- Journey to Wellness
I should preface this by saying that as a child and early teen years I was lean, well within my weight range for my height of 5’3”. I was physically active as a snow skier, swimmer, hiker and biker. I started running in high school until I got pregnant at the age of 17 in 1988, but even then, my family and I had a gym membership and I worked out with a trainer until my belly got too big and complications from pre–eclampsia forced me to bed rest the last four weeks of my pregnancy. I gained about 80 pounds, mostly water, during this time. Post pregnancy, I lost all my weight and resumed my active lifestyle of walking etc. It wasn’t until I got married in 1990 that I found my weight creeping up on me, slowly, every year. I was still active with three kids and a husband by then, but bad eating habits and cheap carbohydrates were not my friend.
My efforts to return to leanness started a few years ago, about 2006. At that point, I weighed at least 200 pounds and I was not happy. Everyone knows the best way to lose weight is to exercise and watch what you eat, so I start daily walks. While walking I started having problems with my legs going numb to the point that I could not feel my feet hit the ground. At first I thought this feeling was due to a pinched nerve as a result of a single–vehicle car accident I was in earlier that year. Some days my legs would not bother me while walking and other days only a few steps would bring on the numbness. Also, I was susceptible to feelings of panic and a racing heart beat. My doctor at the time never once mentioned my weight being an issue. The nurse would write my weight on the chart, I would cringe as I waited for the lecture from my doctor about my weight to start. It never did. It was a strange, sort of “non–issue” with him as I had three kids so I was fat from that. My physician just said, “Lose the weight, I have no idea what is causing the numbness in your legs.”
Fast forward to 2011, I am now under the care of a chiropractor in hopes of relieving the numbness that is happening all too frequently now. An ultrasound of my veins showed good blood flow so that ruled out a circulation issue. The chiropractor prescribed physical therapy to help ease my lower back pain hoping that would relieve the nerves I thought were pinched. I was prescribed high blood pressure medication by my doctor, with adverse side effects such as a nagging cough that would not go away—no matter how much cough medicine I consumed. It was during these sessions with my physical therapist that I was able to lose 10 pounds.
There is a lot of self–talk in the life of an overweight or obese person. Everyday I woke up, knowing I had to lose weight. Every single time I looked in any mirror or saw any photo (which I was careful to be the photographer and not a subject as denial had become my best and worst friend). It was the subject of many a late night conversation with my husband, whom by the way, at his worst weight was 30 pounds over his preferred height to weight ratio. Not a single doctor I saw previous to this offered any hope for weight loss other than to shove a piece of paper at me telling me to eat these “healthy foods” listed. Since I was the family chef and chief purchaser of food, I was buying and eating vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and attempting to cut down on the processed foods—although, we were heavy eaters of potatoes, pastas, bagels, pizzas and other high carbohydrate foods. Over the years, [End Page 112] the most weight I had lost “counting calories” or portioning out “slow carbs” over “fast carbs” only afforded me a 15 pound loss, to be gained...