I’d like to take you on a journey. A journey to a healthier life.
You might be sitting there thinking, “yeah right lady, I wish. But you don’t understand, I’m 50, 100, 200 pounds overweight. I’ve tried everything. There’s just nothing else I can do.” And you roll your eyes and go back to your day. You walk out of the doctor’s office feeling like a failure. You balk at posts like this, ’cause what can they tell you that you don’t already know? That you haven’t already tried?
I got you, I’ve been there too.
Less than a year ago, I was pushing 200 pounds. (And I don’t mean on the weight bench) Considering I’m only 5′ 1″, and a half but who’s counting other than me… that means that I was carrying around nearly 100 extra pounds. That’s a whole other person! And boy was she a burden hauling around everywhere.
I had been in a car accident a couple years before which caused me to be on a mess of medication. And of course, the majority of side effects included weight gain. Every vertebra from my head to roughly the middle of my back was, in one way or another, damaged, making it nearly impossible to do anything without being in pain. On top of that, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), high blood pressure, and prediabetes.
I felt… utterly defeated.
For those that don’t know, part of PCOS is that it causes the body to not digest food normally. A normal body takes nutrients from food and turns them into fuel to provide the body with energy, or simply put, let’s you actually burn calories. In a PCOS body, some foods are not turned into fuel, but rather, they are turned into fat.
I was also, unknowingly, on the wrong medication for high blood pressure. The medicine wiped every speckle of salt out of my body. Our bodies actually need a little bit of the minerals naturally found in salt to properly function. Due to depriving my body of one of its necessities, it reacted by making me crave salty foods like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. An avid pickle hater since birth, I began eating pickles by the jar full, daily. Potato chips, hotdogs, anything with high sodium content, I was devouring like a vulture devours roadkill. And of course, with an increased salt intake by body started holding water weight, and lots of it.
The prediabetes, I just chalked that up to a curse of my genes. My Pop-pop (Pennsylvania slang for Grandpa) and at least one of my aunts was diagnosed with diabetes. It was just the way it was. Genetics at their finest. I could see the starting line of a lifetime diagnosis unavoidably standing in the path of my near future, and there was nothing that I could do about it.
Not only were my genes out to get me, but it hurt to move, I was loaded with weight gain inducing medicine, and my body was piling on fat and depriving me of energy. Utterly defeated…
What was the point? Why even bother?
I didn’t have the energy to exercise. The food I ate was turning into fat. And, it hurt to move let alone exercise. It wasn’t my fault I was fat. What could I do about it? And after all, wasn’t this just a part of aging? We all get old, and weak, and fat… right?
And that is where my biggest mistake hid. Cleverly disguised behind the delusional excuse that it wasn’t my fault and I could do nothing about it. And long and behold, the weight continued to pile on.
The issue wasn’t really everything that was wrong with my body. Sure, my body had some crap going on, but the real problem was my mindset. The belief that I could do nothing about it. So day after day I curled up on the couch with my pint of ice cream and Netflix and… I did nothing about it.
Until something inside of me finally clicked.
Less than six months later I’ve lost 2/3rds of my “extra” weight effortlessly and am still going strong. I’m off of all medications, aside from the occasional Tylenol or Motrin. I’ve had amazing blood pressure readings and have been “un-diagnosed” as a high blood pressure and prediabetes patient for over six months now. I have more energy, which means a cleaner house and a happier family. (They seem to like a Mom that does more than eat ice cream and watch Netflix. Who’d a thunk?) I’m less depressed, less agitated. I’m happier, healthier, more confident, more level headed. And, as an added bonus, my libido is through the roof! Which certainly makes the hubby happy.
The other day my sister stopped by to visit. She hasn’t seen me in over a month so my physical changes were much more apparent to her. She mentioned how skinny I was looking, and naturally, a flush of an ego boost washed over me. But then, she asked, “WHAT are you doing?!”
Apparently, I knew a secret, and she wanted in.
The problem was, to me anyway, I hadn’t really been doing anything. I hadn’t deprived myself of anything. I hadn’t significantly increased my exercise. I hadn’t really done anything. So that’s what I answered, “nothing really,” with a casual shrug of my shoulders. A moment later she glanced at a book that I had been reading in my spare time and excitedly begged to borrow it when I finished.
The book, “Younger Next Year” by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, is a great read. I’m only about a quarter of the way through and the science of how your body works is just amazing. Plus, it’s worded in a way that actual people can understand. If you don’t have a copy, you should definitely look into snagging yourself one. But, enough unpaid book promoting… back to the story.
The funny thing was, it didn’t hit me until hours and hours later what had actually transpired within my sister that day… The reason she wanted so badly to read that book was that she just knew that I had to be hiding a secret to effortless weight loss, and maybe, it was hiding in that book. After all, if it was so easy and there were no secret, then why was she still struggling? Why is anyone still struggling? Why are you struggling?
The truth was, I hadn’t been doing “nothing really.” I had been doing a LOT! I had changed a LOT. But, the secret wasn’t hiding in that book. It was hiding in many books that I’ve read over the last year or so. It was hiding in documentaries I’ve watched. Articles I’ve skimmed. Experiences I traversed. People I’ve talked to, or simply just listened to. It was hiding in me.
And then I realized, that it needed to come out. That I owed it to every person just like me, that was stuck on the couch. Stuck in the dark. Stuck in the ruts. Just, stuck. I owed it to all of you, to let you in on the secret that really wasn’t a secret at all.
You see, I’m nothing special. Well, I am special, but not in a way that makes me uniquely different from you. We’re made up of the same basic alignment of matter and atoms and molecules and cells. I don’t have anything that you don’t have. I haven’t done anything that you can’t do.
I’m not going to grill you about your eating habits or harass you to get off the couch. I’m not going to tell you the same ol’ shit that your doctors and dieticians and exercise coaches have already been telling you for years. Obviously, it hasn’t worked or you wouldn’t be here reading this. All I’m going to do is give it to you straight, connect all the seemingly unconnected dots, and provide you the information that you haven’t even known that you needed.
Over the next few weeks let me share with you “secrets” of successful weight loss including, but not limited to:
- The food guide pyramid is completely wrong, and “they” know it
- The world, especially in America, is designed to MAKE you fat
- The “diet” and “exercise” industry is, technically, a fraud
- The whole calories in verse calories out concept is only half of the story
- The foods that you think are healthy for you actually aren’t
- And a whole ‘lotta other fun topics for your exploring pleasures
So fire up those treadmills and meal plans… (Kidding, kidding!) Just turn down the Netflix a smidgen and tune in next week! You can even bring your ice cream.