189 Lbs. I stared at the white, digital scale that normally hid in the corner of my bathroom closet. “Maybe this thing was off.” I moved the scale to an even surface. Laid it flat on the floor and tried again.
188.8 Lbs. “Hmmmph.” It appeared my scale had a sense of humor.
I was 32. But, this wasn’t the first time the number 189 taunted me. I also saw 189 when I was 19 and then again when I was in my mid 20’s. Until then, I never considered myself over weight. I never really felt like my body fit in with the bodies of my peers either. However, I was always content with, well,….me. I’ve always been a person to walk to the beat of my own drum. My own snare drum to be exact. I was a very active kid. So active, my mother used to schedule numerous doctor’s visits to find out if there was anything the doctor could “do”, to help me calm down..
“Nothings wrong with her.” That’s what my mom heard, repeatedly.
I was also a pretty established athlete. I played basketball my entire life. I played in elementary school, on summer leagues, on the middle school team (3 years in a row) and on the Varsity team in high school. I traveled with an AAU league for 2 years and I won numerous, summer championships in inter mural tournaments as a teen. Being active was never a problem. I even took up swimming at an early age and played around with the idea of committing to developing my softball skills.
It wasn’t until late 2003, when my weight became a concern. I’d learned of a women’s professional football team in Detroit. I loved football. I played football all the time with the guys in my neighborhood. I always said, “If ever there was a women’s pro league, I’d try out.” Well, here it was….right in my back yard.
I knew I’d have to weigh in before I could try out for the team. I also knew the try outs would consist of lots of running. I hated running. But, this was a game of foot, there wasn’t any getting around it. I had 3 weeks to prepare and I was determined to live a dream.
I didn’t have the slightest clue that my weight had crept up to 189 Lbs. I’d subconsciously stopped caring after my father passed a few years earlier. I went into a depression and decided to indulge in a lot of retail therapy. As I was buying my clothes, I noticed my size was increasing. I carried the weight pretty well. But, I still received an occasional “You’re getting fat, aren’t you?” from my very direct grandfather.
Long story short. I dropped down to about 165 Lbs. I made the team and continued to lose even more weight. After a couple of months, I was at 155 Lbs. I couldn’t remember ever being that low on the scale. I always felt like; I skipped right over that weight as I became older! It was hard work. I never changed my eating habits, but physically I was in the shape of my life.
Fast forward, 10 years later. I kept some of the weight off, but I was still around 175 Lbs. Again, I didn’t really notice the extra weight I was carrying until I had a visit with a doctor. I’d began having breathing problems accompanied by joint pain that he contributed to my weight. After months of tests, I was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease, an auto-immune disorder that attacks the thyroid. My thyroid was abnormally hyper active, which increased my metabolism and caused my weight to drop again. I had to have a complete thyroidectomy. I wasn’t bothered by the idea of surgery, but I was bothered by the lack of knowledge I had around the disease and the surgery after math. I wasn’t aware that I’d gain 20-30 more pounds after the surgery. Not having a thyroid at all meant I was now considered a person with hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism came along and decided to bring water retention, low metabolism, and declining energy with him. Jerk…. and that’s just to name a few! To top it all off, I ended up having to have an emergency trachea tube put in my throat while my vocal cords healed, from the original thyroidechtomy. My mobility was limited and I’d endure 6 months of house arrest (well, that’s what it felt like). I read about other patients who’d experienced thyroid removals turning to their doctors for prescription weight loss pills. They insisted it was impossible to lose weight after the procedure.
I spoke to my doctor, who quickly shook her head and suggested, “Just do it the natural way?”
The natural way?!?!?! What the hell was that? Running? Dieting? Water pills? How long would I have to do this? I didn’t know.
The Change Up
I embarked on a journey to discover this “natural” approach. I kicked corn syrup, unnatural sugars, salt, modified dairy products, and fake breads. I became a pescatarian and gave up chicken, beef, and pork. I studied herbal-cultural medicine and became familiar with natural remedies. Not only did I appreciate it more but I grew closer to nature. I appreciated the union between the sun, rain, and soil, that’s (far too often) invisible to the naked eye.
Five years later, at a steady 150 Lbs, I’m still journeying. This natural road winds and turns, slows down and speeds up, but it has become my way of living. It’s my lifestyle. With every corner I turn, my new journey has rewarded me with life lessons and beautiful discoveries about myself. I’ve learned that my weight loss is not solely based on my physical regimen, but it is a reflection of my state of mind, my spiritual awareness, my emotional balance, and my body’s nutritional intake. My weight loss has been a spiritual gain. I went from surgery to sexy on many levels of expression. I accomplished the weight loss that many in my shoes said was impossible, without the assistance of prescriptions and additional surgeries.
I invite you to experience this journey with me, but even more so, I’m honored that’d you’d allow my presence through out yours. Here’s to keeping it sexy.