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cmcd1070 05-01-2013 10:55 AM

So Much To Be Thankful For
I gained most of my current weight over a period of a few years between 2001-2005. I plateaued at 240lbs and remained that size until 2007. I'm 5'2, so that is morbid obesity. Prior to gaining this weight, I had not been diagnosed with any major illnesses. I've never really been THIN but I was within normal BMI range up into my 20's. All my blood tests were normal, one doctor even said my cholesterol levels were "enviably low". My husband and I were never able to have children and my cycles were never normal since high school, but otherwise I was relatively healthy.

However, in 2005 I became very ill. I was hospitalized and on disability for several months due to severe systemic inflammation within my body that resulted in multiple diagnosis of chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and sjogrens disease, all inflammatory diseases. I was also diagnosed with PCOS, insulin resistance, pre-diabetes (my A1C was .1 away from being type 2 diabetes). I took 22 different medications, some of them up to 6 times per day.

While taking all that medication for two years, I still didn't feel good but I at least was able to sluggishly make my way through work each day (I still had an unreasonably high number of sick days). This was clearly devastating to my life, but as I went into my 30's without any children and my clock started ticking, the consequences of the multiple diagnosis which included infertility were particularly heart breaking.

After trying a number of other low fat\low calorie\vegan\you-name-it other weight loss plans and failing again and again, in 2010 I decided to work towards bariatric surgery. After a year, I finally had my surgery in 2011. It cost me all of my savings, including my retirement fund, but I lost over 60lbs in a year.

Instead of following the guidelines for that surgery which require high protein low carb diet, I was still losing weight living on nothing but sugar and slider foods which are basically all carbs. I should have lost more weight from the surgery but the failure was my behavior and not the tool. The doctors said that my fertility would likely be restored after weight loss surgery but that didn't happen because my endochrine system was still a disaster. My body is not good at processing carbs. It pumps out too much insulin, throwing off everything else, including the hormones involved in fertility.

Now, at 70lbs lost over the past 2 years, I no longer have systemic inflammation. My ANA results are well within normal range. No more fibromyalgia, sjogrens or fatigue. My A1C levels were still pre-diabetic. I forgot to mention that my blood pressure was always low before I started gaining in 2001 and by 2010 my BP was through the roof and my cholesterol levels were no longer "enviable". I was also using a CPAP machine to sleep due to severe apnea which I no longer need, thankfully. I was taken off all the anti-inflammatory, blood pressure and pain medications.

But, in the process of losing the weight in the first six months I suddenly found myself in a terrible state mentally. I had developed full blown anxiety with panic disorder and I was NOT coping well with life. Shortly after returning to work after my surgery, I took another leave of absence for 6 weeks to take daily classes on anxiety, stress and coping skills. When that didn't help, I added 2 new medications for anxiety and depression. One of them is known to cause weight gain, so even though I had just had bariatric surgery, I was gaining weight. I had to research this myself, I had terrible mental health care after my surgery!

I found my own doctor outside of network who helped me get on the right medications and get me functioning again. Another thing that happened after surgery was I began fainting for no obvious reason. I went in for 6 EKG's over a 3 month period. The cardiologist then had me wear an event monitor for 30 days. The results of that showed my sinus node misfiring and there was talk of a pace maker. I had just turned 40. It took a long time but eventually everything worked itself out. That is, except for my blood sugar, insulin resistance and infertility. By March of this year I was down to just 3 medications per day. 2 for anxiety\insomnia and 1 to regulate my heart rate.

Now that I am eating a low carb diet, all my carbs come from fresh veggies and a small amount from sugar free drink mixes in my water. The symptoms of PCOS and insulin resistance have, for the past two months of being on Atkins, all but vanished. My A1C levels are a full 2 points lower. My DH and I are hopeful that this may positively impact the subsequent infertility as well. I have not been in to see my RE to confirm this but my cycles have been normal for 2 months and I have ovulated for 2 months. I have not had a normal cycle since high school, even when my BMI was normal because I was still eating very high carbs, just not enough to gain YET.

When I started this WOE, I just wanted to fix what I had broken by not following the diet guidelines of the surgery. I hoped that it would help somehow with the anxiety and the chaos that I always felt which I now know was very much tied to the glucose and insulin battle being waged inside my body. I never dreamed that it would change the one thing I had accepted as inevitable, my infertility.

What started out originally as a weight loss journey has turned into so much more. I'm sure we all have had a similar experience on this WOE. I had just been reflecting after a month on Atkins on how much has changed in that short time. Even if my husband and I never have the children we have both always wanted, I now have a sense of peace about it because I know why it happened. The worst part was always just not knowing and feeling powerless. Maybe if I had started this journey 10 years earlier, things would have turned out differently, who knows. At least for now there is a glimmer of hope where before there was none.

After a month on Atkins, I am down to 1 pill per day for insomnia. I no longer need to regulate my heart rate, it is normal. I am ZEN! I am so happy to be off all of that medication and to have my heart rate regulated, no more talk of pace makers at 40! All the craziness I felt, rapid heart rate, flushing, sweating, dizziness, fainting, confusion... GONE. Nothing hurts. Do you know what that feels like?!

I am not losing weight as quickly as I would have liked, but I do think I have to consider that I'm down 70lbs over the course of 2 years and even though it is slow going right now, I'm still losing. But I just cannot articulate how meaningful the changes in my health have been! I want to shout if from the rooftop!! Stop eating all that sugar people!! But if I had heard it back then I wouldn't have listened. It's a journey we have to make on our own.

I am WELL! I am not SICK! Nothing HURTS!! I don't have my own personal pharmacy next to my bed (although I do take an awful lot of vitamins now). I have SO MUCH ENERGY! The CRAZIES are gone and I finally feel at PEACE inside my body.

10 years ago I was waiting to die. Not to be dramatic, but honestly, there were days where I thought I could not live one more minute in all that pain and chaos going on in my body. I feel better now than I did when I was 25. What a blessing to have found this place, and all of you who inspired me to try and believe this could work and keep me motivated daily. I have so much to be thankful for!!

zipp2play 05-02-2013 07:17 AM


I am WELL! I am not SICK! Nothing HURTS!! I don't have my own personal pharmacy next to my bed (although I do take an awful lot of vitamins now). I have SO MUCH ENERGY! The CRAZIES are gone and I finally feel at PEACE inside my body.

You have had quite a journey, I LOVE your attitude!

shelby'snana 05-02-2013 09:04 PM

Great ! I am so glad you found this site and are having so many blessings in your life !

cmcd1070 05-03-2013 08:25 AM

Thank you Zipp2Play, a good attitude has not always come easy for me lol. I've been reading your journal when I can. I have to say, the up and down and vigilant monitoring of your calories seems overwhelming to me. I'm not sure how you keep up with all of that! I think Atkins is my lazy way of eating. If I don't want to think too much about it, I know meat and eggs are safe and I can just default to that. Keeping track of every thing you eat and which days are up or down, that is hard work!! And the amount of exercise you get is impressive! I usually only work out on the weekends though I have intentions of doing more during the weekdays. I do about 2-4 solid hours of intense cardio (usually hiking mountains) on both Sat and Sun and maybe an hour walk during the week. When I read you do 5 miles a day, I took my hat off to you!! =)

cmcd1070 05-03-2013 08:27 AM

Thank you Shelby'snana. I was looking at your stats. We are the same height, but your starting weight is almost exactly where I am 2 years into my weight loss journey! :\
I would be THRILLED to be at your current weight, that is almost my entire goal!!

cmcd1070 05-05-2013 10:11 AM

So, maybe I jinxed myself by saying I'M NOT SICK!! =) My DH caught a terrible cold and I came down with a milder version of it but my immune system really did a good job of fighting it off. I used to catch every little thing going and be sick for weeks.

My weigh days are Sundays. This is my first weigh in for the month of May and I'm down 1lb. It's still slow going, but at least it's going!

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