So the past year and a half I have been struggling with my weight loss. It seems as though no matter what I do nothing works, in fact I seemed to be gaining weight. Everything on paper says I should be losing weight … and at the rate I am going I should be losing between 3-5lbs weekly. So my nutritionist Julianna suggested I go to my primary care doctor, since there is something medical going on probably my thyroid and tell my doctor all the symptoms I was having:
Heavy & Irregular periods
Trouble losing weight
Little or no sex drive
So off to the doctor I go….
There were three things that she wanted to test: 1. Thyroid 2. Hormone levels 3. Ultra Sound
Of course none of this is easy or quick, so over the course of the next 3 months I get all 3. Items checked off and go back to the doctor.
We discuss my results and she says she is going to refer me to a Gynecologic Oncologist, because there are some signs of possible cancer….. What?
As I sit in the patient room waiting for this new doctor in my paper dress with goose bumps on my arms looking at the jar of cotton balls and tongue depressors all I can think is “I have cancer”
This older Hispanic lady walks in and says “I have reviewed all of your tests and I have a couple questions”
I see you had a tubal ligation a couple years ago, why is that?
I responded a little defensive, “Well there are a lot of reasons but the main reason is I don’t want children also, I was slowing down in my weight loss and I know that birth control contributes to that so it was a simple solution to be honest.”
She smiled and said “So was it after your surgery you noticed the weight loss stop completely and actually no matter how hard you tried you started to see the weight start to climb back on?”
I thought about it for a minute, looked at her and said “Yesss” (at this point I am thinking, just tell me I have cancer already)
Then she said, “Well, I know that Dr. Jaramillo was concern with cancer but everything came back normal, so we can rule that out.”
Tears just started rolling out of my eyes and a comfort of relief came over me.
Then she said, “What you have is PCOS that stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome”
Basically, Angela you have small cysts’ on your ovaries that cause a hormonal imbalance. So, when on paper you should be losing weight and you are doing the right things, your body just won’t release the fat. This is also causing the other symptoms you have too.
I just looked at the doctor with what my face probably looked like I saw my best friend die and said, “You mean this whole time I could have been eating donuts, ice cream, and pizza and it wouldn’t have mattered?” Then we both started laughing.
Of course internally I am awesome, cholesterol, blood sugar, ect are all in excellent ranges, Now to get the outside to match the inside.
So the one thing I thought was causing weight gain was actually helping me lose weight, so back on the birth control I went to help balance me out.
I am at the beginning stages of research for what will help with this nutritionally as I know that PCOS does cause insulin resistance. At least I finally know the problem and now to help fix it.
I have been no stranger to run/walking 5k’s they are just 3.1 miles – easy peasy. With Disney rolling out their inaugural Star Wars half marathon, being a huge Star Wars fan, I was going to participate in the 10K which is 6.2 miles.
Here is what I learned:
Need a good Training partner— My friend Laura is so amazing, she is a great training partner. Its very important to have a training who is not flakey. Laura made everyone of our training sessions and even when I didn’t feel like it she gave me that extra push I needed to move my butt.
Have a Plan – My plan was to follow the Couch to 10k app 3x a week and have a big walk on the weekends.
Be consistent with your training – I let life get in the way and I was not consistent with my training which made me more nervous that I wasn’t prepared to run the 10k.
Don’t beat yourself up – Not every run is going to be your best. Sometimes you have a great work out and sometimes you have a rough one. But regardless, be proud that you actually moved that day.
Don’t stress – I think the biggest mistake I made was that I wasn’t going to make time and be swept and that made me tense and ended up injuring myself. I was so much in my head that I didn’t stop to enjoy the course. The whole point as to why I wanted to run this to begin with.
Bring Epsom Salt – Because I was so stressed and tense while running my muscles were fatigued. It would have been very helpful to have brought some Epsom salt for relief.
Don’t overexert yourself – Yes you are at Disneyland and Yes you want to walk around the park and go on every favorite ride you have. DON’T. It will just make things worse, instead take it easy. Have a post race churro. Enjoy the day. You want to keep moving but at a slow and easy.
All and All I did it and I am proud that I did. Actually I am happy I got my medal. I couldn’t have done it without my friend Laura who was there every step of the way cheering me on and reminding me to breathe. Honestly without her I probably would have ended up on the side pasted out because I was so stressed and I would have forgotten to breathe.
I encourage you to set a goal and acheive it, no matter how scary it can be ~A
As a photographer I have always loved taking pictures of people the most. I love the innocence of a child or the loving moment with a family, most of all I love the moment where a person feels good about how they looked in a picture I took. I like making people feel special.
I am most comfortable behind a camera.
I have never been good in front of the camera, mostly because I never have been comfortable with my own body. Years and Years of feeling insecure about my weight has messed with my mind. We all look at a picture and see that our saddlebags are now really duffle bags, or that our eyes are too close together or our nose is too big or too small. I can give you a laundry list of things we see negatively about ourselves. However, there is something my good friend Laura told me one time that has always stuck with me “Regardless of how I feel about my looks in pictures, this is who I am at this moment”
So I like to take family pictures yearly for our annual Christmas Card. My family loves to see pictures of Ray and I and our dachshunds, so despite the sick feeling I get in knowing I am going to look fat, I still send out pictures.
This year I made my annual photo shoot, and I was really excited this year, mainly because I was going to be working with a highly recommended photographer in the San Diego area – Brooke Aliceon Photography. I have heard so many good things about Brooke and I absolutely love her style. Also it is the first photo shoot I have done since I have lost 70 ish pounds.
It was the first time I wasn’t anxious, nervous, self-conscious, insecure, or sick to my stomach that I was too fat to take a family picture. This was a reflection, a reflection of my hard work, dedication, determination of my weight loss.
It makes a difference to have a good photographer, Brooke is a photographer that makes you feel comfortable during the session. I think the best quality she has is that she gives good direction. You don’t feel like “what do I do with my hands or is my head in a funky pose?” Also I told her about my weight loss and she took that in consideration in the poses to showcase all my hard work. She did a great job capturing the love of my family.
Now I can tell you that I am nowhere near my goal weight and I can pick apart every flaw I see in myself but this is life, this is me, and I am working every day to get to that goal. That is something I can be proud about. Here are a few of my favorite pictures – A
I recently had a conversation with my nutritionist Julianna and she asked how my progress was going and I said “I lost 11lbs, but this is the weight I start climbing back up” I have been hitting a wall at 220lbs, I just cant get past that number. Julianna said “Angela, you are always going to weigh. You have A lot of muscle mass, that is how your body is made up, its just that we want that weight to be muscle not fat.”
Man that was such a hard pill to swallow.
We all have this idea of what weight loss is all about. I thought my goal was going to be at least 170lbs or less and 20% body fat. Then I get a bomb like this. “You will always weigh” It really blew my mind.
Like, the concept that I will always weigh ….. what did that mean to me? That meant that I will always be fat. Julianna saw the tears in my eyes and started to explain. My body is the perfect make up to be more of a power lifter, which I don’t see myself as that but that is what I love to do, Lift weights. She said that I am a slave to a number and I need to stop. So she suggested that I weigh myself once a month and get a body fat analysis monitor. There are other things I should focus on, Body fat/measurements/how my clothes fit. The scale doesn’t tell you everything.
When you weigh yourself often this can become a very destructive pattern, the scale for me was dictating my steps towards my health. I was stressed, discouraged, and obsessive. I have always used the scale to keep me accountable and in check. SO now that I don’t have that to measure my progress, I was nervous that this would discourage me on my weight loss journey.
The last time I weighed myself was September 27th and I have realized that the steps that I do daily cant be weighted: the healthy food I eat, my sleep, hydration, exercise…. These things don’t change just because of my weight. These are the things I will continue to do for the rest of my life. So it has been hard to not weigh myself but nice not to have that number hanging over my head. I cant tell you what I weigh right now. BUT, I can tell you that I feel good, I have been making choices that are in line with my goals for the most part, and my clothes are getting looser. So I maybe 200lbs for the rest of my life but if I am 20% or less body fat….. then I will be okay with that.
“Accepting your body as it is right now allows you to make decisions about caring for yourself in the present moment, which is, after all, the only moment you have any influence over.”