Guest post by Abigail Kathryn
This is all so new to me. I feel like the new kid in town on the ﬁrst day of school.
Nervous, excited, awkward. I’ve been feeling this way for the past five months, but we’ll come back to that. When April asked me if I was interested in sharing my story, I felt my heart soar. Yes! Yes! Yes! I am a ﬁrm believer that everything happens for a reason. You lost your job? There’s a reason for that. You suffered a heartbreak? There’s a reason for that too. Sometimes people get annoyed with that frame of mind, but everyone travels down his or her own path for a reason. Everyone has a story and that unique story shapes your ability to help others. Well, this is my story, and if it helps just one person then I’ll be thrilled.
It starts out like most: I’ve always been overweight but I never knew I was until I was about eight years old. All it took one was one negative comment to make me realize I wasn’t like everyone else. I never got teased relentlessly but I heard the occasional “Wow! You’re so big!” or “You are so fat!” just enough to knock my conﬁdence down a couple notches. For someone who suffers with self conﬁdence issues, you understand me. Those aren’t earth shaking insults but they still hurt. It keeps that little voice in your head working non stop–a constant reminder that you stick out.
Now I can’t tell you when this happened exactly, but one day a switch ﬂipped. Instead of feeling like I was always the odd ball, I realized how awesome I was.
to a new phase in life. Instead of trying to hide, I started to stand out. I chopped off over a foot of hair, I started experimenting with makeup and fun clothes. Whenever someone tried to step on my toes I responded by saying, “ Screw you, I’m fabulous!” I mean seriously, what more could you expect from a teenage girl? I started to realize that the opinions of others simply did not matter. I could be who I wanted without anyone’s consent. Along with that attitude developed a spirit of rebellion. No one could tell me what to do. If anyone told me that I couldn’t do something I purposefully went and did it anyway. And whenever someone told me “You have such a pretty face, if you only lost a few pounds”…
…I ate more.
It developed into such a horrible way of life. I put up barriers and told myself that the people who truly care about me would love me no matter what I looked like. It was like I was testing them. What would be their limit? When would they walk away? I constantly sought out relationships with people to see how they would react to me. It became almost like a game to me; I am so ashamed of that. Obviously this is not healthy behavior. My hair and dress code soon became old news and I turned to new “exciting” things. Alcohol and drug use became the norm. Outrageous antics were any everyday thing and soon people became tired of me. Through all of this my eating habits had not changed. I was an emotional eater and whenever I was upset or even happy, I ate. My weight skyrocketed. I was miserable but I could not let people know that. I was Abby! Always conﬁdent in whatever I did. Always so happy. I felt like if I tried to change anything I would be considered a traitor. I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching. I battled this for years until this past January.
While Visiting My Family,
my sister-in-law asked me when I had last gotten a physical. I couldn’t even remember the last time I went for such a thing. She told me that if I hadn’t gone to a doctor the next time I saw her she was going to kick my butt. I believed her too; it was just enough of a push to go. So I made my appointment. That day was nerve-wracking. Lots of tests, lots of blood being drawn. I had to wait a couple days for results and when I got called back to the ofﬁce I was convinced it was bad news. The doctor came in and my heart was in my throat. “Well, all your tests came back normal. You are right where you should be for a 27-year-old woman.” Seriously? Nothing crazy? No diabetes or cholesterol issues? How did I even escape that? As I sat there stunned, he asked me if anyone had ever offered to help me lose weight. No, never. I never let anyone get close enough to me to be able to suggest such a thing. He proceeded to talk to me about my options. Nothing dramatic. No 500 calorie a day diet. He did however ask me if I would be willing to try something called an HCG shot as a kick start. He informed me that it was a shot that would help me feel energized and would make me want to get up and do something rather than sit around all day. If we decided to try this route, I needed to be nice to my body and choose healthy choices for my meals.
Why not? What could I lose?
Before I left that day I got my ﬁrst shot. That’s what started it all. I was given a list of foods I had gotten the green light on, so I decided to hit up the grocery store. Lots of veggies and lean meats. Now I didn’t cook before this, ever. I’m still learning, but this was so overwhelming–having to plan ahead and to cook my meals! I followed the plan as best as I could for two weeks until my follow up appointment with my doctor, I weighed in, got all my vitals taken and waited. I didn’t expect anything from this but when my doctor walked in and told me that I had lost almost 10 pounds, my mouth dropped open. Are you kidding me?!? With the diet change and the HCG shots that helped me get my lazy self off the couch, I lost 10 pounds. I continued this routine for the next month, the shots, the clean eating, and some low impact aerobics. Nothing extreme. One month later I had another follow up visit. This time I had lost 15 pounds. I was on cloud nine. For the ﬁrst time I was proud of myself. I wanted to scream LOOK WHAT I’VE DONE! to the world. Now my curiosity and my stubbornness to do everything on my own made me ask the doctor if I could stop the shots. He immediately said yes.
Someone Who Believed in Me!
I started being more selective in my grocery shopping. A dear friend of mine helped me start a menu of what to eat and when to eat it and introduced me to the wonderful world of protein shakes. This friend also became my trainer: something I never though I would ever have. I remember the night before our ﬁrst meeting. I barely slept, I was so nervous. Making that ﬁrst step with her was the best decision I have ever made. She has pushed me and given me tasks I would have never done in a million years. A burpee? What is that? And let me tell you, I cried though those devils. I started strength training with my trainer and for the ﬁrst time in my life, and I have muscles! This new world of ﬁtness is so exciting! And I believe that when the person who is pushing you genuinely cares about your results, it makes a huge impact. I now ﬁnd myself wanting to work out. I can’t wait until I have my morning sessions with Debbie. It’s such a release. I can work out and not feel like I’m dying after five minutes. I can get on an elliptical and I don’t have to stop because my knees hurt. That person I’ve limited myself to be for so many years is going away. I’m worth so much more. I can do so much more. I’m learning to care for my body instead of using it as a tool to protect myself from hurt.
I Still Struggle
with what foods to buy. I ﬁnd myself getting in ruts because I constantly keep going back to the same foods. That is something that will come in time. I look at blogs for healthy recipes and save them in hopes of trying them one day. I try to always have an apple or protein bar in my purse at all times and water, oh the water ha ha ha, I’ve become attached to a giant pink jug that constantly follows me. It’s a love hate relationship.Sometimes I still struggle with what people think of me. ..if I’m a sellout from old Abby. I have to constantly remind myself that it’s not. Old Abby was so mean to herself and never realized her potential. But if I would not have had those experiences I don’t think I would have been able to appreciate it as much as I do now. It’s a story and a damn good one too. One of heartache but also of triumph and I am here to be the cheerleader for everyone out there like me. The guarded ones, the hurt and lost ones, the ones who think the just can’t get started. Yes you can, and you will rock it! So far I’ve lost 60 pounds! That’s 240 sticks of butter, a small child, or eight gallons of water! And I want that number to just keep going. I want to give myself the gift of 100 pounds lost on my 28th birthday and I truly believe I will get there. Whatever your goal, whatever your situation, know someone believes in you. Someone is cheering you on.
You got this.
What would you like to tell Abby? Advice? Encouragement? Congrats? Comment in the “SPEAK YOUR MIND” section below!
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