Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Guest Post: Kris Gets Healthy

Today's guest post is from a more recent blogger friend Kris.  I've met her through blogging and as I continue to struggle on my weight journey she supports and inspires me.  Sometimes the weight loss road seems so daunting but her story makes me know that I can do it, so I asked her to share the beginning of her story here.  You can find her at http://krisgetshealthy.com/

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So how do you know when it is time to make a change? Any change is sparked by something, whether it is just a feeling or an obvious need. Some changes are easy to spot why they are happening. A growing
family transitions into their lovely first home where they can grow and make memories and have SPACE. A child makes the move to a bed because he or she can now climb out of the crib. A car switches lanes
on the highway because their exit is approaching or there is traffic ahead. All simple examples of change, that really anyone can see. So how did I know it was time for me to make a change in my life and get
healthy?

I have spent much of my life sitting on the sidelines watching others have fun. My previous ideas of any night out had been a dinner usually something trashy. Think french-fries with gravy on top or mozzarella sticks and a burger with mayo for dipping. This was followed by a movie with popcorn and a diet coke. Now, my diet coke was not a calorie decision but a taste preference but a joke none the less to the guy behind the counter selling the heavy girl a large popcorn and a large soda.

So I spent my 24th birthday alone, in a movie theater with a large popcorn and soda after having consumed a dinner alone, and ice cream alone I thought I had hit a low point. I moved to Minnesota a few months later. Little did I know that move has saved my life. I had a guy here in MN who cared about me, more than I cared about myself. Then again at that point I don’t think it would have taken much more to do so. The first few years I was here were great! I was so happy, sadly we live on the third floor of a walk-up (this means we walk THREE flights of stairs to get into our apartment no elevator option).

My weight continues to go up. I continued to climb the stairs. My health continued to decline. I continued to ignore the growing problem... and my “shrinking pants”

I started to look around at others, not anyone in particular, just everyone. I was so jealous that it seemed like everyone was so happy able to go and do anything anytime. My health was decreasing and my age was creeping up. I was getting to the point where there were days that I was in so much unexplained chronic pain that I would literally crawl from the bed to the bathroom and back again. How embarrassing is that? Seriously, to say I can’t do anything but go from the bed to the bathroom? I knew deep down that it was not a pure weight issue causing my problem. I knew I had to find someone ANYONE willing to help me. If I did not get help soon I would end up dead. My body had entombed this free spirit that needed to escape.

I started at my family doctors, where thankfully they had a scale large enough that it could weigh me, and they decided to tackle one problem at a time. As Jen (PriorFatGirl) says, “One Decision at a Time” The decision was to treat my thyroid first. Imagine this, my thyroid had been under-active (documented as such) since I was about 11. Untreated. So we started there. It was not an answer to the ultimate question, but it was a start.

From there I was bounced to the Endocrine clinic, and the Rheumatology clinic at the University of Minnesota where they ran tons of tests. They poked and prodded and more importantly they listened. I was
willing to accept that my weight was part of the problem if they were willing to admit that something else was wrong.

But what made me really want to change? What was it that made everything click? Really I was afraid I was going to die without getting to live! I spent the first 27 years of my life doing what everyone else wanted the way others said was the right way. It was just this almost primal feeling of needing to fight for my life. Fight my way out of the tomb that had trapped me, contained me, suffocated me. I was not going to miss another change to do things. I missed out on walking tours, helicopter flights and so many other once in a lifetime chances because I was too big. I missed out on too many other things because I was too scared to go alone, I am strong enough to do this.

YOU are strong enough to do this. You are worthy of your health! I don’t know if you are familiar with the song Changes by 2PAC but I would like to leave you with a few lyrics to think about....

We gotta make a change...
It's time for us as a people to start makin' some changes.
Let's change the way we eat, let's change the way we live
and let's change the way we treat each other.
You see the old way wasn't working so it's on us to do
what we gotta do, to survive.

So think about that, remember you have to treat yourself well, you only get one body! Don’t abuse it! I did and got to 428 pounds. I now sit at 260-ish and am fighting every day to get to a healthy weight. It is a struggle, it is a war, and you cannot give up! You MUST FIGHT!

7 comments:

jimbassman said...

Beautiful post, Kris, and congratulations on your success so far. I know from personal experience how hard it is to "flip the switch" and commit oneself to healthy living and eating. And in my case, the switch goes on and off -- I've lost the same 80 lbs. twice. Keep up the great work. Based on this post, I know you will continue to succeed!

Lana D said...

Excellent post!

I love that line....

"I was willing to accept that my weight was part of the problem as long as they were willing to admit there was something else wrong."

I have suffered from chronic pain and fatigue for the last three years or so that was only recently diagnosed as Fibromyalgia. SOOOOOO many doctors wanted me to believe that if just lost some weight, all my problems would magically disappear.

So I did. I set my mind to it and lost 60 pounds and while I do feel "better," I still feel like crap most of the time. It's been a helluva journey.

James said...

I'm just proud to say I know the both of you two!

Ann said...

LOVE this post! I just adore both of you (Liz and Kris), and am so proud of the journey you are on!! :)

krisgetshealthy.com said...

Thank you everyone for letting me share a bit about my journey with you! :)

Weight Loss Doctors said...

Great, sounds like a perfect guest post here. Kris!! Thanks very much for posting this unique stuff here!!

Body Soap said...

This is such a great story! It’s so good to see people who have learned to love being healthy, and not just tolerate it. Keep it up!