My 26th year started with me at 320 pounds, (see here for Part Two) totally miserable, chronically single and stuck in a destructive diet/binge mentality. And then the movie “Supersize Me” happened. And it literally changed my life. As I mentioned in Part Two, I was eating McDonald’s almost every day. Once I saw “Supersize Me,” that changed immediately and I quit cold turkey. Within 2 months, I had dropped about 20 pounds and I had not even tried; all from cutting out my almost nightly McDonald’s binges.
At this point I felt ready and willing to date… to put myself out there. I had NO idea how to do it, so I signed up for several online dating websites and put myself out in the field. And I started to date! And it was amazing and interesting and heart wrenching and awful and beautiful all at the same time. Because I had not dated since I was 19, I actually FELT like I managed those “relationships” as though I was 19. I had few boyfriends, but several lovers and many, many, MANY dates. In starting my dating in my mid-twenties, I didn’t fully know how to relate to men OR myself WITH men! I got put into a “friends with benefits” category more often than not because I didn’t know how to stand up for what I wanted. Deep down, I felt like I should take what I could get. It took two pivotal affairs that left me feeling absolutely broken, worn and determined to do better that put me into therapy at 28. That therapist was, to this day, one of the most influential people in my life. She encouraged me to attend a handful of Adult Children of Alcoholics 12 step program which then led me to Codependents Anonymous (CODA).
I was in the CODA program and worked the 12 steps for about two years. I put in the time and I did the work. I began to finally feel worthy. I realized so many things throughout that process. In beginning to heal how I related in all relationships, I was able to come from a place of self-love and self-acceptance for the first time in my entire life, that I can remember. I was still obese and I was still always trying to lose weight, but I worked out, I cooked more whole food recipes, ate less processed food and maintained a weight of around 275 for many years.
By the time I was 31, I had bought a home, found a legitimate boyfriend who genuinely cared for me (we are still together), and started going to a local boot camp program. And here things accelerate a bit. Boot camp led me to lose 10 pounds (at the time I went from 285 to 275. At 275, not able to fudge the scale further, I started working with an amazing naturopath. With her help, I got down to 265. And again the scale froze. My naturopath wrote me a prescription for injectable HCG (human growth hormone) and I did that for 2 rounds and lost 32 pounds, getting me down to my lowest adult weight at the time of 232. I felt AMAZING!!!
And then I went on vacation. My boyfriend and I went to Maui and I ate POUNDS of cheese and drank A LOT of wine. And… when you’ve had 500 calories for 6 weeks and no carbs for 2 weeks following that and already have a deprivation issue… I ate everything in sight. I gained the 32 pounds plus another 30 and was back to 290 within 15 months.
By this time, I couldn’t continue with boot camp as I had developed heel spurs and could barely walk at all, much less work out. I couldn’t shop, hike, go for walks or do anything that involved prolonged standing on my feet due to the intense pain I had from the spurs. I was couch-bound, spending thousands of dollars on treatment and back on the diet rampage. My diets looked different by this time, however, and I was doing juice cleanses and Whole30s and eating Paleo 80% of the time. It was the inactivity and the other 20% of the time that was the problem.
By summer 2013, it occurred to me to consider surgery options. And we’ll go there next! Stay tuned for part four of four of The Story of Us (Me and My Fat).