I lost 130 pounds. I am ecstatic & proud of myself! I have lost a whole person. Seeing really is believing when you see a transformation like this!
I wasn’t always overweight.
In fact, growing up I was at a very healthy weight. During my marriage & in my early 30s, I suffered a miscarriage and then no more than a month later I lost the job I had. I turned to food for comfort and packed on the pounds. At the time, I was still dealing with my father’s death. My instinct was to crawl into my shell like a crab (interestingly enough, my astrological sign is Cancer) and protect myself from not feeling the pain of losing someone so precious to me. I had the suicidal thoughts, but it is not in my nature to actually take my life so I did what came easy to do, eat and that I did. At my heaviest I was within 20 pounds of weighing 300 and being 5’2″ that was really hard on my body. I couldn’t sit on the floor anymore (as it was too hard to get up) much less bend my knees without it hurting. Any time I had to take stairs, it bothered my knees. It scared me knowing what could happen to me if I kept putting the weight on because I was already clinically depressed. I hated seeing the reflection in the mirror and seeing what I had become; although, I did what I could in making myself feel better by wearing make-up & coloring my hair. Having Systemic Candidiasis (an overgrowth of yeast in the intestinal tract) since I was a baby didn’t help matters; it just made everything else worse. That’s another story to tell at another time as I wasn’t properly diagnosed with Candida until I was in my late teens.
Jumping forward to my 40s
During the last few years of my marriage, I started losing the weight and lost 45 pounds which was really hard to do because my husband & I ate out a lot. We also enjoyed cooking at home and having friends over for a meal. I exercised when I felt like it, but I never pushed hard with it because of how heavy I was and I didn’t exercise often. I just knew I needed to move my body and that something was better than not doing it at all. I noticed I was having a really difficult time with eating wheat, so I started going gluten free. I was altering my favorite baked sweet recipes to gluten free versions since I loved to bake & had a great time developing versions of cookies, sweet breads, & different desserts I could eat. I realize now how detrimental that was for my body. Since grains turn into sugar in the body, it was causing the yeast in my body to become active again and that with eating sugar caused inflammation in my body. The stress I had in different areas of my life didn’t help; stress was in every area and I was very overwhelmed by it. I stopped eating anything that had the high fructose corn syrup. When I ate sugar, it was natural sugars, low glycemic sugars, or the processed sugar (the white refined sugar, typically bought at grocery stores). I realized sugars were a big culprit in keeping me from losing some of the weight I wanted to lose, but to stop eating it was just too hard. I knew I had to change some more things.
Decision to leave my marriage in 2014
After almost 16 yrs of being with this man through dating & marriage, I decided I wanted to lose enough to be at a healthy weight where I felt good. I knew being with him was holding me back and we were not bringing out the best in each other. I decided to move in with my mother and before the end of that year, the divorce was final. Since then, I have lost 85 pounds. I went entirely gluten free and gave up eating baked sweets. I decided to start walking more; walking became my therapy. Walking whenever I could, and walking even if it meant walking shorter time periods. Walking more mileage even if that meant getting out at different times of the day just to get away from the office desk (or the house), then that’s what I did. At one point, I was walking 4 miles a day for at least 5 days a week depending on my schedule.
The way I eat now
I have found I feel better when I limit carbohydrates in general. Grains have actually become less a part of what I eat as I feel better when I don’t eat them. That is a huge thing for me because corn chips, cheese, & hot sauce (I don’t mean Tabasco, this is similar to a cooked version of pico de gallo) are my downfall especially with living in Texas most of my life; that is what I eat when I’m stressed. I don’t eat processed foods or fish that is farm raised. I make sure I eat green leafy vegetables at least twice a day. I eat healthy fats, grass-fed meats, and non gmo, organic foods. I drink lots of water and avoid alcohol (I haven’t had any alcohol since February 2018). I’m consistently working on eating the way I feel I should and the same goes for exercise. I still struggle with sugar, but I limit it and only eat natural sugars & low glycemic sugars. If I feel the need to limit or not eat or drink something, that’s what I will do. I will forever be a work in progress, always learning what is best for me.
We are our own worst critics
If I could give one piece of advice, it is the self talk. I learned not to be negative and harsh on myself. This just stresses you and your body and it’s important to know how to deal with stress in good ways. When I don’t eat well at one meal or for a couple of days, I just do better. The same with exercise; if I skip a day or several days because of the weather, it’s OK. I just get back on track with doing it. We are all human and going to make mistakes. What matters is how we deal with it and that we learn from it. But I also don’t let what others say influence me in negative ways. I’m in charge of my life, no one else. Anyone can give you advice, but it is still ultimately your decision in what you do. It’s important to be happy & content in life and with the choices you make. Don’t make decisions with others in mind to make them happy, do it because it makes you happy and it reduces the stress in your life.
Example: I decided a long time ago, that it didn’t matter where I go to church. It just mattered that where I did go, feels like home. If it meant going somewhere that did not have a group of people around my age that were single again, so be it as it was not going to bother me and it hasn’t bothered me.
Another example: Whatever a doctor’s recommendation is for you, it is still up to you in doing it or not. We have to learn to be our own doctors to some extent and know what is best for ourselves and our body. Your body signals you with everything and in all your decisions. Learn to listen to your intuition, your instincts, and let them be the guiding force in your life. Do you honestly think a doctor knows better than you just because he has MD after his name? If a doctor isn’t listening to you and not taking into account what you are telling him, then find another doctor. This is the way I see it, I know my body better than a doctor because I’m the one living with my body. I know the pain I feel and the severity & location of that pain. I may not always know why I have pain or know the source of it, but that’s why I need to go to a doctor (and why I go to a functional doctor as they find the source). If it is the first time, I’m seeing a doctor and I feel he or she isn’t listening to me, I say something. If I continue to feel like I’m not being heard, I simply find a different doctor.
Quotes that help keep me accountable
Here are a few quotes and they all came from listening to a docu-series of videos titled “Broken Brain” hosted by Mark Hyman, MD (functional doctor & 11x New York Times bestselling author) which is a series packed with fascinating information that helps us see how we should eat for our brain’s health which in turn helps our body.
“What you do to your body, you do to your brain.”
“Heal your body, heal your brain.”
— These two quotes should make you think about the brain/body connection. Your brain is connected to your whole body. Your body has all these parts that are connected to each other which leads to the brain. It just makes sense that what you do affects the body and the brain, not either one, but the entire body which includes your head.
“The mind influences the body.”
— There is another quote that comes to my thinking with that one, “Mind over matter.” Our brains, the marvel sponge like organ that it is, influences our entire being. Think you can’t do something, then you won’t. Think you can, then you will.
“You influence your genes with every bite of food and every thought you think.”
— Wow, double wow! This one in particular keeps me accountable with what I do in everything.
“We have the ability to heal ourselves.”
— I concur and close with, Yes, we do! We do have the ability to heal ourselves!