There came a point in my life, when I realized I was not as healthy as I should be. What was sad, is I couldn’t believe I had let myself go and I ignored it and refused to notice it until one particular day.
A little bit of history.
I had kids. I worked the night shift at the hospital because I didn’t want to put my kids in daycare. Which meant I ate all night and tried to sleep all day, but with kids at home, sleep was not an option until they reached school age. I gained weight. A LOT of weight. I was pushing almost 300 pounds. Fast food, sugary drinks, lots of bread and lots of desserts.
We moved to Washington and I secured a position at the local hospital. At the beginning of the move I promised myself I would take better care of myself and lose the weight. The kids were older, the weather cooler, so there was no excuse. Once I had made the decision, I was going to do it. I worked on the second floor so I started taking the stairs, rather than the elevator. I couldn’t even make it to the second floor without having to stop and catch my breath. Ridiculous.
I started going on hikes with the kids, and jogging in the park. I tried to jog. At first, I couldn’t even make it to 30 seconds without having to stop. I thought my heart was going to explode. But I stuck with it, everyday was a tiny bit easier. I’ve tried to lose weight in the past, but I always gave up. Even my own husband didn’t believe that I would stick to it.
I quit drinking sugary drinks and I limited my bread intake. I ate a larger breakfast, and I had a snack under 100 calories every couple hours. My dinner was my lightest meal.
The weight started slowly coming off. First 30 pounds, then 40, then 50. Eight months later, I had lost 80 pounds. I kept going. I lost another 20 pounds. Below is a picture of me 50 pounds lighter, with my Uncle Phil on the fourth of July. (May he rest in peace)
But I didn’t feel well. My chest was tight after I would eat, and I was sick at my stomach all of the time. My throat would sometimes feel funny, like I was going to catch a cold. Not scratchy, but puffy feeling. I finally went to the doctor.
During my check up she stated my labs were amazing compared to the prior year. I had dropped my cholesterol and glucose levels. She stated I had remarkably changed my labs to “text book perfect” on my own, just through my healthy habits. Then she sent me to an allergist.
After several blood tests and skin testing, I found out I was allergic to many, many things. I was allergic to many, many foods. She told me I would have to change my diet. But I had, and it was not enough. I cried. What would I eat?
I cried all the way home. My husband didn’t say a word. I went home and scoured over all the labels of everything I had in the cabinets. Everything had to be thrown out. I couldn’t eat any of it. I cried some more. Then I was mad. MAD.
After adjusting my diet, yet AGAIN, I lost another 50 pounds. People started to worry. They thought I was sick. But I have to admit, I felt fantastic! No chest tightness, no puffy throat, no nausea. I was allergic to most of the foods I had been eating.
My weight finally stabilized and my anxiety eased. I learned to cook with the limited foods I could have. Which literally, was fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and certain meats. No fish, grains (except rice, corn and quinoa), no shellfish, no dairy, no eggs, no packaged, preserved anything. No eating out. I even had to watch my spices and teas. Thankfully I could eat nuts because my diet literally consisted of nuts.
My husband wasn’t happy with the diet change, but he lost over 100 pounds too. Together, we lost over 300 pounds! That was over 5 years ago and yes, we have both kept the weight off. Let’s face it, a person cannot gain weight off of meat, fruit and vegetables.
I get asked all of the time; did you have gastric bypass? No, I lost the weight the REAL way, diet and exercise. Determination.
Lesson learned here: Always listen to your body. You know it better than anyone. I am the healthiest I have ever been.