I haven’t used this blog in a long time and decided I will use it to track my weight loss journey and hopefully, it will help me stay accountable for myself. Also, I figure it might be helpful to write about what I’m going through as I’m going through it.
While this is about weight loss, you will find it is also about personal development, facing the shadowy parts of self, letting shit go, realigning myself with who I want to be, discovering who I am and what I am made of and much more. While this is, on the surface, about the physical, it will intersect with the mental, emotional and spiritual as well. I got here by abusing myself in all these ways or allowing abuse to happen to me. I didn’t get here because of a medical condition – well not entirely. No one else put me here but me. I put myself into situations and I remained in situations that led to self-disrespect, to not caring about myself the way I need to, so this is very much also a journey in self-care, self-love, self-nurturing, self-parenting, self-sufficiency, discipline and more.
It’s very easy to play the victim or the damsel in distress always looking for someone else to help and if life has taught me nothing else, the one thing it has taught me is you only have yourself and you only need yourself and it is only ever up to you to make the decision, to take the action and to follow through. I’m the one who ate the way I have, I am the one who thought the way I though, I am the one who made the choices that got me where I am today, at 141.5 kgs. That isn’t even the heaviest I’ve been. I made it all the way up to 155.8 kg, maybe higher but that is when I understood if I kept going the way I was going, not caring, too tired not just physically but mentally and emotionally to look after myself, then I would end up on the news one day when I died and they had to lift the roof of the house just to get me out. When I saw 155.8 kg on the scales, I decided that was it. I had to stop letting other people’s actions and choices affect me, even when those choices/action were directly about or toward me. It was time for me to love me the way I deserve even when it felt like no one else in the world did or could. I mean, I always knew only I could love me right and that how other people felt about me didn’t matter but knowing it and acting on it are two vastly different energies.
I decided I had experienced morbid obesity enough now and it was time to love myself more, treat myself better and help myself live a long life.
If only it was that easy, right?
For around 3 years since that awful day when I stood on the scales and saw 155.8 kg I have been struggling along trying to lose weight as best I was capable of at the time. Let’s face it, I was deep in the trenches of the depression war, fighting it with anti-depressant after anti-depressant and failing. All the while becoming chronically fatigued to the point that I could barely lift my arm come 3 in the afternoon let alone do anything at all. The first step, for me, was to wean myself off the medication that I KNEW was making me chronically fatigued despite my doctor assuring me it wasn’t the medications. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get healthy when I was always feeling that tired. So, I did it, I weaned myself off the drugs and instead began taking magnesium supplementation. Minimum 400 mg a day, sometimes more. Wow, it made a difference. For some people pharmaceutical drugs work and I am glad they work for them; however, they do not work for me. I literally tried 4 or 5 different types over a period of 4 years and not one of them made me feel any better and they all left me chronically fatigued. I knew magnesium did amazing things so I began taking it. I began to stop feeling so deathly tired every day. My mood increased and boy did I know it if I missed a day of magnesium, it would take me almost three days to recover and get back on track. Now, I take it religiously. If my mood dips into those dangerous levels, I double dose. That’s not to say I don’t still experience depression, I do. It just isn’t as bad as it was and I can manage, I can cope. The best thing though was the lifting of the veil of fatigue. That shit was killing me.
I’ve done a lot of things to try and reach a healthier weight again, even back when I was only overweight, not even obese let alone morbidly obese. I certainly did not get here overnight and I need to remind myself that means I won’t get back to overweight overnight either. Oh, how I long to be ‘just’ overweight. The first time I decided I needed to lose weight I was around 80 kg. I wish I could be that fat again. Back then though I just tried to give up coke cola and eat better and exercise more. It kind of worked. I would fluctuate between 60 kg to 80 kg. For years this went on. Then baby 2 came along and I discovered I had made it all the way up to 96 kg! I was mortified. Almost the dreaded three-figure 100 kgs! That one snapped me into gear and I went on Jenny Craig and got a gym membership that I went to religiously and I loved it. I was on Jenny Craig for a year, yet I still only managed to lose 20 kg. After a year my husband informed me that if I wanted to move back to Queensland to be near my family then I couldn’t afford to keep doing Jenny Craig, so it had to stop. Lucky for me the gym membership was already paid for so he couldn’t stop me going there… yet. A curious thing happened when I stopped Jenny Craig, something that will make me never use their service again. For about three or four days after I stopped, I had really bad stomach pains. It left me wondering what they add to their food that I went through such withdrawal symptoms…
So that got me back into the 80 kg range and we moved to Queensland to be near my family. I got another gym membership and I kept going with that and I tried to just eat better and I went to the doctor and said I have a thyroid problem. They tested me, sure enough, my thyroid is underactive. Thought maybe that might help reign in the weight gain and I guess it kind of worked. I got closer to 80 kgs again. Then I was informed by the husband that we had to move closer to the city so he didn’t have to commute so far and that meant paying higher rent and save up to buy a house, so guess what? I couldn’t afford to renew my gym membership anymore, so that went out the window. Funny thing about exercise, as the saying goes, it creates endorphins and endorphins create happy people and happy people just don’t kill their husbands….
Next baby 3 came along. I was still doing pretty well after he came thanks to the HcG diet my mother put me on to. That one is pretty brutal. You take the drops and you barely eat. I lived on tomato and fish for however long I did it. Yet, without the exercise, which I really did love, and being in a marriage where I did NOT feel loved or supported or even liked for that matter, it took its toll. My mood became progressively worse. My mother suggested St John’s Wort. I stubbornly refused to accept I was depressed and I stubbornly refused to go on anti-depressants. That is until I was put on probation with my license because I kept getting caught speeding. It was a friend who suggested I might have sleep apnoea after listening to me and having seen something on TV about it. Off I went to my current doctor and told him I had sleep apnoea after having researched it and decided my friend was actually spot on. I did a sleep study and sure enough, 32 obstructive instances per hour putting me in the chronic obstructive sleep apnoea class. Onto CPAP therapy I went. Realised, how dangerous I was driving around before that. For a while, I felt so much more rested and alert through the day, it was great. Sadly, it didn’t stop the depression I was still denying I had. It wasn’t until I spent a really dark 48 hours seriously thinking about killing myself, despite the fact I had three children who loved me, that I decided it was time to give in. I went on anti-depressants and saw yet another psychologist. By this stage I think I was up to my third one so far in this lifetime.
At this point I had SERIOUSLY threatened to leave my husband twice, the first time I even threw my wedding ring at him. But I loved him. So much. More than I have ever loved anyone other than my own children and my sister. Despite feeling absolutely miserable in my marriage even though I begged him over and over and over to help me make it better, I stayed. I kept staying. Then I went on the anti-depressants and began seeing a psychologist I made my husband choose in order to try and help us because what is the point in taking the anti-depressants when the very thing that is causing the depression isn’t changing or being worked on, right? Well, the counselling is a whole other story for another time, as is the deeper currents of my marriage so we will fast forward now.
Looking back a couple of years later I was devastated as I went through photos of myself and saw me ‘before anti-depressants’ and ‘after anti-depressants’. There is a very clear delineation there. I put on at least 20 kgs in almost the blink of an eye once I started the medication that didn’t even work because the cause wasn’t being fixed no matter how much *I* tried. At the end of the day though, sometimes what YOU can do is simply not enough.
The husband was given a deposit for a house from his father and had researched the cheapest place to buy a home that was affordable and we then moved away from the city. Ironic really. It was even further from the city than where we were when we lived near my family but it was ok now because 1) it wasn’t near my family, 2) it wasn’t near the ocean where I regain some of my sanity from just being on the sand near the water and 3) it was HIS decision and it meant owning a home which is what he wanted at the expense of our marriage. We moved to a rental while looking for a house in the area. I literally said to him in therapy while we were living there that I was done. He somehow didn’t hear me. I went to the therapist again by myself after that and asked her if she heard me clearly and understood what I was saying because he just carried on as if I hadn’t said I was done and that the marriage was over. His lack of understanding what I said shocked me into staying longer it was so mind-numbingly confusing.
By this stage I was over the dreaded three-digit number. I was probably fluctuating between 100 and 110 kgs by then. I was fighting a losing battle! Between the deep sadness I felt within my marriage, the lack of exercise other than walking around the neighbourhood and the anti-depressants all fighting against me, my only solace was food. Not just good, healthy fresh foods though no. Deep, thick, filling, heavy carbohydrate and sugar filled foods, that and art were the only things keeping me alive at that point. I know I had a choice, I do. Looking back, I know I had a choice but while I was in it, it felt like I had no choice but to gain weight. Those foods were literally the only thing giving me an endorphin hit by this point.
I didn’t even make it a year in the house he bought. I wasn’t even particularly upset when it happened. I wasn’t having any major issues or hateful thoughts, I wasn’t particularly in any emotional pain. I had begun seeing my own therapist, as the one we had been seeing together disintegrated like one before that I had convinced him to go to with me. It was all too easy for him to not work on things. I loved my therapist. She was right up my alley and with her encouragement, I arted more. I did so much art journaling thanks to Tam Laporte and her LifeBook course. I connected more deeply with me and who I am and who I wanted to be and what I wanted for myself and for my children so randomly, I ended up blurting out very clearly that I wanted a divorce and when I said it I shocked myself but I knew I wasn’t taking it back. I was done. I was done begging him to help me build the life I needed to survive.
You would think that when I left, that would somehow make things better. The biggest cause of my depression was no longer something I had to deal with 24/7… except that isn’t true. After 10 years there is still a lot of stuff that needs to be dealt with, especially at first. Even more so when you are the one that left even though you still love them. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I knew it was the best thing but it hurt so badly. For the first year he made a very feeble attempt to keep the marriage going, by feeble, I mean non-existent by more than just words. It took 10 months after I left for him to agree to counselling again (like it worked the first 2 times, what was I thinking?) and it was in the last session we ever went to together I discovered I really was done. I discovered he really didn’t love me. I mean, I knew it, deep down, but there comes a time where no matter how much you love someone, you can’t keep making excuses for them and you can’t keep fooling yourself into believing the fairy tale you’ve created just so you can survive.
By this stage the anti-depressants had a good hold of me and I was up around 120 kgs. The pain was intense. The pain was searing. I wanted to just pull my heart out of my body and bury it somewhere deep and dark where no one could ever find it again. 10 years of deeply loving someone who never loved you the same way back, never could love you the same way back… it’s soul destroying. Again, my only solace was food. I was on Isagenix by this stage with some success but it was a constant fight. The motivation and self-love and self-caring would emerge for awhile but then I would sink into the depths of depression once more where I just didn’t care anymore, I was defeated. I was utterly and completely defeated. I even tried the GAPS diet for awhile, that’s gross. I’m really not a bone broth consumer. I wish I was, but I’m not.
I walked away from my marriage at the start of 2015. It was the start of 2016 that I realised he didn’t want to fix our marriage and so I said enough is enough and I called it. Time of death January 2016. It was around mid-2016 that I hit 155.8 kg. I was literally eating myself to death because the pain was too much to bear. This was definitely not how I envisaged my life. Yeah, I walked out of the marriage but he killed it. I spent most of those 10 years resuscitating it and keeping it alive by bear threads but in the end, he killed it.
So mid-2016 I tried Isagenix again with little success, the determination and discipline just wasn’t there. 2017 I discovered keto and had decent success with it. Managed to get myself to fluctuate between 138 kg and 142 kgs. In January of 2018, the divorce was finalised and I was still in a lot of pain. 2017 was when I actually really accepted my marriage was over, some stupid part of me just wouldn’t stop holding on to hope even after I called time of death but come 2017, I finally accepted the death and it was only then that I began to allow myself to even grieve. I think it was the grieving and the allowing myself to feel the pain of it all that really helped me lose the weight that year, more than anything. 2018 wasn’t so successful. I didn’t spend any time allowing my grief or feelings any space. I think part of me though come on, it’s time you were over this already, just move the fuck on. He has. It doesn’t really work like that though. I buried myself in trying to earn money working from home so I could be here for my children and I didn’t allow space for the feels other than the handful of times it would sneak up and smack me over the back of the head and I would be left thinking why isn’t this done yet? Will it ever end? Can it just stop, please?! It’s now 2019 and I don’t think the pain will ever end to be honest. There are moments where I think I have been so damaged that there is just no coming back, ever. That heart I wanted to bury? I put it in a trunk in the deep recesses of my brain and my Inner Child sits on it with the key that unlocks the chains that are wrapped around it and she is not giving up that key, probably ever.
2018 was a bust for me. I mean, I lost a LOT of weight in 2018, unfortunately, it just kept coming back again so at the end of the year, I essentially have lost no weight.
I don’t know if 2019 will be any different for me. I have no faith in myself. I have no faith in my ability to look after myself, parent myself, discipline myself. None. So I guess, if you’re reading this and you continue to read it, together we will see. Together we will see if 2019 is different for me. Maybe I am a little more healed this year. Maybe I am a little more willing to look after myself this year. We will see.
DISCLAIMER: This turned out to be a lot more about my failed marriage than I thought it would, though it makes sense as that marriage, the dynamics, the relationship, it all lead me to where I am today. I just want to throw in here, that even though I left my husband and even though there might be some allusions to him being a bad human, I want to say HE IS NOT A BAD HUMAN. He is a good human. He is not an alcoholic or drug addict, he is loyal, trustworthy and as honest as the next person. I didn’t leave because he was a bad human. He is a good father and he does the best that he is capable of. So, while he was a key character in the story of how I got where I am today, he is not the villain. There is no villain here, except for maybe me because I made the choices that led me to where I am. He is merely a character that influenced those choices but I, I am the one who made the choices and followed through with the choices.