A year ago (well, a year ago 2 days ago) I made the decision to flip my life upside down.
After spending the better portion of the previous 3 years doing nothing but planning for, buying, prepping, photographing, and eating (and eating, and eating, and eating) the most delicious food I could imagine, I decided to give it all up.
I walked in to the Alexian Brothers Weight Loss Solutions clinic with zero expectations. What I knew was this (and I’m sharing things I’ve never shared before because, what the heck):
- I weighed in at 285.1 pounds, wearing a snug size 22 pants (which should’ve been a 24) and a 22/24 top.
- I couldn’t walk up stairs without getting winded.
- I had zero space between my real chin, my second chin, and my neck.
- I wore a size 46 H bra
- I was always tired. Always. I woke up tired, worked tired, got home tired, and never slept well.
- Size 2X men’s t-shirts were snug
- I wore a size 10 wide shoe, and could not stand wearing any sort of heel for longer than an hour or so.
- I was sick a lot. If a cold or the flu was going around work, I got it and got it bad.
- I had consistent skin rashes (in fairly bad places) almost constantly. They hurt all the time.
- My face was always broken out in horrific painful pimples
- I wore my fitbit band (because just wearing it would help) on the biggest notch, and it irritated my wrist.
- I had issues keeping myself as clean as I would’ve liked, as cleaning my whole self in the shower was difficult.
- I had to have my wedding ring set resized twice, which pained me, as it was the last handmade thing I have from my dad. I wore a size 8.5 ring.
- My stomach almost always hurt, usually from sheer overeating.
- Every joint in my body hurt, almost all the time. Even my fingers and toes hurt, and my neck, ankles gave out fairly often, causing embarrassing falls.
- I had a hard time finding glasses that fit my face, causing ridiculous grooves on the side of my face when I took my glasses off. And forget contacts! They caused a weird allergic reaction.
This was me, always with a smile on my face, but always feeling not quite right.
I was actually wearing those same pants when I walked into that clinic. They were digging into my stomach as I sat in the waiting room, and I noticed that I had splatters of Frappucino from that morning on the knee. Probably from when I used the straw to scrape the last of the whipped cream out of the bottom of the cup.
After talking with the nurse, dietician, doctor, and my mom, I made a decision to jump in head-first. Meal replacements for a minimum of 12 weeks through OptiFast.
I made it 14 weeks. I slowly added food. I traveled. I learned to not loathe exercise. I lost weight successfully for the first time in years.
- I weighed in this week at 198.6 pounds, two up from my low of 196, wearing a comfy size 14 pants and dress, and a 14/L top.
- I can run up my stairs without a second thought.
- I have one chin, and a definite neck. I had to buy new chains for most of my necklaces that were 2”-3” shorter.
- I wear a size 36 J bra, which actually needs to be re-fitted soon
- Ok, I’m still tired a lot, but a big part of that is my job. However, I can sleep now, and have energy more often than not.
- I wear a Medium or Large men’s t-shirt
- My walking shoes are a 9 regular, and my dressier shoes are a 9 1/2 regular. I lost weight in my feet.
- Except for losing my gallbladder, I’ve only been sick a handful of times.
- The only skin rash I’ve gotten is from a mean mosquito.
- I can count on my fingers the number of bad pimples I’ve had.
- I wear my fitbit band on the second to smallest notch.
- I take much more pride in my appearance and am no longer “the smelly kid.”
- I have to have my wedding ring set sized back down, and wear a size 6.5 ring.
- I only get a stomachache on the rare occasion that I eat off-plan.
- My joints don’t hurt like they used to. My knees hurt after a long walk (more than 5 miles). No more finger or toe pain, shoulders are good, neck is fine.
- I can wear almost any pair of glasses I try on now, without the embarrassing side of face lines. I can wear contacts too, but I’m out at the moment!
I’ve lost and maintained an 86 pound loss, and I still have a bit to go. I’m in a plateau at the moment, and my doctor assures me it’s “normal” and he would be satisfied if I could just maintain here.
This is my new normal, minus the fancy hair and makeup!
This was, by far, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s up there with choosing to marry my husband and choosing to work where I work. I’ve never felt better!
Thank you to all of you, my friends, family, readers, and support system for being there every step of the way! I’ll continue to update here, as I learn more about losing, as my old weight watchers leader used to say, “the hard lard.”
One last progress photo, for fun… my school pictures from last year and this year!