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-   -   The 40th Birthday and reflections~~extra long post! (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/juddd/783750-40th-birthday-reflections-extra-long-post.html)

KeirasMom 09-22-2012 07:18 AM

The 40th Birthday and reflections~~extra long post!
Most of you here know a lot about me already. I don't hold back about myself, whether it's a positive trait I possess, like determination and tenacity, or something more negative, like my mild OCD and thyroid disease. As I just turned 40, I decided it was time for some reflection and reminiscences.

I had a pretty bad childhood, with a mother who was a hoarder (her own form of OCD) and we won't even talk about the evil that was/is my father. I had a LOT of stress growing up, but I was never a heavy child. I was quite average until 7th grade when I grew 7 inches in 3 months. Talk about growing pains! It was awful! I went from one of the shortest kids in class to the tallest. I felt pretty much like a freak, especially at school dances when the boys came up to my chest, which also developed overnight. :eek: But, I was thin.

In high school, as my stress level grew, I became thinner and thinner. My senior year, I was 5'9" and 106 pounds. I was gaunt and frail looking, though of course I didn't think so at the time. I ate, but could not put on weight. I had a doctor who put me on birth control and advised me to drink Ensure drinks with and between every meal for the extra calories. I did gain about 20 pounds in the course of a year, but I did severe damage to my metabolism.

I got married right out of high school. In hindsight, I know I did this to get away from my family, not because I'd found my soul mate. He was manipulative and jealous, and life just wasn't good. I divorced him after 3 1/2 years.

As you can imagine, my self-esteem was pretty much in the toilet. I went from bad relationship to bad relationship for a few years. During that time, I got up to about 175 pounds. I felt HUGE!

In 1999 I met the man who changed my life. DH is the most caring, wonderful, patient man I know. He accepts all of my quirks and loves me even more because of them. He knows all of the trauma I endured as a child, and helps me to feel beautiful and loved and cherished. He is amazing! We lived together for a few years before we got married because I was just too afraid to put myself in the same situation I was in with my first marriage. He never pushed me, just let me learn how to be me. The man is a saint!

We got married, and a year later got pregnant with Keira. She is the most amazing kid I know. She also has OCD, and a bit of inattentive ADD, though I suspect they're related. She's bright and inquisitive. She goes to a charter school for advanced children and gets straight A's with the occasional B thrown in, just to show me she's human.

I finally realized I have a great life, a wonderful family, and I was worth some extra effort. By then I was nearly 280 pounds. October 24, 2011, I decided to take my weight back into my own hands. I started Atkins and had moderate success for six weeks. I had lost around 13 pounds, but decided I couldn't be low carb forever. I started perusing the JUDDD boards and read all I could. I took a weekend off between Atkins and JUDDD and ate whatever I felt like, then started JUDDD on December 12, 2011. I was 267.8 pounds (with the gain I experienced over that "free" weekend), and that is my JUDDD start weight.

I was losing well, and enjoying my WOE, but then I got sick. I was so lethargic I could barely function. I was freezing all the time, not just on DDs. My joints ached. I was in a constant "foggy" state. I couldn't remember simple tasks or words. I was having hives and rashes. All in all, I was a mess. I have a family history of Lupus, and was sure that's what was wrong with me!

I went in for some blood tests, and found out it wasn't Lupus! :jumpjoy: I have hypothyroidism. Since my diagnosis, my aunt informed me that my mother (who was morbidly obese most of her life) also had thyroid disease, as did my grandmother. Had I known, I would have been checking for it periodically throughout my life, but my mother was very secretive about her health, and never told me.

As I look back over my years of "very thin" and "very fat" and every weight in between, I see some patterns. I'm quite positive I have Hashimoto's which is an autoimmune thyroid disorder which swings between hyper- and hypo-thyroidism. I suspect if I'd been evaluated earlier, I may never have gotten so fat, or even to the point of near starvation. This is neither here nor there in terms of my journey, except that if anyone reads this and learns from it, I'd like you to be honest with your family about your health conditions. I can't tell you how much I stressed over my weight through the years. Obviously, I ate the wrong things, the wrong amounts, and didn't exercise enough, but I'm sure my thyroid disease just compounded my sins.

I am now medicated for my thyroid disease, but my meds are not yet optimized. I'm still trying to find a good doctor, but I'm doing "better." My weight loss did NOT increase with my medication. As a matter of fact, I had to take a maintenance break while I had my meds adjusted. I have actually lost a little bit slower since my diagnosis and medication. But I feel so much better, that's a trade-off I'm willing to make.

So, in October I set a goal for myself. I wanted to be in Onederland by my birthday. I didn't think I would be, but I decided to give myself a proper chance, and work hard at it. I hit Onederland a full month and a half BEFORE my birthday. Today I weighed in at 187.8, and I couldn't be happier.

When I started my journey, I thought I'd put my goal weight at 175 since that's about where I was when DH and I started dating. Now that I'm nearing that goal, I see there's still plenty of weight to lose, and I'm considering lowering that to about 160. However, I'm not putting a time limit on it. I have also decided that if I feel good at a higher weight, I'll declare maintenance. If I get to 160 and still feel I could lose a little more, I may lower it again. I will not go less than 150, as I think I start to look too thin there.

I'm not sure why I'm putting this all out there, except that you all have been so supportive and wonderful, and I am reflecting over the years. If I can help one newbie to take that leap of faith and come over to the "dark side" where we have cookies, I'm willing to tell my story, in all its convoluted detail.

If you've gotten this far into this "novel", bless you. You have an iron will. :D

Thank you so much, my lovely JUDDD BUDDDS. I love you and appreciate you more than you will ever know. :love:

adillenal 09-22-2012 07:48 AM

And congratulations to you for taking charge of your own life and becoming healthy so you can ENJOY. I was 40 when my only child was born and I have battled the "baby weight" every since. I have never lost all of it since I gained 60 pounds with him. But he is now 23 and I am "almoost" back to pre-Kyle weight. So just think about 40 with a 7 year old or 40 with a newborn.:hyst:

Also so glad you found a supportive hubby. They are so important and key to a happy life. I am also lucky in that department.:) I was one of the lucky ones that had a lovely childhood and I am so thankful for that. My parents were older and have been gone for many years now but they left me with a legacy so I am appreciative especially after reading about others who were not fortunate.

GO DAWN!! You are on a roll.

brewstate 09-22-2012 07:48 AM

:birthday: Dawn, what a wonderful way to celebrate it! I find all the trauma of our lives gives us the strenghth to reach new heights when we need to and you certainly have shown that. I hope 41 sees you sitting at goal and where ever you want to be :heart:

sungoddess 09-22-2012 08:44 AM

Great post, as always. I am one who appreciates how you share all of who you are with us because just one little thing you say can be the one thing that makes a huge impact on someone else. It is trite for me to say life is a journey, but when I hear people's stories, I see that confirmed over and over again. We are all on one big learning journey. You have found the secret to your success. You have a wonderful husband and child and are doing the best thing for your health and well being. You are one bright and shining JUDDD star and as I have said over and over again, a true inspiration to me and many others.

I wanted to be in onederland by my birthday, and it is not going to happen for me :sad:, but I am thrilled for you that you made it and so far in advance!

Happy birthday to you, and whatever weight you decide to settle at, I know it will be what is best for you.

Carry on dear JUDDD BUDDD jewel!

Carly 09-22-2012 09:12 AM

:birthday: again!
Thank you Dawn for sharing with us. You are a true JUDDD inspiration!

TryingJudd 09-22-2012 10:39 AM

Dawn - you are an inspiration to many here. Thanks for sharing your life success story which IMHO is so much more then success on the scale.

LindaD 09-22-2012 10:48 AM

Thank you for sharing your story Dawn.....and :birthday:

cici52 09-22-2012 11:47 AM

:cool: Thank you, Dawn. You did it in spite of the obstacles. Inspiring.

cici52 09-22-2012 11:55 AM

:cool: Thank you, Dawn. You did it in spite of the obstacles. Inspiring.

Erika1962 09-22-2012 12:00 PM

From the bottom of my heart, congratulations on all the wonderful things that happened in your life Dawn, and thank you so much for sharing your story. It touched me deeply, and I am sitting here kind of stunned because of the VERY similar background we have.
I have NO doubt in my mind that you will reach your goal, by your next birthday! :heart:

marlamp10 09-22-2012 12:37 PM

Happy Happy Birthday, Dawn! It was reading your posts that convinced me to try JUDDD. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

Saxy1971 09-22-2012 12:51 PM

Happy Birthday Dawn! And thank you so much for sharing your story with us--I'm so glad you're here. You are definitely an inspiration to those of us just starting and those that have been here with you all along the way! :)

fitmom 09-22-2012 12:59 PM

Thank you for your honesty Dawn. :clap:
You are a beautiful, strong woman. I love reading your posts!

I have struggled with my weight since childhood. My weight was THE topic of discussion at family get togethers. Was bullied and taunted. I have honestly never been thin in my life. I have been at reasonably normal weight at times (with huge effort) running miles, starving....a very painful area of my life.
My heart just breaks for all those struggling...

I am so glad I could learn from you and for the hope JUDDD offers :notwrthy:

gotitnow 09-22-2012 01:11 PM

:hugs::hugs:...I admire you sooooo much. Thank you for reminding me of how thankful I should be for my upbringing. What a wonderful ending to a life of hardship. I already knew through all your writings what strength and determination you possess. When I told you in the birthday thread that you had given yourself such a gift, I never knew the extent of it....until now. To "know" you, is to love you....even more!! :heart: Thank you again for sharing this with us.


gotitnow 09-22-2012 01:31 PM

Fitmom...I am so glad you are here, too. There really is hope with this WOE! It will be a pleasure to follow along with you on your journey to success.

I never dreamed when I came to this forum how much I would glean from it. In fact, I had never even posted before and to this day am insecure about it all, BUT...I just cannot hold back all the emotions and heart-felt thoughts when I am here among my new found (well sort of new) friends. Even though I am in maintenance now, I never fail to be inspired, touched, motivated, feel cared about, and on and on and on.........

So sorry you ever had to struggle. You are beautiful and have a beautiful family! I think you are gonna love it here!:)


tooraloora 09-22-2012 02:09 PM


thank you for sharing your story... I am inspired by your tenacity and openness. It is never too late to have a happier life. That is wonderful, in particular, to have found a great life partner, a true companion.

(I esp. related to the mistake of getting married young... although I was 21, and stayed a 2/3 unhappy 23.5 years... losing weight, feeling attractive, being more confident were some of the nails in the coffin of that unhealthy relationship... and I often wonder if subconsciously I knew that, and stayed really heavy for 20 of my years w. him... :confused:)

Kissa 09-22-2012 03:53 PM

Dawn what a wonderfully honest and open post. Thank you so much for trusting us with it. It is an honour to have a BUDDD like you, showing us all how keeping on keeping on really does work.

:birthday::birthday::birthday: Life begins, as they say!

Jbinme 09-22-2012 07:18 PM

Dawn-I really enjoyed reading your post. Thank you for sharing with us. I can tell you are a special and very caring person and how lucky you dh and dd are to have you. I want to tell you that you have inspired me to stay on top of my thyroid issues and make sure all is being done that can(easier said than done).
Hope you enjoyed your FD today!!

lynne2u 09-22-2012 08:52 PM

Wow. What an inspiring story!! Thank you for sharing it with us.

:birthday: :birthday:


fitmom 09-23-2012 12:08 AM

Thank you for your kindness Phyl
I feel welcome and safe here.:heart:

gotsomeold 09-23-2012 04:36 AM

Dawn, I join your DH in cherishing you. You are a good person who shares joy and caring with everyone you encounter. If is wonderful, hearing how you found your way out of darkness because you truly are a bright and shining light.

Alcestis 09-23-2012 06:11 AM

Happy birthday, and what a beautiful post. It demonstrates the honesty, trust and courage that we all have and also find on the wonderful JUDDD boards. I can relate to so much of your history and experience, Dawn, and I'm very glad to know you.


calichris 09-23-2012 10:30 PM

Happy belated birthday Dawn! I loved your reflection and am honored you shared it with us. I see myself in some of what you wrote, as I'm sure many others will as well. I am so thrilled you met your goal so far ahead of schedule that you are well into the next decade! Count me among those who have been inspired by you. :)

LoCarbGal 09-23-2012 11:36 PM

Thank you for that post Dawn. Your story is so touching. You are a strong woman and have overcome obstacles that would keep most people down. I'm so glad you found your wonderful DH and have your wonderful daughter. You deserve this happiness you've found (and worked hard for!)

zipp2play 09-24-2012 06:44 AM

Very insightful Dawn. There is typically a story behind the layers of fat or thinness. I am so thrilled you are in such a great place.

KeirasMom 09-24-2012 07:11 AM

You all inspire me every single day. Thank you for all the kind words and showing me, yet again, how amazing JUDDD BUDDDs are. You all :sing: !

mttemple4 09-24-2012 07:32 AM


Thank you so much for sharing, Dawn. Awesome post and definitely inspired some self-reflection here.

You rock.

sungoddess 09-24-2012 09:11 AM

What a gorgeous avatar Dawn. You do not look anywhere near 40! Lovely.

Kissa 09-24-2012 09:33 AM

You are beautiful Dawn, what a lovely photo, as Beverley says, you certainly don't look 40.

sunday 09-24-2012 09:52 AM

Dawn, I am even more inspired by your success after reading this than I was previously! :agree: :heart: You are beautiful and so is your family! I wish that I had looked into my health much earlier in life and especially my family background/history. It is so important.

Bless you! You really have no idea how many times your words have provoked me to hang in here, even when my losses seem slow. I have watched you remain steadfast and true to JUDDD while you endured some major health issues on your journey and it is especially meaningful that you are sharing with us a glimpse of your story! :hugs: :friends:

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