“I lived my life thinking this was just how it had to be. I’d always have to shop in the plus-size section. My genetics were stacked against me. And I had to live my life in chronic pain, overweight, and completely miserable.
My medical history started to feel like a joke, except the joke was on me. I was insulin resistant, one Coke away from diabetes, had sleep apnea, PCOS and lived in chronic pain following a traumatic brain injury.
Decades, and an extra 125 pounds later, I decided this way of life no longer served me. I painted hard boundaries. Reprioritized my life and finally started loving myself for the first time ever. In January of 2019, I decided this was the year I would transform my life. No more resolutions. No more diets. I was just going to be the person I always wanted to be.
For years, I made promises to myself that I broke. Sure, I’d happily comply with other people’s rules and expectations of myself, but any sort of self-defined promise was short-lived. That January, I decided I would no longer break promises to myself. Ever again.
Letting go of all those years of hard feelings and bad habits isn’t over. It’s still a battle. But in one year, my husband, Jared, and I lost 100 pounds and have a nearly clean bill of health.
I’d tried to ‘diet’ like everyone else, but it just never worked for me. The counting calories, points or macros put me in this state of deprivation and in a total diet mindset. And with that mindset, all the changes I made, positive or not, would only feel short-lived.
I always thought, especially when dieting, that what you have to eat to lose weight is temporary. The food I eat now is delicious and it won’t change, even after I am done losing. There is no timeline. There is no real destination. I plan to just consistently show up for myself. Which by the way is new for me. I’m really good at doing that for everyone else but myself.
I’d love to tell you it was simple. That the pounds just flew off and I only had to change my mindset. But it’s hard. It’s really freaking hard. Society paints this picture if you reduce calories and exercise more, then you’ll lose weight. But that oversimplifies things. We are human. Human bodies are complicated.
I had to unmask all the reasons I was overeating. I had to get to the root of the problem. That meant admitting for the first time out loud, I had an eating disorder. I had been living with this secret since I was a young child. I was a binge eater and a secret eater.
I ate and over-ate for every reason you could possibly think of: to celebrate, to mourn, in boredom, in spite, because I was hungry, because I was sad, but mostly for the temporary high. I was an addict and food was my drug.
The deck felt pretty stacked against me. I was medically and emotionally a train wreck. I could barely walk up a flight of stairs. And I was AT LEAST 125 pounds overweight (hell, that doesn’t even get me back to a normal BMI). I became sick and tired of being sick and tired. I felt so bad for so long that I honestly forgot what normal felt like. I thought being tired and sluggish when you woke up in the morning was how everyone felt. If this was going to work, I had to believe it was possible.
So, I started surrounding myself with people who’d overcome great adversity and accomplished incredible things. I cut out the negativity, literally blocked and unfollowed people and set up an environment I could thrive in.
I knew I couldn’t do it alone though. As much as I wanted to believe I could do this, I needed support. My husband came home from a doctor’s appointment in December 2018. He seemed defeated and frustrated. I vividly remember him looking at me and saying, ‘Babe, it’s time!’
You see, I wasn’t alone in this. My husband was also overweight. One more round of bad bloodwork and his doctor was going to put him on several medications. We knew we had to do this together. And that’s exactly what we did.
In one year, my life completely and radically changed.
In the first 30 days, I lost 18 pounds. I challenged myself to workout 100 days in a row and then 3-4 times a week following that. In less than 6 months, I went from struggling to walk a flight of stairs to climbing not one, but 2 mountains. I cooked at home 90 percent of the time. I said goodbye to a decade worth of weight gain. I fit in jeans the size I was in high school. I have seen the shock on peoples’ faces the first time they see me in months. I trained for and ran a 5k the day after my 30th birthday. I no longer have signs or symptoms of chronic pain, PCOS, pre-diabetes or sleep apnea.
I’m not the only one that can do this.⠀
You can wear smaller clothes. You can live without pain. You can eat good food. You don’t have to feel deprived. You can have more energy. You can improve your mood.⠀
You see, health and wellness isn’t a destination. Just like LIFE isn’t a destination. There will always be different seasons and sometimes we find ourselves chasing perfection – drinking water, eating right, working out, supplementing all our body needs. And other times a cheeseburger and excuses are about all we can manage.⠀
I’d love to tell you I’ve found a way to do it all. But instead, I’m going to tell you the only way to see progress is to get uncomfortable. Growth comes with change, change comes with uncertainty.⠀⠀
It will always feel WEIRD when we are about to go through a growth spurt. The universe is just shaking things up to prepare you for something even more incredible ahead.⠀⠀
Stay true to what you can control, keep moving forward, and know that change means growth. And forward is always better than backward.”⠀
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Abagail Pumphrey from Kansas City, MO. You can follow their journey on Instagram and Facebook. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
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