Weight Loss

by mathhbratt

How did I get here? I am currently in a single-blind study being conducted by a local university on weight loss in couples. Weight loss? Me? But…..? How did I get here???

I was the skinny girl other girls hated just for being skinny (which sounds good but actually sucks quite a lot). I was incredibly active. I ran four miles per day. I worked out an hour per day every other day. On the non workout days, I rode my bike for 20 miles. I chopped wood, played on my church’s softball team, and snowboarded. I could eat anything I wanted and still weighed between 100-104 pounds (depending on the day of the month). I wore size zero and XXS. What happened?

Eleven years ago, at the age of 36, I was hit by fibromyalgia, severe vitamin D deficiency (despite being out in the sun ALL the time), hypothyroidism, and a host of other autoimmune issues the doctors have yet to figure out. Up until this point, I was very much “fake it ’til you make it” about the days I did not feel strong enough to exercise. Head cold? So what. I am running anyway! That was my philosophy. So when the enormous fatigue and incredible pain (after a lifetime of having a very high pain tolerance…I even ran on a foot with a hairline fracture in it not realizing why it hurt) hit me, I was convinced I could fake it ’til I made it. The problem was, this was no longer working for me!

I would make myself go for a run anyway, and then I would come home and had no choice but to hit the couch. It felt like I had been hit by a semi truck. Okay, semi truck is a bit of an exaggeration, because I’m sure I would be dead if that happened, but I did feel an awful lot like I had the flu (minus the snot) EVERY DAY.

I did my part. I was in and out of doctors and trying this and that as they misdiagnosed me for six years until I finally found myself living at the Mayo Clinic for a week. That is finally when some answers came (not all, but some). And now I sit here today without a thyroid, only one parathyroid left, taking piles of vitamin D (5,000 IU daily just to remain at the low end of normal), and still fighting chronic fatigue, constant pain, depression, and anxiety.

Running was everything to me. To lose it was heartbreaking.

Every now and then I try to get it back, but I am quickly reminded running is no longer an option for me.

Recently, I learned about therapeutic yoga, and that is helping me feel a lot closer to how I remember myself, but after years of medications, laziness, and still eating all the crap I ate when I was a runner but no longer being able to run it off, I am 76 pounds heavier.

So now I find myself in this single blind study, hoping they will at least be able to stop the weight gain, afraid to hope I might actually lose some of this physical baggage, wondering how this happened? Then I feel guilty for being sad about what I have lost, because there are people who have lost limbs, vision, hearing, etc. and all I lost was an active lifestyle.

Now here I am counting calories, for Pete’s sake! Of course, not being able to go over a certain number of calories in a day has me thinking about little else than how much I want this or that which would put me over my magic number of 1460 calories. (This is why I am blogging this right now, because I was sitting here thinking about food…)

The parameters of this study so far are to find a calorie goal between 1200-1500 calories (depends on several factors) or 1700-1800 if you are in my husband’s weight range and to start walking. This week our only objectives were to buy a food scale, a digital body weight scale, and keep a food diary. (We already have the scales, and we use myfitnesspal for the diary.) Going forward, we will be adding walking. First it will be just 15 minutes per day. It gradually goes up from there until it’s 50 minutes per day. I know this is going to frustrate me, because I am going to want to run, but I am going to try it. Hopefully, the pain level will be manageable. The last time I walked just 20 minutes at a fast pace to get to work, I was in terrible pain for days!

Okay. So this turned into a giant pity party. Ugh! To end on a positive note, I am excited to be in this study and am hopeful something good will come out of it. If nothing else, I’d like to not expand out of my size 16’s, which I seem about to do at any moment. And, no, I am not obsessed with size. While I greatly miss my size zero’s (but not the way strangers responded to me), I more greatly miss the energy and strength I experienced in my active years. I’d like to be able to open a jar again or to do something fun without getting winded just thinking about it.

If I experience any kind of progress in this area, I will post an update.