10-09-2008, 07:20 PM
MSer living healthy
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Height: 5ft 8in
purpleorc says goodbye to 120lb forever (long)
My journey so far
Before I begin I will warn you that this is a long story and I will apologise in advance. I know I tend to waffle and use 100 words when 10 would have been much better so bare with me as I take you along my weight lost journey.
I began in March 2007 I cannot remember the exact date but only the month. This time I was so determined to turn my life around weight wise before it was too late. The catalyst for me was watching a programme on television called half ton hospital and oh boy I was going the same way if I did not change my eating habits. I was so afraid that the fire brigade would have to be called in the next few years if I had a health issue. A health issue was always a probability with me having MS (multiple sclerosis). When I stood I the scales they read 300lbs I wish I could blame my weight on some exotic ailment that makes you gain vast amounts of weight. Though that wasn’t the case the plain ands simple truth was I had eaten too many calories and many of the wrong foods for years and years. I had buried my head for so long in the sand I was an expert at denial and I had the gold medal. When I eventually stuck my head above the parapet into the real world I learnt a few home truths about myself no I wasn’t this 150lb godess I was grossly over weight and needed to do something about it and soon.
So I read seriously any information I could glean from the internet about going on a healthy eating programme that I could live with for the rest of my life. For me that was key it had to be something that I could live with for the rest of my life not just the time whilst I lost the weight else it would all come back and a heap more pounds too. So I devised a programme that was more vegetable based and had more white meats. I upped my fruit intake and low fat or fat free products low in calories. I slowly changed to wholemeal bread, brown rice and wholemeal pasta. I also will put lentils and beans into casseroles to make them more filling. I found that small changes with products that were high in fibre made me feel fuller for longer. Along the way I changed to a high fibre cereal for breakfast again to make me feel fuller for longer.
On previous attempts I only did this half heartedly, yes I lost weight but not as much as I should as I would cheat constantly. If no one saw me eating that chocolate bar then it didn’t count or so I figured. This time I figured that cheating was only cheating me and no one else. Though in the healthy eating programme there is a little leeway for some small treats along the way. That way I have kept on the straight and narrow so to speak.
12 months down the line I had lost 100lbs, me a 100lbs lighter I couldn’t believe it and all in one year. Not that at times I have found it harder at times especially at TOM. Fortunately not every TOM but one in about every 3 or 4 is a humdinger which I am grateful for. When it is TOM and it is a difficult one I could eat anything sweet so I have been so thankful for the skinny cow ice cream which has been my saviour a couple of times.
I know that I could have lost more but I have had meals out with friends along the way and had whatever I wanted rather than the healthiest option. Also exercising can be difficult with having MS, there are some days I just do not have the energy apart from doing the bare essentials. Other days I can exercise but not as much as I would like but I no longer beat myself up about that as it is not very productive. My main form of exercise is walking. Not that I can walk miles and miles but any exercise is better than none I figure. I have always loved walking so I continue to do as much as my body will allow. Although it is a balancing acts not getting too hot otherwise I have zero energy and feel worn out. The other form of exercise is doing the house work which can burn a fair few calories off along the way. I loved to swim and swam long distances. (Thought nothing of swimming a mile) I wished I could swim now but my MS is very much affected by heat. If I get slightly too warm bang goes my energy levels it is if someone as pulled the plug on the electrical appliance. Not to mention the “pins and needles” and numbness in various parts of my body.
I have been lucky as I have had my DH supporting me all the way with this journey. He also embarked on the same journey and has lost about 70lbs to date as well. Fortunately he was not so over weight as myself. I was so overjoyed for the first time in our relationship I am lighter that him it is only by 38lbs at the minute but I will take it!
When I started this journey I was in size 24 ~ 26 UK sizing. I am now in 16 ~ 18 which I cannot remember being that for many, many years. I have been over weight since my early teenage years. My father’s sides of the family have always been “big” and guess which side of the family I took after . My sister took after my mum’s side of the family who where so slender so we were the little and large sisters our difference made even more noticable by the others physical appearance. I seemed to hit 13 or 14 and I ballooned out. I seemed hungry for a lot of the time so reached for all the junk foods that was no good for me. At the age of 19 I went into psychiatric nursing to do my enrolled nurse training so I was relatively active on the wards so it kept my weight from ballooning even higher. I still continued through these years to have an appalling diet. Working as a nurse I had long grueling hours so I reached for the nearest quickest food to hand chocolate, crisps and sweets.
After 10 years or so I then went to do my registered nurse training. I no longer was as active as I once was so my weight steadily piled on. Always visits to the doctors brought the inevitable words you need to lose weight. I was pigheaded and buried my head in the sand. Never though did any my visits to the doctors have any health issues relating to my weight. If I continued as I was though it was only a matter of time before I had health issues relating to my weight.
On qualifying as a registered nurse I took a post on a forensic psychiatric ward (a ward where you had committed a crime punishable by law but was found to be mentally ill). After working on wards for 10 years with patients with dementia which was hard physical demanding work I now had a post on a ward which was the opposite as it was not physically demanding. So steadily the weight piled on over the next 2 to 3 years. I then helped start up a locked unit and moved to this ward. It still was a forensic ward but these patients had committed very serious crimes such as rape, murder or paedophiles.
Though again it was not physically demanding work so the weight continued to rise. I now started to have health problems I was 32 years old. I suspected that I had got MS from my nurse training but I buried my head in the sand. For 9 months I continued on with symptoms which were getting worse. I found comfort in food and used it as a prop to get me through this time. I did not tell anyone not even my DH as I knew my career in nursing maybe over if I did mention it. I did not want to give up nursing I loved it so much and I was in such denial how could me a nurse get something like this I care for people not be cared for. (I knew I would have to give nursing up at some point as I could no longer control and restrain correctly and safely. Control and restraint was used when a client became physically aggressive and was no longer listening to verbal communication.)
It came to a head and it hit my legs I could not feel them and I could not used my hands properly. So now I could not hide it so I had to confide in my DH and an appointment was made for the doctors. The rest is history I was dx with MS about 9 months later and I never recovered fully enough to work. For me I sunk into a depression not over the MS but the fact I could not no longer be a nurse. For me nursing was huge part of my life since I was 19. I had not had any break to have family as I decided that I did not what children but a career in nursing. So I began to eat more and more all of the wrong foods of course.
So my weight continued to creep upwards all the time. Shortly after giving up work I stopped smoking which was another catalyst for eating. Then in March 2007 enough was enough I was killing myself with food. After being armed with information gleaned from the internet I embarked on the journey.
I recorded every week in a book my weight loss or gain. I had a couple of small gains. Mainly down to constipation (sorry to much information) but my medication that I take all have this horrid side effect. I really did not want to have any more medication if I could help it so I wanted to find a natural product. So of to the internet I went and found out flaxseed was good. It also was high in omega 3 which was good I though seeing as I am not a great fish lover. Providing I drink plenty of fluids everything now is sorted regarding constipation.
Shortly afterward I found 3fc and I made a decision to have a ticker and make my weight widely known. That was a big thing for me I was always secretive about how much I weighed. Though I saw that people here on the site supported each other no matter how much they had to lose or what size you were. For me it became a way that I did not cheat and it was nice to see it move downwards each week. After a few weeks I decided to add another ticker which was a stone (14lbs) So that I was achieving goals very frequently so I felt I had got somewhere and boosted my moral.
I found a thread here on 3fc that was just for me and that is dieting with obstacles which is a group of very kind and supportive people who like me had physical problems which made exercise somewhat difficult. It was great to have found that thread where people understood what I was going through and hugely supportive. It is great to have the thread when your body is not working as it should or you’re in pain. I found setting mini goals was nice way of keeping me motivated as they were achieved quickly. I think if I had none of those mini goals to achieve along the way it would have been harder with having a big amount of weight to lose (130+lbs).
It took 50lbs before anyone really noticed that I had lost weight but now people comment on a regular basis about how much I have lost. It gives you a real mental boost hearing compliments about yourself. Another milestone along the way was shopping for new clothing as things were baggy on you. So I now save up for shopping trips to update my wardrobe. You find the nearer you are to your goal weight the quicker you seem to buy the next size down. Weight of course never goes in the areas you seems to want them to go. My bottom half I have lost more than the top. It was 100lbs lost before my bra size changed which I was surprised about as I was big busted. So you just have to be patient and your body will sort itself out with the weight loss. I decided a way back that wanting it to go from certain areas and it not was not helping me. I just let my body do its own thing and be patient with nature. I figure that it will eventually go from problem areas in its own sweet time and no reason to get down. So I focused on the amount lost and saw that as a positive.
My health then started to have some issues the first one was being dx with a stomach ulcer. I was tested to see if it was infected with the Helicobacter pylori bacteria but I was not. It was felt due to the fact both parents have had stomach ulcers that I just unfortunately produce to much acid and it has been passed on genetically. I took the course as prescribed but after 2 weeks rest from the drugs I was in acute pain again so I went back on the tablets. The things I miss most were the months and I mean months without anything spicy. I found the key was to eat little and often otherwise I was in pain. It was a trial and error to see if other foods were to affect me. Fortunately I did not eat much greasy food but on the odd time I indulged I paid for it big time.
I then had a second battle on my hands about 13 months down the line since commencing my weight loss journey I had my first excaberation in 9 years with my MS ( also known as a flare, this is where you can get sensory symtoms that do not go away, or motory symptoms or even optic neuritis) . I experienced numbness from my waist down and then numbness in my fore finger and thumb on my right hand. The numbness in my waist downwards made exercise a nightmare it took all my time to balance as I was not sure where my feet were on the ground never mind what shoes I was wearing I could not tell unless I looked down. I was very tired during this time so vowed that I would treat this time as maintenance and this is what I did. I only gained and lost the same pound for 2 months. I was so pleased when I was able to start exercising again though unfortunately not as far as prior to the flare. So built myself up overtime this is not a quick process but exercise is exercise. The exercising evelated my mood and made me feel better. On the first week of doing a little exercise I lost 2lb oh that was so pleasing to see.
The weight loss after 100lbs has come off very slowly and it took me several months to be able to exercise (walk) as I previously had but with perserverance I got there. Went on holiday to the Welsh borders and Wales is not the flat place many hills to climb. So even though I was on holiday I still encorporated my daily walks. I was more lax though with my healthier eating plan but hopped straight back to plan on returning. I did manage to gain 3lb on holiday. Though after a week of eating on plan my weight went down to what it was prior to my holiday. For the first time I can actually say that I now enjoy shopping for clothes as things fit me now so I can choose what I like rather than what fits which is a huge moral booster. Just prior to this holiday in September 2008 I started to fit into size 16 (US size 14) wow me in this size I could never imagine this at the beginning of my journey ever fitting in size 16 at the beginning of the journey I was size 26 (size 24 US sizing). Still I see myself as “big” and think that shop assisants in shops are going to come over and point me to the ladies plus sizes. I can not visualize myself this smaller size in my head I am still the body shape I was prior to my weight loss journey.
This is my journey so far I still have a little way to go to get to a healthy BMI around 16lbs so I am knocking on the door. So hopefully by next year I can say I have done it
Thanks for listening to my story that has gossiped on but I did warn you
Last edited by purpleorc; 11-30-2009 at 12:26 PM.