime light. I know that we aren’t supposed to compare ourselves to others, but I have done it all my life. One of my friend’s Mom would always mention something about my weight, even though I was skin and bones, and had been questioned about having an eating disorder. That was the first time in my younger years that I remember questioning myself as to whether or not I was overweight. Are young children supposed to be thinking about things like this? Why would adults put down a younger person by saying something about their weight unless there really was some truth to it? That day is vivid in my mind. I remember staring at myself in the mirror for a long time before taking a shower that night. I couldn’t see what she was talking about, but then I started convincing myself that maybe she was right. I mean yeah, my legs did have a little thickness to them, so the title of “thunder thighs” (as she put it) did apply to me. But where was this fat she mentioned? I felt like I was pretty thin, but yet, I questioned my appearance because of a comment that was made. I was always self-conscious about myself when I was around this Mom after that day. I still am, but the good thing is, I don’t see her very often.

There was one time that I felt super confident with myself in my adult life. I was confident with who I was, my appearance, and where I was in life. I wore cute clothes, and I didn’t see any “bad” in it. It wasn’t until one day that I read something that someone wrote about me. It stopped me dead in my tracks, and those words still haunt me to this day. That person was talking about me being fat, along with some not so nice things about my appearance. I was shocked. This was someone that I confided in for so many years, someone who I would do anything for. Is this really what they thought of me? What made them say this? Why do they act differently to my face when I ask for their opinion? I remember being hurt for quite some time. Heck, just thinking about it brings back so many mixed feelings. They don’t know that I ever read that. Would they try to explain themselves for what they said? Would it even matter? Words are words, written or said, and they cannot be taken back. I never even told them that I knew what they thought of me. I was just way too hurt to even bring it up. To this day, unless they are reading this and remember writing that, they have no idea that I know what they really thought about me back then. What does this person think about me now? Do they still call me fat behind my back? Do I care about their opinion….yes, I really do, but now I know better than I did back then to think that they fully accept me for who I am and that they are truthful with their words.

I really do hope that my girls will never have to go thru any of this. I do not want someone’s rude, untrue words to play mind games with them all their lives. I know that people say things sometimes just to be hurtful, and I know they will go thru heartaches, but I hope it isn’t anything that anyone has said about their body and/or their appearance.

NOBODY needs to deal with ANY of this! It breaks my heart to read things on social media where people are body shaming others. What’s the purpose in doing that? Do you feel that insecure about yourself that you have to put someone else down? Why not say something to try to help them up? Do you know the path they have been down? Do you know if they have any illnesses that keep them from appearing healthy on the outside?

I’m slowly starting to feel comfortable in my own skin. I’m a work in progress, and I hope that writing out these instances will help me be able to heal and move on. I’ve carried these things with me for so long, and it is now time to “let them go”. Will that be easy to do, no, the scars are there, and they always will be. Do I hold a grudge for what was said? No, I’ve “forgiven” them a long time ago. It’s taken me a long time to be able to discuss these things “out loud”. I believe it is part of the healing process.

So, if you take anything with you from this blog post, I hope it is this:

NEVER USE UNTRUE WORDS TO BEAT SOMEONE DOWN. THEY WILL HAUNT THAT PERSON FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES WHILE YOU MOVE ON! THEY MAY PUT ON A FAKE SMILE IN FRONT OF YOU AND ACT AS IF THEY ARE OKAY, BUT DEEP DOWN INSIDE, IT’S EATING THEM ALIVE!!

That Girl/Woman You Just Called Fat…..Living With Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

In today’s society, everyone believes that a girl/woman is overweight because she eats a lot and does not exercise! This is not necessarily true! Many people walk around with health conditions that cause them to gain weight and/or do not allow them to lose weight no matter how hard they work out or how healthy they eat.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (“PCOS”) is one of those health conditions. PCOS is a hormonal disorder where women have cysts on the outer edge of their ovaries. Typical textbook PCOS ovaries, which I have, are said to have what is call the “pearl necklace” look. Close your eyes for a minute and picture a pearl necklace. Now picture that on an ovary. Not so pretty of a picture for someone who is going through infertility problems or for someone who cannot lose weight no matter how hard they try. Obesity can occur in women with PCOS, making them look extremely overweight. While not all women with PCOS are overweight, a majority of them are.

There are quite a few medical conditions that accompany PCOS, especially if obesity is a factor. Some of the conditions are:

Excessive dark facial and/or body hair
Type 2 Diabetes
Elevated levels of c-reactive protein (a cardiovascular disease marker)
Sleep Apnea
Abnormal uterine bleeding
Cancer of the uterine lining or endometrial cancer due to exposure of high estrogen levels
High blood pressure
Severe liver inflammation caused by fat accumulation in the liver (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis)
Abnormal cholesterol and lipid levels, such as elevated triglycerides and/or low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol)
Risk of gestational diabetes or induced high blood pressure during pregnancy
Infertility
High risk of cardiovascular disease (Metabolic syndrome)

I don’t know about you, but I do not remember discussing PCOS in health class. I remember them telling us that we would gain weight if we ate too much and were not active. Not once did they tell us that there are illnesses that cause people to be overweight/obese. I sure do hope that they are now teaching kids that if someone is overweight, they may have a medical condition.

Sure, PCOS does make some of us overweight, and sure we can exercise and diet to lose weight; however, it is going to take us just a little bit longer to see results as it would someone who does not have PCOS. It is very discouraging to workout during the week, eat around 1200 calories daily, and still see no movement on the scale. It makes us want to give up and not have to worry about counting calories, measuring out food, making protein shakes or making fruit juices. It makes us want to say, “screw you” to society and not care about the looks we get from people or comments that are said under their breath.

If you are living with PCOS and are living all of this with me…..major hugs to you my Cyster! We can get thru this. It is not an elective syndrome that we want to have. Don’t be afraid to share with your friends and family that you are living with PCOS. They may want to educate themselves a little to know what it is like to walk this path of your journey.

For those of you who know someone with PCOS, please be courteous to them and don’t cram a whole bunch of diet stuff down their throats. Trust me, we have plenty of other people, Doctors included, flashing diet type stuff in front of our faces all the time! Instead, be a friend/family member who is there for this person. Be their support system by offering to work out for them or teaching them how to eat clean. While we do have other Cysters we are in groups with and create bonds with, it helps to have the support and understanding of our loved ones!

So remember, when you see a girl/woman who is overweight, don’t be quick to judge her. She may be fighting the biggest struggle of her life living with PCOS. Instead, give her a smile and let her know that she’s not as invisible or alone as she feels that she is. One smile sometimes makes our whole day!!