Can I just tell you how nervous I am to write this post? Not only to share my story about how I got here…you know, the “before” part of a weight loss story. But also because, what if there is no after? What if the after is just more of the same, like it has been for years? That would be embarrassing. So, part of the point of this post is to keep me accountable and the other part is that I have found that telling the stories that I’ve told myself for years one last time and then letting them go is incredibly healing.
But first of all, in case you’re thinking….wait a minute…you have a wellness blog but you’re overweight?! Why yes, yes I do. And guess what? Wellness is a journey for all of us and it looks different for each of us. And while it can sometimes be inspiring to see people who look like they’ve got it all together telling us how they made it happen, I think it’s more powerful to see what healing looks like in that messy middle part. And I’ve learned so much that has brought me even to this point in my life that I hope can be helpful in some way to others who are also at the beginning or in the messy middle of their journey. If I could help just one other person now, why would I wait until I can tell my “after” story?
Also, I learned a long time ago that thin does not automatically equal healthy and overweight does not automatically equal unhealthy.
Being healthy also has so many facets – not just our physical health, but mental health, emotional health, healthy boundaries with people in our lives, you name it. And to be quite honest, I’ve worked on all of those other facets before getting to my weight. It just hasn’t bothered me all that much. But now I feel like I’ve worked through many of those other issues in my life and am ready to tackle this one. So here we are.
And where exactly is that, you ask? I need to lose 50 pounds. At least.
The extra weight has slowly snuck up on me over the years. I wasn’t overweight growing up or even through college. And looking back now, I have a total facepalm moment when I see where it started happening, because I dismissed it at the time. But when I was 21 or 22, I was still dealing with constant acne that I thought should have gotten better by then. I had been through every kind of treatment possible before the doctor recommended Accutane.
Now, if you’re familiar with this medication, you’re probably groaning. If it was suggested to me today, I would laugh. No way would I touch that stuff. But I was young and didn’t know any better and the internet and Google weren’t totally a thing in the way they are now. The medication causes birth defects (among other issues) so if you’re going to take it, you also have to be on birth control. The problem was that the last time I was taking the pill, I was dealing with horrible migraines and stopped using it to see if it would help resolve that issue (only kinda).
So, the doctor referred me to a specialist who gave me a prescription she said would work for me. I seriously asked no questions and just started taking it so I could also take the Accutane.
The Accutane protocol turned out to be short lived. I was so miserable after six months or so that I stopped taking it, but the new birth control pill didn’t seem to be bothering me so I kept taking it. For years.
It was over this next decade or so that I started putting weight on. Five pounds here, five pounds there. But I just thought….I guess this is just when women start to gain weight. And it’s only a little bit, so what if I’m a size 8 instead of a size 4? I’m still perfectly healthy.
It was when I went in for an annual exam and my doctor happened to be out and I was assigned to see another doctor who nearly shouted at me while looking at my file: WHY ARE YOU ON THIS BIRTH CONTROL?!
Uhh, well, you see…..
I explained the whole thing and she was emphatic. NO. No, this is not good for you, it’s literally the highest dose of estrogen possible and you should not be on it. Well, crap. That would have been nice to know a decade ago. Face. Palm.
She switched up my prescription immediately but by then, the slow and steady weight gain from the excess estrogen coupled with constant work stress and eating and drinking my feelings had put at least 30 pounds on my very short frame.
Until my clients wanted me to be on site for weeks at a time. I was living alone in one hotel after another, missing my life back home and eating and drinking my feelings away. Again. Another six months later, all of the weight was back on, and then some.
I’ve been lucky (so far) that nothing physical has pushed me to this point. I know so many people who are dealing with very serious autoimmune or other health challenges who have no choice but to stop everything they’ve been doing and heal their bodies. While feeling miserable.
I feel physically well day to day (which is no motivation at all, I suppose) and earlier this year, I saw a doctor for the first time in five years when it felt like I was having some kind of heart palpitations. A full and complete checkup, EKG, blood work, etc showed that I was perfectly fine. Just anxiety (sigh…). But deep down, I know that won’t last forever. At some point the extra weight will catch up to me in some way. And I’d like to prevent that.
So here I am, feeling ready to make a change at the most cliche time of the year to do so. That being said, there’s a reason why we feel this way. When this many people are collectively setting goals and making plans, it’s hard not to be influenced by that energy. We quite literally can’t help it!
I plan to post about how it’s going on a weekly basis so you can see how it’s working, what I’m eating and how I’m feeling. Hopefully that keeps me motivated to keep going and have an “after” story for you sometime this year. I will accept all good vibes, positive comments and cheering on to stay the course. And of course, I’ll be using allllll the essential oils to support me. Like, duh.