Monday, May 19, 2008

The Tale of Me

UPDATE: 237. And thank you all. :)

Let's start the week out right. I don't often talk about myself, how I'm built, size, weight issues, medical stuff, etc. A lot of y'all know that I'm ADD and being off my meds is a bad thing. As Mir says, Look! Something shiny! That applies to me. Today I'd like to share with you all a little bit more about me. Do you mind?

I had to ask myself, "Self, are you going to be honest with all your bloggy friends? All these people you're getting to know and enjoy? The ones you wish you could meet in person and hang out with and be best friends forever with? Are you? Huh?"

Then I responded to myself, "Well, what exactly do you mean by honest, Self? How much I weigh? That kind of honest?"

Friends, that's going above and beyond the call of duty, telling you what I weigh, and plus, some of you might be reading this while you're eating. Oh, and too, I don't have a scale anymore. Mine died a horrible death and I haven't bothered replacing it. It was evil. EVIL.

I'm headed to the doctor's office this morning, which made me think of all of this honesty and traumatic weight issues, so I thought I'd write this BEFORE I find out what I weigh. Then I could honestly say that I have no idea. But it occurred to me that I do know how much I weighed at my highest points, as well as how much I weighed last spring when I started seeing the doctor. Wait. This post wasn't supposed to be all about weight.

ANYWAY, I wanted to tell you who I am already! My mom and some of the women in the family have had thyroid problems. My mom and aunt have had their thyroids out. So every time I'd go to the doctor and fill out the health forms and tell them that I was lethargic and depressed, they'd draw blood and tell me my thyroid levels were normal. So yeah,
confirming my worst fears, I was just fat and lazy. But I really didn't care so much.

Let's go backwards a little now. Growing up I was very athletic. I played basketball through high school and college, rode a bike to work every day when I started working after college (alright, only because I still didn't know how to drive), ate healthy and stayed in shape. Then I burned down the kitchen of the lady I lived with. And started dating the Hunny and got engaged. And met his family, who ate lots of pasta with cream sauce (yes! real cream!) who drank and taught me to. I was still just a little concerned with my shape.

Then I had Maybelline. And got back into the pre-baby jeans. Then I had Oatmeal Head. And got back into the pre-baby jeans. Then we moved to Florida and I had Little Guy. During that pregnancy I gained over 60 pounds and tipped the scales at about 250. None of it came off after the baby. None. Mr. Ben and Mr. Jerry didn't help any. The plummet into depression didn't help. The migraines which abused me while nursing the baby didn't help any. I wasn't helping myself. And I refused to diet. I'd taken enough health classes to know what that would do to my metabolism and health.

Fast forward to the summer of 2001. My brother has been doing a program called Body for Life and swears by it. Well, if you've ever met me, you know that I've always idolized Lil' Bro. We'd have conversations and email about this program and he convinced me it was the best thing ever. Not a diet! And it's really not. It's a fantastic program. Especially if you read the book. So I started it, with his help and encouragement.

When I started I weighed 273 pounds - my highest weight ever. My knees were killing me and I couldn't walk up and down stairs. I'm 5'8", so was more than 100 pounds overweight. My beginning aerobic exercise was walking on a little trampoline as rapidly as I could while watching Oprah at night for motivation. I couldn't even walk for that long on a hard surface because of my knees and the trampoline was low impact.

Next I forced the Hunny to take me to the used sporting goods store for a weight bench and weights. I felt like such a wuss in the beginning, but by the end of the twelve weeks I had maxed out my little weight bench's capacity and was feeling good. Down to 238! Strong and ready to tackle ninjas! Ready to celebrate. But I had people around me who were discouraging, argumentative, mean. I let myself be dragged to the bottom again and over the course of the next year I slowly gave up and gave in.

The next five years were all about emotional weight loss and health. Between therapy and excellent friends who mirrored my life back to me, I was able to shed much excess baggage, but still not ready to lose weight. My friends helped me to see what I was putting up with that I shouldn't. They helped me to set boundaries, to learn to listen and be reflective. They helped me deal with a lot of stored up anger. I can't ever begin to express how much I owe them. Thank you Jen, Christy and Meg.

Forward in time again to December of '06 and we move to Tulsa, OK, from Florida! I'm really excited because we're moving close to Lil' Bro and Mom! And I'm a big fat cow! Okay, that wasn't so exciting, truth be told. But here we were, in a new life, starting from scratch in so many ways, taking full advantage of it. One of those ways to take advantage of the new door God opened for me was to find a good doctor and put myself in her capable hands.

Let me tell you, I found the best doctor EVER! When I ran down the list of all of my stuff - the lethargy, depression, now dry skin - she wanted to check my thyroid. I didn't see the point, but she insisted on checking the antibodies. That sounded all sci-fi to me, but go ahead. Sure enough, my antibodies were off the chart and she started me on a natural thyroid med. The following month we discussed the ADD, since the stuff I was taking wasn't working for me. She put me on an extended release med which works great. Last fall she looked at my hormone levels and found my progesterone was rock-bottom low. So I now use a natural compound cream.

All in all? When I started seeing her last spring I weighed in at 263. I know this because I asked when I went in last month. And last month? I weighed in at 243. Today I will find out where I am. I might even let you know. Depends. But I can tell you that my energy levels are up, my eating is down, I'm exercising occasionally and all of my clothes fit differently. In fact, I need to go shopping, since everything pretty much hangs on me right now. And I'm not having to work at any of it. When my doctor wold me she wanted to bring me back into balance so she could wean me off of some of the meds, she meant it.

Really, I probably will update later today. And I can't take any credit for the weight loss, which is a bummer. At the same time, I know I probably won't screw it up, either, since my body's just doing what it needs to do. Yay!

Until I write again ...

Flea

27 comments:

Asthmagirl said...

Wow, what a great story, Flea! It's a wonderful thing to find a great doctor that wants to help you with your quest for good health.
I'm cheering you on and I'm really happy for you! Losing 20 pounds because you're body is working right is a wonderful thing!
Keep it up!

Harmony said...

Great story...and I feel closer to you, somehow! I am really happy for you, in finding a doctor that you like...those can be hard to come by. I hope your visit is great...and I can't wait for the update. Have a wonderful day!!

QueenofPlanetHotflash said...

Girl you and I could be sisters, I just found out my thyroid isn't working right but thats not all my weight problem( I got issues) anyways thanks for sharing something personal about yourself.

Lori said...

Yeah! You are removing things your body didn't need and now you're reaping the benefits. We put so many unnatural things in our body for so many reasons. Kudos to your doctor for taking a more natural approach. Thanks for sharing with us! I am encouraged by your story and will pray for continued health and success!
And yes, we would love to have F&B come see us in TN!

Coffee Bean said...

Will you be my blog sister?

Wow. We have some things in common. I have a Doc appt. on Wednesday. A new Doc too. I don't even want to know what I weigh...

MUD said...

When you think you are ready to start doing more exercise, consider a recumbent bicycle. You are sitting down as you pedal and it has a real seat instead of a seat that makes thongs out of your underwear. I started riding it in a church parking lot near our home and have moved up to riding the trails near a lake. Great story. Good luck.
MUD

imbeingheldhostage said...

This is an awesome personal post, Flea! It's inspiring, even if you don't see it that way. It also made me mad. Most women I know with thyroid problems have had to fight their way through a doctor-- they're given the generic test and told to go home. There's all sorts of test (as you know) that should be run. Good for you for finding someone great at listening!!

The Casual Perfectionist said...

Thank you for sharing your story. The weight may be coming off because our body is in balance, but don't sell yourself short! It takes a lot of courage to go to the doctor and be honest, and then stick with the regimen, regardless of what it is.

Congratulations on where you are now, and good luck for what's to come!

Melissa said...

Weight is such a funny thing. At this point I'm just worrying about how I feel. I've lost some weight doing the gluten free thing but I'm trying really hard to just accept myself for what I am at this moment!! Good luck with the doctor!

Tanya Brown said...

This is a really good story, and I'm sure it's going to help and encourage a lot of people.

I'm sorry you've had a rough time - life does throw some curve balls at us! But you worked at it, which makes an immense difference. I'm so glad the new doctor is sharp. But again, you wouldn't have found her if you weren't looking.

Regardless of whatever you do or don't weigh, you look good.

Greg C said...

What a story Flea. First time visitor and what an introduction. I am at my heaviest weight of my life right now and I have a blood test scheduled for Wednesday. I hope both of ours end up good.

Tranny Head said...

Hooray for doctors who aren't biotches. Man, when I was preggo, my normal doctor was out of town one of my appointments and this biotchy doctor was like "What, you gained 20 lbs? That's way too much."

Yeah, way to make people feel worse about their pregnancy weight gain. Anyway, I gained (and lost) all 35 lbs. of my pregnancy, thank you very much.

Stupid biotchy doctors.

Colleen said...

That is awesome news (saw your updates!!!!!). It's so wonderful that you have a doctor that really wants to help you and has the time. So glad to hear she was able to identify how your body just wasn't working efficiently...that makes it easier to get into healthier habits too...you just roll with the momentum.
and Body for Life? Awesome program. Hubby lost like 12 lbs on it after like 6 or 8 weeks? But since it's a lifestyle instead of a diet, he's done better than any of his hair-brained scheme for losing all the baby weight (yes, he put on quite a bit of poundage with each of MY pregnancies...ha ha).

Colleen said...

oh, and can I hug you for sharing that with us??? that can be hard to do, to admit everything isn't 100% fun/exciting/kosher/perfect.

Lori said...

Yeah! More success!

Poltzie said...

I have always struggled with my weight, I think lots of us do. It's so hard to admit, thank you for being real!
It's also wonderful that you have such a great doctor. I'm glad you are becoming healthy and not just losing weight :)

Tammy said...

Thank you so much for sharing that with us! I was without a scale for about 4 years until recently. I think the best way to lose weight is not to diet, but to change your life style. It sounds like you are doing that and have a great doctor helping you. You go girl!

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Yay! for great doctors!

Karen said...

That took a lot to share, but thanks. You're an inspiration to me. I need to take control and lose the weight. If you can do it, I can too!

k said...

Congratulations - you've been doing it right - slow - and keeping it off. And thanks for cluing me in to a great doc. I feel better than I have in years. You've taught me a lot. What a blessing to find out about ADD. You're a lifesaver! K

zobabe said...

I wanna see your doc, asap.

Thank you for sharing, Flea. I admire you for telling such personal stuff. I had a doc tell me my thyroid test results were at the bottom end of normal, but that I didn't need meds. I was astounded. Why not let me TRY something, if it's that low? I am so glad you found a doc with some sense! Yay you for having the gumption to do all you've done!

Jan Parrish said...

Oh, I can't wait to hear the good news. Keep us updated.

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

Nothing beats a good doctor. A couple of years ago, I had to go through three doctors before I found one who LISTENED to me and took me serious and helped me get WELL.


I wish I could meet you in person. BTW-- I lost 20 pounds over the last year-- it took me 10 months to do it WITHOUT dieting. So great job to you. Losing weight is such a hard job.

Mayberry Magpie said...

What a great story! I don't know a single woman in my life who doesn't struggle with body issues. Heck, I even saw a therapist over mine. By the way, a good counselor is as precious as a good doctor.

I did BFL too back in 2001. I only lost 15 pounds but I dropped two dress sizes. It is a wonderful program and I recommend it to everyone, but I morphed into someone who prefers running over weights. Right now I'm working to find balance. Sounds like that's where you're at, because the pounds are coming off and you're not obsessing over them.

Congratulations!

Mama Teaching 2 said...

Wonderful blog! You do deserve the credit...you found the answers. :) Flea, your just wonderful. Anyone would be lucky to know you for "really" and for "bloggy". :)

noble pig said...

Wow, what a struggle you've had but it sounds like you are on the right track. I'm happy for you and hope you continue to move forward on feeling better and losing weight. It's so hard to do.

Coffee Bean said...

I wanted to come back here and tell you that my doctor's appt. with my new doc went great. She also checked my thyroid and antibodies (I didn't even say anything) and am now on thyroid meds. She also put me on an anti-depressant...soooo, we'll see how things go.