Like I said in the previous post when I turned 30 in January I decided there were things I wanted, no needed to accomplish this year. One of the biggest ones was my weight. I’ve struggled with my weight since I was 11 years old. I was a fat teenager because I had a sedentary lifestyle and ate way too much candy. Candy has always been my weakness. When I was 18 I decided I was tired of being fat and did REALLY unhealthy things to get thin. I managed to lose 60lbs and for the first time felt good about my weight. It was hard to maintain though. Soon I gained 15lbs back and before I got pregnant with Gavin I had gained 25lbs back. Gavin’s pregnancy left me 58lbs heavier and even though I lost all 58lbs of that, postpartum depression and eating my feelings caused me to gain it all back.
Over the past 8 years I’ve tried on and off to lose weight. I’d get in a good groove of exercising and dieting. I’d be successful in losing 20-30lbs. Then there would be some excuse to get off the diet for a day ie Christmas, my birthday, oh hey we’re eating out I don’t want to waste my money on a low calorie meal. Ya know, things like that. Once I’d cheat it would derail my entire diet. Probably once a year I’d try dieting and would end up in the dame place two months later. It was a trend I never thought would stop. I had decided I’d just be fat my whole life and that was that.
While I was pregnant with Ollie I didn’t end up gaining any weight (which is fine when you start your pregnancy 100lbs overweight). So when he was born I lost 35lbs just like that. When I was nursing I kept losing. Eventually I was down about 40lbs and could eat what I wanted. I decided to join weight watchers which was easy to follow as a nursing mom. I lost about 5lbs or so on it. But didn’t stick to it. I stopped nursing in July 2011 and when that happened I didn’t change my eating habits. I managed to gain back all 45-50lbs plus another 10lbs.
By February of 2012 I was the fattest I had ever been in my life. I was eating way too much and sitting around even more. My lower back pain was constant. I had borderline high blood pressure and was on my way to diabetes. I had no clothes that were comfortable and spent all my time in sweats. I had family pictures taken in January and I cried when I saw how big I was. I had to edit out so much fat and I still didn’t look good. At the end of February my sister Kara and I decided we’d start dieting and if we were able to do it and lose the weight we wanted we’d plan a trip somewhere. So it began there. I set my goal to lose 30lbs by June 1st.
I started my diet on March 5, 2012. My start weight is too embarrassing to post, maybe one day I will be able to. I didn’t take an official before picture because I honestly didn’t think I’d lose weight. So instead I use the photos from our family session. Here are a couple:
I decided to try weight watchers again because I wanted something I could stay with and not just a fad diet. Weight watchers would allow me to eat all the things I loved, just in small portions. It would help me to make better choices and learn portion sizes. The first month was so hard. I felt like I was starving to death. My thought was if I can just make it a month it will be a habit. So I just kept keeping on. I lost 11lbs the first month. I stopped eating sugar all together and that helped it along. Even though 11lbs is a lot I still felt so overwhelmed by how much I had left to lose. In the beginning I wasn’t doing a lot of exercise. Just walking when I could.
On April 2 I went in for a physical with a new doctor who literally changed my life. I finally had the guts to talk about my weight loss issues (among 100 other problems I had put off). She addressed every issue and setup a sleep study to see if I have sleep apnea, an ENT to see if maybe my sinus infections were making me have low energy, she took a ton of blood tests too. She wanted to check me for PCOS because I had some symptoms. She checked my cholesterol and A1C levels among others. We talked about weight and she set a goal for me to lose 8lbs before I came back for a follow up in a month. She wanted me to continue eating right and start exercising 4x’s a week for at least 45 minutes. I had 90lbs to lose at that point and she was just going to see me through losing it.
By my follow up on May 1, I had lost 10lbs more. I was feeling so encouraged. My doctor found out that my thyroid was sluggish and so she started me on Thyroid meds. My other blood work came back okay though. I was not borderline diabetic like I assumed and my cholesterol was fine. She thought that was great but said it could easily change if I don’t change my habits and lose weight. She challenged me to lose 15lbs before I came back in two months and up my exercise to 5 days a week.
I started really getting into an exercise routine by June 1st. I started doing incline walking as a way to strengthen for a 15 mile hike my Dad plans every summer for our family. I really wanted to do it and not suffer while I was there. I pushed my exercise and finally by mid June it kind of clicked. I was able to jog a mile. By early July I was able to run 3 miles in a row. I could feel my body getting stronger and faster. I felt so great. I spent most of the summer on this high I have never had before. I could visibly see my weight melting away. I was losing it so quick it was so encouraging.
By my doctors visit on June 27th I had lost 44lbs total and was feeling so great. My doctor was shocked over how well I was doing. It felt great that I had her encouragement. They took more blood tests to check my thyroid levels. They had improved by a full point so that was great news. It seemed the issue all along might have been my sluggish thyroid.
My exercise was derailed by what I thought were constant side aches. They all of a sudden came on and just increased in severity. By July 9th I was sick I could barely move. The side aches were under my ribs on the right side and didn’t go away when I stopped working out. I kept thinking if I just jogged through the pain I’d be okay. I had noticed weird digestive issues over the past few months too. More and more I felt like my food wasn’t digesting. I felt like crap anytime I’d eat anything greasy. I’d get a weird pain above my right eye. I was starting to suspect gallbladder so I made a doctors appointment. On July 19th I went in and had lost 12lbs in just 3 weeks time I had been so sick. The doctor agreed that I had the prefect textbook case of gallbladder failure and sent me for an ultrasound. I went in the next day for the ultrasound and they found nothing unusual! I was discouraged because I was hoping it was my gallbladder because that was fixable. Well blood test they took to check my liver function came back high in a few areas so my doctor sent me in for a Hida scan of my gallbladder. I had that done on the 25th. Basically they inject radioactive stuff to fill up your gallbladder and take pictures while its filling. Then inject something to make it empty really quickly to see how its emptying. I was telling the tech how I hoped this wasn’t a waste of time since I had to pay $350 to have it done. He assured me that he saw something wasn’t right but he had to have the radiologist review it. Turns out my gallbladder wasn’t emptying correctly. It would fill up and sit there with bile, never releasing it to aid in my digestion of fatty foods.
For the next month I stuck with walking. My sister Kara came to town and she and her husband Jake do a lot of long distance walking. So I started doing that with them. We did 42 miles in just 5 days of her being here. It was awesome and fun! I miss her and the times we spent walking. John and I did a 15 mile walk on the provo river trail. It was just awesome! I felt like I was in such great shape even though I couldn’t jog. We did the hike too! It ended up being 22 miles of hiking and besides the last 3 miles the whole of it was a blast. It was fun bonding with my Dad and everyone. I felt bad ass for finishing the hike. The next 3 days after the hike I couldn’t move my legs but it was so worth it .
I had my gallbladder out on Thursday Aug 9th. By that time I was down 62.6lbs! The surgeon assured me it was just a few days of recovery and I believed him. It was painful the fist few days but by Monday I was back to regular life. I made salsa, was walking 2 miles a day. I was up to 5 1/2 miles by Wednesday. Then Friday hit and I was in excruciating pain. By Sunday I was still in pain and John made me go to the ER. They ran a CT scan and another hida scan to see if I had a bile leak. They could see fluid around my bile ducts and the Hida scan showed something along the lines of a healing bile duct. They weren’t really sure what was going on and wanted to keep me overnight. I opted to go home and follow up with my surgeon the next day. They prescribed me hardcore narcotics and I went on my merry way. My surgeon was not in the office til Friday so I just grinned and bared it. Each day I was feeling better but staying on top of the pain with Oxy and feeling nauseated. By the time Friday hit I was still nauseated and sore. The surgeon explained that when I had my gallbladder out there was a lot of gravel (the beginning of stones), 100′s of little pieces, and some of it leaked out into my bile ducts while they were taking the gallbladder out. Apparently the nurses were supposed to instruct me that I may have some pain as those pass. It takes 5-7 days for them to do so and if I feel a spike in pain not to worry unless I become jaundice or have a fever. Grrr! So had the nurses just told me what to expect I would have been fine. He told me I was nauseated from the oxy and to just stop taking it and gave me Zofran for any further nauseated days.
So that was the saga of my gallbladder. I included that in my weight loss since it both helped my weight loss and derailed it. After all that happened with my gallbladder I was in a funk. The narcotics made me hunger, I had insomnia, and I got really depressed. I gained a few pounds back and couldn’t exercise at all without tons of pain. I’ve been fighting all that for a month now. It doesn’t help that I’ve lost enough weight that I am hardly getting any points on weight watchers now. I’m down to just 31 and I won’t lie, its hard. Exercise used to make me feel alive and now its hard to get back into a good routine. I know my body is still healing and I have to give it time. Its just so hard!
I’m now six months into my diet and down 73lbs. I’m slowly getting into a better routine since having my gallbladder out. I am at least eating better and walking more, I have even jogged a few times. I will say its easier for me to cheat now that I’m thinner so I have to watch that. I have to be so careful not to gain weight back. I want to lose another 27lbs if I can manage. I’d be happy with 17lbs though, or even 10 really. I am keeping it small not get overwhelmed. I know the closer i get to my ideal weight the harder it is going to be to lose. I hope I made enough lifestyle changes to keep up with this. Its been an amazing journey. I have pushed myself to the ends of myself and I have a greater respect for what I am capable of. This is literally a dream come true for me. I always said if I could be granted a wish it would be that I was thin and healthy. I still have some pounds to go but even if I stopped here I’d be happy. Thanks to all my family and friends for keeping me motivated. To my awesome doctor who always encourages me and is willing to help. And especially to my kids who made me want to do this. I want to be around as long as I can and being 100lbs overweight wasn’t making it a possibility.
Now for some totals:
Total weight loss: -73lbs
Waist: -11.5 inches
Hips: -13.5 inches
thighs: -8 inches
bust: -7.5 inches
Pant sizes: I’m down 4 whole sizes
Here are some progress shots:
Another before Picture. I’m not exactly sure when this was taken. I think mid 2011.
I didn’t take progress pictures before June apparently. Down 34lbs in the first photo, 47.4lbs in the second photo, 53lbs in the third photos, and 68lbs in the forth.
Jan 27th and August 16th