Welcome To My Story
Ten years ago it never would have occurred to me that I would be asked to write a health and fitness blog…and yet here I am! Welcome to my story. I guess I should start at the beginning. Once upon a time there was a little blond girl that was always taller and a bit bigger than the other kids. She stood centre back for class pictures. The other children teased her mercilessly about her weight and her name, made for amazing rhymes. I believe “Kelly the smelly, jelly, belly” was a favourite. It’s ok to giggle. I know it sounds pretty funny. Those are my earliest memories from school. Looking back I wasn’t a fatty. A big kid yes, but not obese. That would come later.
Flash forward to high school. My first high school dance, dates with boys and my first real diet. I was still bigger than the other kids for the most part and no one ever knew how old I was. Saved me from ‘minor niner’ hazing. I was very self conscious about weight at this point and began to count calories and visiting a diet clinic. My younger sister was obese at this point and as she lost weight I was definitely jealous. She lost 60 lbs and I lost 25 lbs if I remember correctly.
As a youngster I played softball, took swimming lessons and synchronized swimming. Into high school I was on the school’s swim team and very involved in music and theatre related pursuits. I was a student mentor and a member of the Impairment awareness program. I loved taking aerobics. I guess overall I was pretty fit. Still kinda felt like the kid in the elementary yard that got teased though. My weight was always a concern to me.
Jumping over a few more years I was in college studying Nursing. It was a lot of work and time and I was terrified about the “Freshman 15” I read about in a magazine (pretty well doomed freshman to gaining weight). I met a friend that year who was great-funny-beautiful and bulimic. She became my binge and purge buddy. Sick, but totally true.
Into my 20s my weight was increasing as were my bad habits. I smoked, I drank, my exercise dwindled to nothing and I had become bulimic as a means to try and manage my weight. Epic fail to say the least. In my mid 20’s I sought treatment for bulimia and never, ever went back to it.
By the time I was 29, I was a registered nurse, a wife and a mom to be. I also tipped the scales at about 250 lbs. With a multitude of complications including severe gestational diabetes, I had a super awesome baby boy via emergency C-section under general anesthesia. By the time my angel-faced baby was 15 months my weight had reached a staggering 380 lbs. Obesity was killing me slowly and I knew it. Ever seen the movie “what’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”–I didn’t want to end up like “Mamma”. I actually wrote and sealed a note for my son to open on his 18th birthday because I figured I would be dead by then.
I had been a yo-yo dieter for the better part of my life and I chose to do something drastic about it. I had lost as much as 150 lbs dieting in one session and gained it all back and then some. This time I meant business. I had a roux-en-Y gastric bypass in the US just shy of my 31 st birthday at just under 400 lbs. Now, if you think that gastric bypass is an easy way out or somehow diminished my weight loss, you are totally wrong. It was the hardest way I have ever lost weight. The food that was a crutch for so long is gone. It’s like your best friend has died. The surgery was a transient tool that jump started my weight loss and thank goodness for that. In case you weren’t aware, it only helps you for 12-18 months and then you are on your own. It is possible to gain your weight back and then some. Its not a magic bullet. Its just a tool. 8 years later and I still battle the bulge and always will!
So here I am, I just turned 39, ya I said it, and how has life changed for me? I’m the fun mom. I can roll around with my kiddo. I don’t embarrass him because I wear a 5 XL. I like myself. I’m healthy and happy and refuse to sit back and let life pass me by. I was on that path and frankly, it sucked. I’m 5’9 1/2 and lost 220 lbs from my heaviest weight and still pushing to make progress everyday.
Since my weight loss I have written and had a short story published, gotten my personal trainer certification, played and coached roller derby, started singing with a guitar player, and have found a new love… The Gym!!!
I have recently started working with coach Eric Broser, he’s a natural bodybuilder and made of awesome. My goal is to compete in figure or physique. I’m training 5 out of 7 days. 3 of those 5 days have cardio after weights. My “rest” days are actually 40 min of cardio. I’m eating very clean. Drinking lots of water and taking good supplements. My meal schedule is; first 3 meals a day protein and carbs; next 2 protein and fat; meal 6 is protein. I find working with a coach is a great motivator. I love being accountable to someone and Eric’s knowledge is outstanding.
So basically people, I figure if I can do it, anyone can. Choose the method that will work for you and commit to it. Just be sure it’s a healthy way! I work full time nights, have been a single mom for a few years and have been raising one incredible little boy who suffered with moderate autism for years. It’s been tough, I wont lie. I still struggle sometimes with good food choices and getting my tired butt to the gym. I get frustrated that sometimes I look in the mirror and see the 400 lb me looking back. The difference is now I know what I need to do, to reach my goals. Nothing worth having is ever easy and I like myself enough to fight for me! It’s nice to have support and it helps but ultimately everything falls on you. The only limits in life, are the ones that you imagine.
I’m on twitter if you would like to follow my health related, gym related and sometimes random tweets @gymbunee
Much love and fitness to you all xxoo!!