My weight has been a lifelong battle. At 8 years old, after unexplained weight gain and lethargy, I was diagnosed hypothyroid. From that point on, I was the typical chubby kid and that unfortunately shaped my self image and identity. I was always bigger than my friends, despite being active and athletic. At 14 years old, I joined Weight Watchers with my Mom for the first time. I lost some weight, but eventually we stopped going and I gained it back plus more.
Over the next 20+ years, I was stuck in a pattern of failed weight loss attempts. I tried every diet imaginable. Slim Fast, Jenny Craig, Nutri System, Atkins, South Beach, the cabbage soup diet, Whole 30, Paleo, plant-based, Shakeology, juicing, some weird plan involving tons of supplements and eating pretty much only chicken…. the list goes on. With every restrictive crash diet, I would drop weight quickly, but it wasn’t balanced or sustainable. I would then return to Weight Watchers. Again I’d lose some weight, but it was slower and I would get impatient and discouraged. So I’d quit to try my luck at the newest fad diet, only to repeat my cycle all over again.
From 1992 to 2015, I probably joined and quit Weight Watchers 15 different times. Every time I quit, I’d gain back everything I lost plus more. I literally dieted my way to over 300 pounds. It was a discouraging, depressing cycle that cost me thousands of dollars and my joy for life. I was also diagnosed with PCOS and suffered many years of infertility and pregnancy losses. The guilt and shame of knowing that my weight had played a major role only added to my pain.
December 31, 2015 I walked into my local Weight Watchers with my head hung low. I was the heaviest I’d ever been, and I had very little hope that this time would be any different, but I wasn’t ready to give up on myself. So I tried again. This time I made a promise to myself that that would be my last first day. I wasn’t going to ever quit again.
Two and a half years later, I had lost 125 pounds at had reached my personal goal weight. I maintained this weight for a year, then in May of 2019 my marriage ended unexpectedly. My entire world was pulled out from under me. I was lost, devastated, and depressed. For the first time in my life, I was so distraught I couldn’t eat or sleep. This quickly led to an additional loss of about 30 more pounds. I stayed at my new lowest weight for around a year, and then the pandemic hit. Like so many of us, I struggled to stay healthy as the world suffered. Over the course of the next 2 years, I regained the 30 I had lost due to trauma, plus gained an additional 20, putting me above my personal goal for the first time in several years. I am currently down abut 100 pounds, and I am grateful to have maintained that loss through divorce, depression, and a global pandemic! I am now in a much happier and healthier place, and working to return to my personal goal weight. I am so thankful for the skills and mindset I built along the way, and I’m confident I’ll be back to my goal weight soon!
My mission now is to impart hope, provide support, and take the hand of those who are struggling, and to show them the way out of the darkness of food addiction and obesity.
There are no lost causes.
There is always hope.