Thank you for reading this. I am 'One Thick Chick'. I'm from the Upper Midwest, and I have been in a battle to be healthy for my entire life.
I feel like people tend to focus solely on their weight (mainly because it is measurable) ignoring all other aspects to health. I'm talking mental, physical, emotional. I'm on a journey to improve them all!
As a youth I was bigger then my peers, in both height (I'm now 6 feet tall) and weight. I don't feel like I was sooo overweight that I didn't do anything. I played sports, dated a little, had friends and tons of fun. I never hated myself because I have just always 'been' this person.
I was fortunate to meet my future husband in 11th grade, so I had a great supporter and someone who thought I was beautiful no matter what! This is a great thing to have, except when the comfort you find in your partner turns into the reason why you don't need to be aware of your diet, or you try to love them with food, in turn hurting their physical health. As I progressed through high school and into collage, my weight progressed also. I joined Weight Watchers (multiple times) and started working out a little. I didn't see results (though I don't think I was a particularly patient in my early 20s). I was about 265 when I walked down the aisle. On my wedding day I felt loved and overweight- a good and a bad.
This soon became my pattern:
Then we had a child.
|In sunny Florida|
Everything changed. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! I had what I would call an underlying anxiety disorder, and it came out full force post-pregnancy. I had postpartum depression, I gain 30-40 pounds AFTER the baby was born in one months time. Something was horribly wrong. I went to doctors, and always got the 'well having a new baby can be stressful, and you must eat to deal with that stress, so that is why you gained weight.' Seriously. This is the single handed worst thing to say when a depressed, anxious, severely overweight person is sitting in your office wanting to die. Yup, it's all your fault and you suck. It might have been less insulting to hear that. It took a 'talk' with my husband (aka a giant yelling fight) for me to realize that I was basically no longer the happy, overweight, self-confident person who he married, but a depressed, very overweight, person with low self-esteem. This is a very challenging thing to realize. I needed to change. So I started researching options, and choose to get on a depression/anxiety medication. I started exercising, and joined Weight Watchers with my mom and a friend. I had support. I failed. I was on WW for a year and lost very little weight (like a few pounds) and I felt horrible, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I quit.
It wasn't until the holiday season of 2009 when I saw a picture of myself, that I realized I am killing myself with an unhealthy lifestyle.
|Where are my knees?|
I didn't have knees. I knew I felt bad, but I was getting used to that feeling, but looking this bad was different. My outside was reflecting my inside.
At this point I wasn't sure what to do. We were planning on expanding our family, so I didn't want to do anything dramatic. I just tried to eat better and exercise a little. Shockingly that gave me the time to get a hold on my depression and anxiety.
We had another baby, the postpartum wasn't as bad (I think because I knew what to expect). After my daughter, change was coming. My husband and I decided to join a gym, use the South Beach diet, and get me a personal trainer in a few months when our daughter was old enough to go to the gym daycare. With all these things in place, I lost a few pounds and felt a little better. But I hit a major plateau. FOR MONTHS! I worked with a trainer for 6 months and didn't lose a pound! How could I work that hard and not have success?
It must be my anti-anxiety medication, right? So I went off my medication (with approval of the Drs). It was not a good idea.
I totally lost it.
I went from not being able to lose weight, to not being able to handle even the thought of getting to the gym. I gained, but only a little bit. I started a new medication and finally saw a doctor that listened to me, she ran every test she could think of, and when nothing came back concerning she said "I guess we don't have a test for what is happening to you". It was a groundbreaking statement for me. She didn't think I was lying about working out, or with a trainer, or following a specific diet. She simply didn't think it was just one thing that was going on, but many.
I decided to go gluten-free at the advisement of the 'good dr'. It was about 3 months in, when I really started to notice that I felt 'good'. It had happened so slow I almost didn't realize it. I was so happy to have some emotional progress. I felt even. It was good. In searching for gluten free recipes, I kept running across Paleo or Primal style diets. I wanted to know more about it. Once I researched Paleo, I truly thought 'these people are crazy'. What do you eat? How do you live without grain/dairy/legumes? I just let all the information sink in. I didn't take action until I saw some before and after pictures of people on Pinterest.
In reading these people’s accounts I kept seeing Paleo/Primal/Grain-Free.
I figured how much success can you see, how many times can you read that people felt so much better/active/happy without eventually giving it a try.
So this is my journey