Ugly Betty to Betty Boop #2 - My Story of Weight Loss from the Inside Out

posted on: March 25, 2012

Being fat is a process, much like being healthy. It's a process of choices that we make every day. For me, that process started somewhere around my 23rd trip around the sun and shortly after becoming engaged to my husband. In many ways, it felt a bit like a switch had been flipped and instead of my body converting food into energy, it was converting food into fat. I didn't feel like I had made drastic changes to my diet or exercise routine, yet my favorite clothes were no longer fitting me and it was becoming harder to shop the clearance rack for a regular size. I always considered myself the person who could eat anything and not gain weight, but a new pound of fat each month was quite clearly telling me otherwise.

[WARNING: Too much information ahead]

Gaining weight wan't my only problem- other changes were happening as well. I started missing periods, I started growing dark hair in places that I hadn't before, my skin started breaking out more, and instead of gaining weight all over, a lot of my weight was ending up around my abdomen. The university nurse practitioner wondered if I suddenly had poly-cycstic ovarian syndrome, but after testing for several of the regular symptoms associated with PCOS and getting negative results, the verdict was inconclusive. Several other doctors and multiple tests later, the results still do not point to signs of PCOS. According to blood tests, I also wasn't diabetic, and even though my thyroid was slightly lower than average, it wasn't low enough to cause a metabolic shut down. By normal medical measures, I was a happy and healthy person. I always had low blood pressure and a healthy heart rate, and I could still crank out 45 minutes of intense cardio whenever I wanted.

My trips to the gym didn't seem to have any affect on the pounds of fat that I wanted to eliminate before getting into a wedding dress. Exercise also wasn't helping me recognize the stranger I started seeing in photographs of myself. If Facebook had been around, I probably would have untagged myself from all photos simply because I didn't recognize myself. That stranger looked like an overweight stunt double version of me, but it certainly didn't look like the Anne I knew and loved. I always had that weird feeling when I looked at pictures of myself, as many people do- the person in photos feeling different from the person in the mirror, but that's easily explained. A picture is how other people see us, a mirror is a reverse image of our body. I knew what that felt like, but this unrecognizable person just looked like an alien to me, not even a reverse image of myself, more like a "Nutty Professor" version of myself.

The more I denied that the overweight stranger in the photos was me, the more weight I gained. My body stopped looking like a chunky hourglass and started looking like a fat person. I no longer felt comfortable showing off my figure and started to wear clothes that hid my best features rather than highlighting them. Shopping became more frustrating as I was no longer able to shop average size racks and had to start looking in the plus sections. Finding clothes that didn't make me feel like an old bag lady became increasingly difficult. I kept putting stakes in the ground when it came to weight gain. The first stake was 200lbs. I decided that if I reached 200lbs, I would start making drastic changes. I'm not even sure when I hit 200lbs, but I have a feeling it was somewhere during a point in time when I was too consumed with work to implement any real changes. The next time I was able to think about my health, the stake was moved to 230lbs. It wasn't until I reached 260lbs that I actually started to take control of my health and make real changes happen.

4 comments, to add [click here]:

  1. Anonymous7:25 PM

    And you're making better choices day by day, with every sip and fork-lift. It's so much nicer to feel healthy, without regard to the look. (Of course, when you weighed way too little, I didn't think you looked or were healthy, either...) just love yourself.

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  2. I live this second hand (since I am married). Good luck!

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  3. I have struggled with weight all my life, Anne. Your courage to talk about this is inspiring, and I look forward to reading the next installment! <3

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  4. This sounds like I wrote it. So much of what you are saying is just what I am going through at the moment. Recently married, tested positive for PCOS, can't believe what I look like in pictures and constantly saying 'you've got to get my good angle!'. I'm slowly trying to get a handle on it but it seems so overwhelming at times. And food is so comforting.

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