What an awesome opportunity to start this new portion of my blog, meant to encourage and inspire others to take charge of their health, with the very woman who help me take charge of mine. This wonderful woman gave me the final push I needed, to begin my own weight loss journey, with the kind of Blunt Honesty I have come to Love her for.
I am proud to introduce you all to Charlotte and share her story, about how she took charge of her health and refused to miss out on fully enjoying everything life has to offer.
Age: 49 (isn’t she gorgiose!)
I am married, and we have one child. I have one sister who is 1 year older than I am, and always thin. I have 2 step brothers. My parents are both living but I am not close with my real dad. I was a journey level pipe fitter when I was a young woman. I stayed home for 15 years with my son, and then went to work as an educator and Master Gardener.
I love Gardening, Camping, Reading, Writing, work (yes, I enjoy working), quilting, Bicycle, Boating, Crabbing, Fishing, Partying (I love to do social stuff, I enjoy being around people).
I was never thin. I was born 9 lb 9 oz and 19 inches long and never got thin after that. I was the “fat” girl all the way through school. I never had a boyfriend until after graduation and going to work for the Department of Navy. I love food. I love to prepare real, whole and delicious food. Food is my hobby and I am pretty good at it. I love sweets; I love to bake as well. I used to love going out to eat as well.
I had lost a lot of weight after high school, but when I got married and started having to cook 3 meals a day and try to impress my husband J I started gaining the weight I had lost. Then I got pregnant and gained more weight. When my son was 10, I weighed 335 lb and I am 5’5” tall. I dieted pretty much every diet out there and could lose the weight but not maintain the loss when I started eating real food again. When I would “diet” over the years, I was all in- I read all the books, I did the research, I did what diets I chose to do, to the letter. My weight gains were all gradual and steady. My weight losses were all crash dieting and based on willpower not life style changes.
My life style of dieting lead to a series of ups and downs that were getting me no where permanently, and my weight was making me sick- pre diabetes, severe Arthritis in the hips and shoulders, Sleep Apnea, severe hormone issues and generally declining health plus, I seemed hurt all the time. Another issue I had but was no longer an issue (due to age) was that I was unable to have more children because my hormones were messed up because of my body fat.
My husband is 13 years older than I am. He has always been thin and fit. He suffered a massive heart attack in 2006 (Hereditary cholesterol and heart disease) and I wanted him to live the rest of his life with a thin, fit and active wife who could go do stuff with him. We love the outdoors, and we have a wonderful Golden Retriever who loves to get out and hike and swim. I found myself sitting on my chair waving goodbye to them while they went out and did the things I wanted to do with them. Sad.
The biggest change for me was getting out of denial about my health and having Gastric Bypass Surgery. I did 5 months of research before I had surgery. I learned everything I could get my eyes on about what I was doing and the potential risks and benefits.
I am now taking every opportunity to be naturally active in my life. I do not go to a gym but I go out of my way to do other very physical things that life can provide.
Some of my go to snack are now; Meat Jerky of all kinds, healthy nuts, hard boiled eggs, Light and Fit Greek Yogurt, powdered protein shakes made with milk and instant coffee granules. I eat 2% fat cheese varieties now available as well. They are really good and real.
Now that my weight is off, I have to be careful not to teach myself to eat more and the wrong foods. I intend on keeping this weight off for the rest of my life. I need to make sure my past head habits do not come back.
To stay motivated, I look in the mirror, I take a hike (because I can now!) I ride my bike and my bottom is not bruised from all the weight on the seat, I weed my garden for up to 5 hours without getting sore or tired. I realize all of these things are because I have lost 125 lb.
Besides a new wardrobe some of the rewards I enjoy with taking charge of my health would be; I can move freely! I can keep up on a hike with other people and even go faster up mountains! The compliments from friends and relatives and the fact that I can do so many more physical things, it is hard to even completely grasp the reality of it.
My next goal or future goals that keep me going; I will measure my food forever, I journal my intake. I don’t have MyFitnessPal, but I like FitClick.com for my food diary. I drink more clear liquids (Water, Stevia sweetened Crystal Light), Take the long path when I can instead of short cuts. Take the time for me and stop allowing outside influences dictate my life.
As far as advice I would give to someone who feels too overwhelmed to start or like it is to late to change:
I will be 50 later this year. I attend a support group for bariatric patients where many of the NEW patients are in their 60’s! They are all doing well. I think though to make a real change, you have to hit rock bottom. Bariatric surgery is not an easy road; it is a new and different “hard” now. Be Really ready for change, Mentally, physically and emotionally.
Make your life as physical as possible. Not just at the gym, but in every aspect of your life. Get out there and use your muscles and bones for the good of your body and soul. Park way out at the grocery store so you have to walk further while carrying groceries. Mow the lawn with a push mower, get out and weed your garden or a neighbor’s garden. Get on that old bicycle, it is fun! Take a walk.
A bit of advice for everybody, no matter your kind of fitness journey or stage of your journey:
- Buy a good pair of walking/running shoes, like Brooks. Get fitted at a running shoes store by a professional. They are worth their weight in gold.
- When reading food labels for protein foods my nutritionist taught me one very important piece of information: The protein should at least be 10% of the calories to be considered lean protein. The other nutritional information will all fall in line if the calories and protein are within that rule. If the protein is 10% concentration minimum, then there won’t be room for extra sugars, carbohydrates or other calories that are not good for us.
- Start. Just do it. Get out there and begin, Whatever your journey is, get started. It is worth it.
- I never knew how good thin would feel. I do now and I never want to go back. This is a wonderful place to be.
- Cloth yourself at the Goodwill and other thrift stores while you are on your journey. I saved a ton of money and I still have most of my clothes come from those sources.
My journey is my journey. My body is my body. We are different as night and day. Do not compare you with anybody else. There is no comparison! I will always be a large woman with large hands, large legs, large arms, a large hat size, and large butt. That does not mean I am wrong, unfit, or unhealthy. It means it is the way God made me. I am different and that is OKAY.
I want to Thank Charlotte for being brave enough to share her story here with us! Everyone has a different journey, life and experience. Don’t let anyone stand in your way. You deserve to take care of yourself and own your health.
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