‘If you’re having trouble losing weight, CHECK YOUR THYROID. Before I was medicated, I was sick, sad and dying.’

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“When I was in high school, I was the ‘fat girl.’ I’d stare slack-jaw at the popular girls as they ate their lunches, all while my stomach growled painfully. I’d often skip breakfast, and sometimes lunch, trying to shed a few pounds. I couldn’t understand what their secret was, but I was determined to figure it out.

My highest weight, at 4’11”, was 230 pounds. Yeah, that’s what you call a dangerous BMI. I always knew I was pretty big, but I never realized how bad it was until I had ‘after’ pictures to compare it to.

Shay Saucier

The bullying was bad. It started at the end of elementary school and just didn’t stop. I once had a boy ask me out on a date in front of the whole class, all while his friends snickered. If you’ve ever felt that, you know how humiliating it is. In PE class I would get called fat and slow during running exercises. I was the classic fat kid with constant bullies. I would explain that I had a thyroid disorder and was unable to get the medication yet, and EVERYONE accused me of lying. I just wanted to be accepted. I’d lay in bed at night begging and crying to just look normal. Eventually I was done with the fat jokes, and just some particularly horribly behaved students, and dropped out of school the first quarter of my senior year.

I worked and dated for a while, and ended up getting married and pregnant. When my son, Jarett, was born my life felt full. I had a husband, a son, and felt like I had someone who would love me no matter if I was always fat.

Shay Saucier

In April 2017, I finally got my official diagnosis—Hypothyroidism. I had known I had it for years at this point, but many patients suffering from this disorder will tell you it is HARD to get a doctor to believe you when you insist there has to be something bigger wrong. The screening priority for thyroid health is absolutely horrifying. If you’re having trouble losing weight, PLEASE CHECK YOUR THYROID.

Two months later, my husband asked for a divorce and left. I took that as an opportunity to focus on my health and giving myself the transformation I had always dreamed about. I began a new job, made friends, and started to enjoy life. I began skateboarding with my now boyfriend, and fell in love with him and skating. (Ha.) I don’t really remember the weight coming off. It happened so fast. But, the medication was working. I no longer had multiple intense cravings for sweets at night. It was never the quantity that I ate, but the calorie dense foods that my body would scream for, like pasta, cake, and soda.

Shay Saucier

I’m a year into my weight loss journey, and I don’t even care for pasta or soda anymore. Cake, on the other hand… let’s just say I have it under control.

I follow a diet I found on Reddit called 1200 is Plenty. Basically, if you need to lose weight, 1200 calories is plenty. However, be aware of your TDEE, because every person is different.

Before I was medicated and lost the weight, I was sick, sad and dying. Now, I can run again just in time for my wild child to be a crazy 3-year-old. I feel confident, loved, and most importantly, I feel NORMAL.

Shay Saucier

I couldn’t have done it without the support of my amazing boyfriend, and my loving parents. My boyfriend stood by me through some horrifying medical problems and a LOT of emotional problems from this transition. And well, my parents had to raise a teenager with a hormonal imbalance on top of the already insane hormone problems of a normal teen. Summer 2017 I almost died of sepsis because of a kidney stone. It took me a month or so to recover fully, and I spent a week admitted in the hospital. Hypothyroidism causes chronic kidney problems, although that’s been the worst of it for me. I was terrified for a while, and slept as little as possible, afraid I’d die in my sleep. My boyfriend, although we just started dating, rushed me to the hospital and stayed all night after finding me barely conscious in my car in a Walmart parking lot at 2 a.m. The doctor said if I had gotten home and to sleep, it’s probable I would have died during the night.

I am beyond proud of myself. I’ve come out of my shell and grown (and shrunk!) as a person. My current weight is 147 pounds. I’ve lost 83 pounds. I believe all different types of people are absolutely beautiful, but being that big is not healthy. If you are interested in losing weight, please talk to your doctor, and don’t stop until you’re taken seriously. Nothing will change until you force it to change.”

Shay Saucier

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Shay Saucier, 23, of Forth Worth, Texas. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

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