Most people are surprised to find that I’ve lost 50 pounds. It’s not something I speak of often; really, it’s something that’s relatively embarrassing for me. When I started this battle, I was over 200 pounds. It is absolutely mortifying for me to even say that… never in my life did I dream I would get that big. Yet I did.
How does it feel to be fat? Not great. Everything is harder. It’s hard to reach your feet and tie your shoes. It’s hard for your kid to crawl up in your lap when you’re sitting at the table, because there’s no room. You get tired faster, and it’s nearly impossible to keep up with your kids. But beyond the obvious physical limitations, it was also hard emotionally.
On one hand, I felt terribly embarrassed and self conscious about how I looked. And on the other hand, part of me demanded to be loved exactly as I was. When family members would express concern over my weight, my thoughts would generally be, ‘What? Do I embarrass you? Are you ashamed of me because I’m fat?!’ And my verbal response was always about how I was trying.
The reality was, I had given up. I had decided that my lot in life was to be fat… it was too hard to lose weight and keep up with kids simultaneously. I made tons of excuses for myself.
When I realized we’d be moving back home, though, I sprung into action. There was NO WAY I was going to face all of these people who knew me when I was skinny. That idea was terrifying! Still, when I see someone I knew from high school or college, part of me wants to run hide under a rock. (And on that note, if you saw me when I was heavy and wondered why I either hid or acted awkward, there’s your answer to “why.”)
Dieting wasn’t working for me. I had stretched my stomach so much that I was in constant pain from hunger. I can’t even begin to explain to you how terrible the pain was. CONSTANTLY. And I was constantly eating, trying to quell the hunger. I decided it was time for medical intervention.
I set up an appointment with Dr. Gramolini. I was sooo nervous, and again, I was self conscious. I felt like I should be able to do this on my own, and the fact that I needed help was embarrassing. Dr. Gramolini put me on appetite suppressants.
You would NOT believe the difference the appetite suppressants made for me. They helped me differentiate between actual hunger and emotional eating. So, armed with appetite suppressants and a strict eating plan that was only 800 calories a day (under a doctor’s supervision, mind you), I set off on my journey. I was hardcore. I think I lost 10 pounds in that first week alone.
The mental blocks are 10 billion times harder than the actual difficulty of losing weight ever could be. My road blocks:
The 200 pound mark. Before kids, I had told myself that I would never, ever get over 200 pounds. And now that I had exceeded that, I secretly feared that I would never get out of the 200s. I teetered on the 200 mark for about a week before jumping off the edge.
172 lbs. That one was hard for me because it officially put me into the “normal” BMI category. I hung out at 173 for a couple of weeks.
165 lbs. This is a BIG one for me…. it is how much I weighed when I got married, AND it’s how much I weighed when I got pregnant with Claire. It also puts my weight loss at exactly 50 pounds. And because of that, I’ve been stuck at 166 for a couple of months now! (I know, I know… I advertised myself as having lost 50 pounds, and I’m only at 49 pounds. Forgive me for rounding… or call it hopeful thinking.)
What’s my end goal? To be happy and content in my own skin. I’ve listened to too many of my beautiful, skinny friends complain about their weight, and I refuse to be that. I don’t want the rest of my life to center around being skinny. And I don’t want to be self conscious any more. I want to fully accept myself as I am.
However, I DO want to be a good example of healthy eating and lifestyle choices for my kids. Since we have diabetes on both sides of our families, it’s going to be imperative that we break the chain of obesity for their sakes.
The appetite suppressants were exactly what I needed to push me over the edge. I haven’t used them in a while–I haven’t needed them, because my stomach shrank during the crazy dieting phase. I’m also eating closer to 1200 – 1600 calories a day now. (As I have gotten skinnier, it has been harder for me to limit calories… I get light-headed and feel sick if I’m not careful.)
What I would have wanted to know before starting this journey: You CAN do this. But the battle is in your mind more than your body. Also, it’s totally and completely worth the fight. I feel so much better…. both physically and emotionally.
Loved reading your story and journey. Makes me think that I should write about mine. I guess, other than posting a few things on fb to motivate myself, I have really kept my journey private. Well done, Rashel!
It’s a freeing experience to write about it; I think you would find it to be a worthwhile endeavor. Let me know if you ever do–I’d love to read it!
Thanks for sharing your journey! As I read about breaking the cycle in your family of diabetes etc, I thought you might be interested in the book Nourishing Traditions. It is all about a natural, whole foods way of eating and breaking away from the traditional american diet of processed food. It has been a great tool for me as I try to heal from my digestive issues.
Congrats Rashel, I will have to pass on your success story to JB – he will be proud! lol Thanks for sharing!!!! =)
ps – he was just telling someone the other day about when we were living with you guys and we came home to the 2 half-eaten cakes on the table… which he hid in our closet…. we left to go to the bookstore, and I thought you were totally going to kick us out when you found out your cakes were gone… but you called asking, “are we still friends?” hahahaha… Jerome has some nerve, I tell ya!!
Holy cow!!! I had completely forgotten about that–classic Jerome! LOL!!!