Ever since I was a little girl, my weight has been a struggle. I loved food, the sweeter the better. I was never very active, I’d rather draw or do crafts than go outside to play. I did play basketball for many years, but never was very good. I was always short of breath when running and thought up any excuse possible to get out of running the dreaded mile for time. I think I did it one time and was the LAST person to finish.
When I was 17 I began to gain a lot of weight in a short time, have irregular periods, and terrible abdominal pain. I was diagnosed with poly cystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and was told I needed to lose weight immediately. I was put on a diabetic medication because the PCOS had made me pre-diabetic, and started to lose weight. I remember going on diets like the Atkins Diet and Weight Watchers with my parents. I’m pretty sure this is were my obsession with weight and distorted thinking about food began. I lost some weight, but went on to gain even more weight over time.
Fast forward to December 2012. I was married to the man of my dreams, had one gorgeous son and was 36 weeks pregnant with my second. I was around 265lbs and even though my sweet OB never said anything about my weight, and my blood pressure was still bragidociously healthy, I knew I couldn’t continue on this path. I asked my mom to come over the following week to help me prep healthy freezer meals to set myself up for success after the baby came. I’m pretty sure this was the start of my weightloss journey began, though it’s never that easy, is it 😉
By October 2013 I had lost 100+ lbs since giving birth, I was working out at a local gym and eating healthy on the daily. I was even training for my first half marathon. I felt great, but something still felt lacking. I continued to weigh myself daily and log my calories. I began to develop an obsession with calories, in and out. By the time my baby turned 1, my 5’8″ frame was 135lbs soaking wet. I was embarrassed because I looked like a teenage boy and people would make comments like, “what happened to your butt?!” I was working out at a great gym, but with trainers that didn’t see the distructive behaviors I was learning. I was encouraged by a coworker to start weightlifting instead of running, because it would give me my curves back. It sure did, AND I could eat pretty much whatever I wanted while doing it! But then my obsession quickly turned to “gains” and “PRs”. I was working with trainers that were not properly correcting my form, began getting hurt constantly, so I began working out on my own. I’m pretty sure this obsession with weight was the beginning of my pelvis’ demise.
Now I’m here, it’s been 15 months since I’ve run or lifted a weight. I can’t lift my sons or walk long distances without a cane. I gained 30lbs from my happy weight (obviously not the 135lb version of myself), and even though I recently lost 12, my body is very different than it was before. The quads I once obsessed over won’t even flex for me now. The abs I worked so hard for are now weak and barely doing their job. The legs that carried me 100+ miles per month, can’t get me through the grocery store.
Now let me make this clear, I don’t think running, or weighting, or trainers, or even myself, did this to me. I truly believe that my body was the perfect storm and SIJD was coming for me, like it or not. Do I regret losing weight and working towards fitness? Oh hell no! I couldn’t imagine having 100+ lbs of pressure on my already sad joints. I also learned how capable I am of doing really hard things, which Is a great lesson for life. The truth is, I now truly believe that SIJD is t happening to me, it is happening FOR me. To teach me to respect the body I’m in, regardless of how heavy or light it is, or even for how much it can move. It’s teaching me empathy, compassion and perseverance. I’m pretty sure this is the beginning of my journey to true health and wellness.