B&A 3

Two Years and 120lbs Down

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This weekend two years ago, I could barely walk. Every morning, I’d wake up, strap my immobiliser brace on to one knee (or both, depending on the pain), grab my crutches, and hobble to the bathroom. Some days I’d have to knock back four different types of painkillers before I could even get out of bed.

Things were looking grim. I’d had three surgeries to fix my knees, but both I and my surgeon knew that my weight was making it near enough impossible to correct the issue. He never said so outright, but he’d alluded to it a couple of times – but having pretty much decided to myself that it was impossible to lose weight, I’d concluded that this was just how it was going to be for the rest of my life. Pain, pills, crutches. Rinse and repeat.

But when I moved house, I found myself uncomfortably close to a gym – and this weekend, two years ago, I decided to sign up. I’m not sure what I was expecting – but it certainly wasn’t anything like this.

Two years on, I’m now 170lbs. There is a whopping 41% less Katie than there was two years ago. I can’t be alone in thinking that’s pretty ridiculous, right?

And the thing is, my life has changed in so many crazy ways as a result, directly or indirectly, of my decision to lose weight. I can walk, for one thing – in fact, I can run if I need to, so I’m considerably better off in the event of a zombie invasion. And my attitude to pain is very different now. You don’t have as much knee surgery as I had without expecting to be in some pain forever – I’m like the bionic woman these days – but the strain on my joints is so reduced that the pain I do have, I can generally work through.

That said, I’m also a lot more in tune with my body now. I had so many issues related to my weight – from plantar fasciitis, to lower back pain, to stomach cramps, to a constant, unquenchable thirst, to name but a few – that the ‘new me’ feels pretty much invincible. I was in complete denial, at the time – no way would I have ever admitted that these problems were related to my weight – but now, there’s no avoiding it. I was ill because I was morbidly obese.

I’m admitting all these things on here not because I’m trying to make anyone feel bad about being overweight – but because I know, having had such an amazing response to this blog, that I am definitely not alone in having done that. It’s a lonely place to be, and it can seem pretty hopeless.

But it’s not.

Those first few weeks in the gym – when all I did was walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes (which at the time still felt pretty exhausting) and tentatively tried out the resistance machines (which I was actually pretty good at – carrying 290lbs on crutches does give you pretty good upper-body strength) – they were hard. The point of this programme is that it’s easy – and relatively, it is – but I was in a very bad state.

Against all odds, though, it worked.

I could probably be even further along than I am now – but I had a 9 month hiatus of lapsing back into eating badly and exercising less. I know now that was because I was still very much reliant on processed foods – ‘low fat’ ready meals, high sugar yogurts, and cereal bars, for instance – so it was all too easy to fall back into a sugary, fatty diet. But the thing is, it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve tried and failed, or whether you’ve fallen off the wagon, or whatever you want to call it – you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start again.

Sure, it would’ve been easier had I not had to re-lose 20lbs, and had I had an extra 9 months of healthy living under my belt – but I’m happy to take the hit on that one and call it a valuable lesson. Because now I know that it really is mind over matter, and I know how to motivate myself to get back up and carry on.

Weight loss suddenly seemed easy for me the day I changed my thinking to focusing on the long-term, rather than expecting a quick fix. You can only lose this much weight by looking further into your future than just next week. Two years really isn’t that long in the grand scheme of things. It’s flown by, but at the same time, looking back on who I was when I first stepped into that gym… It seems like a whole different lifetime.

Which I guess it was – because the whole cliche of ‘it’s a lifestyle change’ rings true here.

If, two years ago, you’d told me my life would be this different… I’d probably have bashed you over the head with a crutch. You can do anything you put your mind to – but it’s a marathon, not a sprint. If you stay focused on the long-term benefits – being healthier, happier, and able to live your life to the full – it’s totally possible to change your life.

So… Where do you want to be in two years time?

 

What Do You Want From The Meal Plan?
Cardio, Fat Burning, and Getting Stuff Done
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Comments
  • comment avatar hazelmarie 27 August, 2012

    excellent post as always..so inspiring!!!

    In 2 years I hope to be a within a healthy bmi range, no longer feeling the need for processed food, a seasoned runner, and hopefully doing some regular runs to help raise money for charities i’m passionate about. Oh yeh, and happy!

  • comment avatar Toni 28 August, 2012

    Another fantastic post.

    Really like what you said about it being a marathon and not a sprint. Too often it’s easy to forget that what I want isn’t just to reduce the numbers on the scales but to extend my life and give myself chance to live a longer, healthier and happier life.

  • comment avatar Eva 28 August, 2012

    I applaud you!! Four years ago I was in the BEST shape of my life, I had lost 150 lbs and was exercising 2 hours a day because I WANTED to!! No, I am sitting on a couch feeling lousy about myself, and getting deeper and deeper into a depression I can’t see an end to. I got pregnant and used that as an excuse to eat EVERYTHING and ANYTHING! I gained all the weight back, and now my daughter is 3 and I haven’t lost a single pound.

    two years from now, I want to feel confident, sexy, strong, and full of life, its not that I don’t know where to start, I have that part down pat! It’s that I don’t know how to keep going anymore…

    • comment avatar fatgirlphd 28 August, 2012

      Wow – that sounds like one hell of an achievement there! It’s understandable though, that you gained the weight back – I’m not sure how being pregnant would affect me but I can safely say I’d probably enjoy the cravings a little too much, hehe :)

      You’re in a good place – you’ve identified what you want, and you know how to get it. Motivation is really hard, because it’s something you have to continually work at rather than just expecting it to be there… I know I still have days where I have to drag my butt to the gym, but it’s always worth it when I’ve finished a good workout. Just take babysteps, but keep the end goal in mind – and keep me posted with your progress! x

  • comment avatar Emm in Colorado 30 August, 2012

    Congrats on losing 120 lbs. You look amazing!

    I also have issues with my knees do to a past injury and obesity. My left knee is “loose” which can be very painful when it goes out of alignment. Both knees have osteoarthritis which leaves them swollen, tender and stiff. I’m only 41 yet I feel like I’m in my 80′s. I have not had to have surgery on my left knee yet but I plan on losing the weight so I don’t have to. Thank you for being such a great inspiration. :)

    • comment avatar fatgirlphd 30 August, 2012

      Thank you! My knees were loose too, with something called ‘patellofemoral dysplasia’ (I think that’s how you spell it!) mean the kneecaps would dislocate at random, which was super painful – so I know how you feel! I’ve been amazed at how much of a difference having lost the weight has made to the strength and stability of my knees, so you’re doing absolutely the right thing trying that way first – I really do think I could’ve skipped the last surgery I had if I’d tried losing weight earlier, as I thought I was going to need a full knee replacement on the other one, but now it’s absolutely fine!

      Good luck with your weight loss – and I hope your knees improve too! :)

  • comment avatar Jessica Sideways 31 August, 2012

    Yeah, I’ve been fat ever since I was a kid and I look forward to the day when I have finally shaken my weight off. Once my fractured foot is healed, I will be working on learning how to run a marathon, I have already quit drinking soda and I am looking forward to getting much healthier.

    • comment avatar fatgirlphd 31 August, 2012

      Wow – a marathon? That’s amazing! Good luck :)

  • comment avatar Jana 31 August, 2012

    You said you had an uncontrollable persistent thirst at your heaviest – that’s really scary because that is a symptom of diabetes, from what I understand. Did you ever have that as a potential scare during all of this?

    I too have been dealing with pain in my knees this past year. I discovered last winter that high heeled boots and my weight do not a friend make. So I got to a point where I had to hold both walls of a stairwell and go down one painful step at a time. I ditched the heels since because I just can’t do it right now. I have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, so both are probably behind the knee pain. But what’s behind everything is definitely my weight. I didn’t have these problems when I weighed about what you weigh now. So know if I lose the weight, I’ll get my body back – I don’t know if I’ll be pain free. I’m sure my joints will still feel slightly in need of WD40. But I don’t think it will be to the extent it is now.

    I have to say I love your blog. I’m slowly working through all of your posts. Your writing is inspirational, insightful, and fun. :)

    • comment avatar fatgirlphd 1 September, 2012

      Thank you! I did have my own concerns about diabetes, I have to say – fortunately, I haven’t developed it but I’m pretty sure I would’ve had I continued the way I was going.

      I know exactly what you mean about walking in heels – I’ve only recently started wearing them again, despite being told by various physiotherapists that it wouldn’t be possible because of the surgery to my knees. It’s not just losing the weight that’s helped there (although that’s a very big part of it) – I think the fact that I’ve lost so much of it through walking means I’ve got pretty strong quads and calves now, so I’ve got much better balance and co-ordination in heels than I’ve ever had before… Which is nice!

      Hopefully you’ll find the same thing if you lose the weight, because I have to say it’s cleared up a huge amount of issues for me – and then you can go back to the Louboutins (or your shoe of choice!)

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