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!
Do you want to share a story similar to Abby’s? Contact us and we’ll proudly feature your journey to fit as well!
Hi Abby, thanks for sharing your story! What you are doing is very courageous, it’s not easy to be honest with ourselves much less the public. Our stories are similar in many ways and I’m on my own clean eating and fitness journey that years ago but consistency is one of the hardest thing for me. I’m always reading and looking for information and ways to keep myself motivated and on the right track. The other really difficult thing for me is balance as I am quite an all or nothing person, but again, I am striving to learn better practices. I am most definitely a work in progress 🙂 Reading your story helps keep me motivated, stay connected and focused. Thank you.
Stephanie Wimer says
Hey Shae–thanks for commenting! I’m like you–balance is ALWAYS a struggle–I’m an all or nothing sort of girl too. Keep me posted on your secrets for success! If you have a list of tips, let’s get them published!! Stay STRONG!!
Rick Rush says
Great Job Abby ! You have come a long long ways ! I Have faith in you and know you can continue to do this, so you can enjoy life to the fullest ! It will be the Best thing you have ever done for you’re self !!! Good Luck Abby !!!
This is Steph, but I’m posting this message on behalf of Wayne….
“I would first and foremost say thank you for sharing your story. I don’t visit a lot of blogs often, but sometimes when I get stuck in ruts or am down on myself. It’s posts like these that remind me why I started this journey again 3 years ago, and even though I never got quite where I wanted to be. That at least I’m doing SOMETHING.
So many people are critical these days, and emotionally detached from the things that come out of their mouths and online that they have no problem putting someone down. With no consequence whatsoever to follow their words.
This is a very inspiring tale and I wish you the best of luck on your journey and hope sometime down the line to see an update on this.
Never lose steam and keep on moving forward.
Thanks again for sharing your story,
Stephanie Wimer says
Go ABBY!!!! You met me sort of toward the end of my first round of the weight-loss journey. Before my sister’s wedding in October I lost 63 lbs! I love seeing your pictures working out and will continue to support you as you give it hell! Congratulations and I’m glad I get to watch your journey! You are an inspiration 🙂
Stephanie Wimer says
My heart is bursting. I am so proud of you! From the moment of your birth I knew you were going to make an impact on this world, and you have my beautiful daughter you have! I love you to the moon! Mama
Stephanie Wimer says
I always believed that you could do what ever you set your mind to Miss Abby. I’m so proud that you decided to do something for yourself because you wanted too and not because of what any one else thought! I’m also proud of you for sharing your story with others. You go girl :0)
You are an inspiration for all of us who have ever struggled with our weight! A lot of times we forget how hard it is to start something and buy in to something we know nothing about. It was very courageous of you to take that first step into the unknown. Fitness is a way of life and I have faith that you will meet your goals! Keep up the good work!
Darlene Leicy says
Congratulations Abby, I am so proud of you! Woman, you can do anything you put your mind to. You’re a strong beautiful woman! Keep up the good work………….I wish I was beside you, I need help too! xoxoxo Aunt Dar
Stephanie Wimer says
You have always been a beautiful lady!
I am glad you are enjoying this road to good health.
It is amazing how food makes us feel.
As a woman who is not looking to be perfect…just healthy and able to do fun stuff I have always wanted to do, I can tell you you wont regret the work and time you have put in.
I went on a cruise with Marianne DeMars and climbed the rock climbing wall and made it to the top! A victory and something I have always wanted to do…but I could not have done it with the extra weight on.
Step out and try those things that looked fun but you were afraid to do them. They will make great memories and be sweet victories 🙂
Abby I am proud of you girl!
You have always been amazing, now you will feel amazing to!
Stephanie Wimer says
Abby – WAY TO GO! Keep up the fabulous (and hard) work. The Dials are proud of you!!! (Roger has lost 80 pounds since January.)
Belinda Lee says
If you can do it, so can I 🙂 But we are strong. We have gone through a lot & are still here 🙂 Congrats girl & keep it up. I’ve too heard it all & it definitely does hit a cord. People can be so mean 🙁
Stephanie Wimer says
Belinda, it sounds like you have a story too?? Want to share it with us? Best of luck in your journey–stay STRONG!! 🙂
Bonnie Pickett says
I have struggled with my weight for 40 years (I am 66) and tried many diets only to get discouraged and gain back all I had lost. My knees and hips hurt so bad that I didn’t want to move. I had investigated gastric bypass over 10 years ago and found my insurance wouldn’t cover it and the cost out of my pocket would be $12,000. After I got on medicare I checked again and it was covered. I had 3/4 of my stomach removed on June 6, 2012 and have lost 120 pounds, going from a 2X to a 12 in pants and a 2X to a medium in shirts. I would have taken a second job to pay that $12,000 if I knew how great I would feel. After losing 60 pounds, I was able to quit using a C-Pap machine at night also. I have worked out and walked alot trying to firm up my muscles. As a result of that, my back issues are not as bad as they used to be. Learning how to eat right and how much I can eat didn’t take that long. (If you eat brocolli or ice cream and have stomach cramps, you learn fast). I know what I did isn’t for everyone, but it worked for me. I wish you (and others with extra weight) continued success in finding the new you. My daughter even said I became a much happier person because I wasn’t in so much pain. I love life and enjoy playing with my two 3 year old grandons now (before they played on grandma’s lap because I couldn’t get up & down without pain), I enjoy shopping for clothes and shoes – anyone seriously overweight knows clothes shopping is very stressful. I even colored my hair for the very first time. I felt old before so it didn’t matter if my hair was grey. I feel at least 25 years younger now. I have no desire to be a size 4 and have learned how to keep my weight where I want it to be. At 66, I am sporting many wrinkles and if I lost more, I would have many more.lol Again I think you have reason to be proud of yourself and I give you alot of encouragement for being able to do this yourself. I sometimes beat myself up thinking that I was unable to control my weight for so long.
Stephanie Wimer says
Bonnie! What an amazing transformation! Let me know if you’d ever like to write more of your story and/or send us pictures–you have a very inspirational piece and I’d love to share more of it with our readers!! Thanks for sharing!
You ARE fabulous. And now you are also INSPIRATIONAL. Keep going babygirl! We’re all rooting for you!