April's Before and After
April’s Before and After

I’m sure you’ve already seen the picture above. It’s the first proof of my transformation so far. It’s where I am now, (and I’m not done) but let me tell you how I got started. This will be a multi-piece story, so bear with me. Ask any questions you like and I’ll try to answer them as I go through this story. I will be as honest as possible and I will be telling you all the gorey details. Know that going in…

I’ve gotten MANY requests on how I’m doing what I’m doing. I’ll be outlining it here so I can quit typing it over and over and truly, I really haven’t gotten the whole story out. It’s going to take me awhile to get it all out there because this is not a quick, easy fix and it wasn’t a quick easy process. It’s still ongoing. I think, also, you have to know what I’m coming from to understand how I got to where I am.

Like most people with weight problems, I have been a yo-yo dieter. I’m on my 4th weight loss. When I say that, I mean that I’ve put on and taken off over 40 pounds, 4 times in my life (maybe 5 times as I sit and think about it) since I was a teenager.

Here is a lovely picture of me at the biggest I’ve ever been. 235 pounds. (Dude, as I look at this, I realize, my husband really must love me…jeez)

April at 235 pounds
April at 235 pounds

I’ve done all the diets; Adkins, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, fasting, low calorie, low fat, low carb, etc. None of them seemed to work properly for me. I’ve even been to adult fat camp…TWICE. They were always just temporary fixes. I also tried the ‘eat whatever the fuck you want but exercise like a maniac’ diet as well. Needless to say, I’ve totally messed up my metabolism and I’ve screwed up my system to the point that I eventually had to have my gallbladder out as well.

Because I’ve dieted so much and exercised wrong and too hard, I’ve injured myself. I’ve always put on more weight than I lost each time and I’ve stretched my skin. That means I developed stretch marks and a poochy belly. I couldn’t get rid of it. I’ve never had a baby, but you wouldn’t have known it looking at my stomach. The next to the last time I got really heavy before this, I decided I would lose the weight and get a “mommy makeover”. It was the worst thing I could have ever done. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I got all that skin cut off and had my breasts lifted, but the recovery wasn’t as easy as what I was told it would be. I was told I’d be back to normal in 6 weeks. I had that the surgery November 2012.

I busted ass and lost almost 45 pounds and scheduled that surgery. It was my 40th birthday gift to myself. I was under the knife for 8 hours. I was never the same. I should have had some sort of physical therapy afterward but it was never suggested and I didn’t think to ask for it. After 6 weeks, I was putting on weight faster than ever before, I could barely walk and I was depressed. Badly badly depressed. I was still in school working on my Bachelor’s and had to just keep going. I gave up on trying to exercise and diet. I figured I was destined to be fat and that was that. (The depression that developed over the money lost on that surgery just added to the misery).

As my brother once said, “All the women in our family are short, round and close to the ground.” I just accepted that.

I graduated, got a job, continued to get fatter, more depressed and was just miserable. An old knee injury was acting up and an old broken foot injury was acting up. Then I got diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis. Next came even more massive amounts of depression medications that were prescribed to me just before I finished college. Not too long later, I had a gallbladder incident and that had to come out. However, the surgery for that had to wait because I had a fatty liver. The doctors had me do some quick dieting to get that better under control so they could get to my gallbladder easier.

I quit my job that I got out of college, laid around in bed depressed and was damn near suicidal for about 6 months. I was fretting over $80,000 in school loans and I felt guilty that my husband was having to basically handle everything. I was in bed all the time but I wasn’t sleeping. However, that wasn’t new. I’ve always had insomnia but it was worse. I decided I needed a job so I drug myself out of bed, put on my ‘mask of normal’ and went out and got a job as a customer service rep that had nothing to do with my degree. My goal at that point was to work towards a Pharmacy Tech certificate thinking I’d just sit in a chair, answer calls and just get bigger and bigger and hopefully die soon but at least I could help pay off my loans.

I would sit at that desk daily and knit and answer calls and try not to think about the fact that the alteration to my body made all the new fat shoot out the back. I am not kidding. I had a relatively flat tummy and nice boobs but my bra fat roll and the love handles in the back were out of control! Not to mention that my thighs now looked like someone shoved oatmeal in a sock and I was carrying it everywhere with me. I quit wearing pants and always wore a body shaper, tights, a skirt, and a long sleeve baggy shirt … all in black. It was my ‘body hiding’ uniform.

Now, here is the controversial part, and I recognize that this is not a good thing in a lot of people’s eyes, but in that process, I was introduced to cannabis again. I hadn’t smoked it since high school. I didn’t even use it through college. I started using it for sleep and it was glorious. I really believe that being able to get real solid sleep helped me to start the shift in my mood and my mental state. It’s not for everyone and it may not work for everyone, but it worked for me. Also, you can’t be that depressed on cannabis. You just can’t. I did recognize, though, that I couldn’t just be a stay at home pothead. I think Damon was happy to see me come out of my horrible state a little but I think that had my usage gotten to too much, he probably would have said something but I decided to do something first. (More about this later. Just know that I was self medicating.)

Here’s the gross part. Skip this paragraph if you don’t want the TMI. Because of the surgery, my stomach muscles were cut into. Because no one thought to tell me and I didn’t know that I should have been doing physical therapy, my body healed into a tight little ball. I lost the ability to twist and pivot at my waist. I was having trouble wiping myself. You do not know horror until you are sitting on a toilet and trying to figure out how to clean up. It was get up and get in a shower or call Damon to help me and THAT was not going to happen.

Because I gave up on exercise, I had no core strength. I couldn’t get out of bed. Damon was literally helping me get up everyday. I would put my feet on the floor and have to tiptoe around to work the soreness out of my feet to walk normally. I say normally, but I was having knee pain, joint pain in my hips, my feet hurt and I developed tennis elbow from knitting all day.

When I developed tennis elbow and couldn’t knit, I just kind of ‘broke’ for lack of a better term. I couldn’t maintain the “mask of normal” anymore. I had nothing to do but sit and stare at a screen and wait for people to call me and say, “Send me my medicine” and usually, they weren’t very nice about it. I just couldn’t take it. I quit, went home, got under the covers and decided to try to just ignore everything and everyone.

So, here I was … No job. 215 pounds. Sick of dieting. Sick of thinking about food. I can’t move. My personal hygiene was more difficult for me than ever (and I REALLY hate smelly things, so I was not about to become a smelly thing). I hurt all over and could barely move. I just looked at myself and thought, “This shit has got to stop.”

And that was March 10, 2015.

To be continued…

One thought on “How it all started”

  1. Your story!! I had no idea about this. I knew some, just what you were willing to share on social, but not all. I’m so glad you are in a happier place now, and I’m waiting for the next part of the story.

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