I have to admit that the physical part of my natural weight reduction was the easiest part of this journey. I dropped my initial 65 lbs in less than seven months without dieting, working out or starving. The hardest part was wrapping my brain around all what is being put in our foods, which took me down a rabbit hole of how vile corporations really are to earn a buck. The further I dug and researched, the more I learned on the tricks and manipulation they use to get you to buy their product. If you are not ready to learn the ugly truth of what’s in our foods, then please move on because again, this was the hardest part of taking my life back.
FIRST AND FOREMOST: I AM NOT A DOCTOR, NOR DO I CLAIM TO BE. EVERYTHING I’M SHARING WITH YOU COMES FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCES AND PERSONAL RESEARCH.
Now, with that being said, let me share with you how this all came to be.
All of my life, I have been able to eat what I want and keep a very lean figure. I was always busy with my horses up until I was sixteen, when my parents got a divorce and my mother sold them. Dealing with depression of losing my horses, I began to eat and drink. Partying became my main priority, and I wasn’t eating the best in the world.
Fast forward twelve years. While at work, I stepped off of a curb wrong and twisted my knee. I had heard horror stories about workman’s comp and was going to claim that I had done it at home, but my co-worker, who always wanted me out of the picture, ran and told the boss I was hurt. I was immediately sent to the work comp doc for initial write up and it was determined the I probably had torn the meniscus in my knee, as the doctor could not only feel the crunching and popping but could hear it too. The pain was horrible. After MRIs and ultrasounds, the work comp doctor suggested surgery right away. The insurance company wanted another opinion. Seven workman’s comp surgeons later and over a year, my surgery was finally authorized. Unfortunately, the delay caused damage both physically and financially. My good knee failed due to the excessive weight bearing I had done on it, and I tore the meniscus on that side too. I began eating and drinking to ease the anger, pain and frustration. I didn’t care what I shoved in my mouth, as long as it took those emotions away. Food didn’t feel like it betrayed me like humans had, but that was a lie. After ballooning to almost three-hundred pounds, I was miserable, depressed, morbidly obese and spiraling rapidly. My will to live was diminishing quickly.
During this time, the first workman’s comp surgeon finally got permission to do the surgery on my first knee, then four weeks later performed the surgery on my opposite knee. The pain was alleviated almost immediately, and I remember walking without crutches the day after my second surgery. I was so thrilled to be without the pain. I was ready to go back to work and get on with my life.
It was right around Christmas time and work sent me an invitation to the company party. I bought a new velvet dress with a gorgeous teal-green sparkly jacket. I felt so beautiful and was ready to go when I looked in the mirror. I had gone from one-hundred thirty-six pounds to three hundred ninety-two. I was a whale. I hated the way I looked. My father assured me I was beautiful, and I went to the party grudgingly. It was hard to ignore the stares and whispers I got when I walked into the ballroom. I tried to pretend they were just looking at my dress, but I knew they weren’t. I stayed a short time and then left, stating that my knees were sore, and I needed rest for coming back to work that following Monday. I sobbed the entire way home.
It was six-weeks later that they let me go. They had given my position to someone else with the hopes that I would quit, but when I didn’t, said that my performance wasn’t up to par. Maybe it wasn’t, but I sure know they stacked the deck against my succeeding. I was filled with hate and had no idea what to do next. I went home, grabbed a beer and my pack of cigarettes and bemoaned to my father about how unfair life was. Life sucked.
I woke the next morning to see my horses playing in the pasture. MY pasture, at MY house with MY horses. The ones I hadn’t been able to ride for over a year. I wandered down to the barn and they came running up, looking for pets or treats. I knew I needed to lose the weight to get back to riding. I was restricted on running but I could walk and watch what I ate, so that’s what I did. Man, was I miserable. I tried so many diets and I would do great for the first week or two, then binge because I was starving. I realized that dieting was not going to work for me. During my research, I had learned that processed foods contained a lot of chemicals and salt that retains fluid in the body so I immediately cut out processed foods. I made meals instead of heating them up. The weight literally melted off. I was eating healthier, kind-of, and feeling so much better.
I felt like I was going in the right direction but once I got close to my goal weight, I started getting sick. I developed thyroid issues, irregular heartbeats, and surprisingly they still considered me obese. I also hit a plateau and found it harder to lose the weight. Frustration began to rear its ugly head and I began eating out with friends, grabbing food from the freezer isle and decided I was going to enjoy my life as much as I could. I had already been married and divorced and knew I didn’t want to go down that road again. I had nothing to lose…or did I?