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.
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 am not going to lie, I was really nervous about my annual trip to Disneyland for the Halloween party this year. Besides the fact that you have trick or treat stations all over the park, which yes I got all the candy I could. You have your special treats. Like for me, I always have to have a pretzel or dole whip. Then there is always the Three Cheese Monte Cristo at Café Orleans. I knew this year because I am working on getting rid of the Candida Overgrowth I wasn’t going to have my special treats or Halloween candy. I was going to have to adjust to this habit.
We ate dinner first, at Café Orleans. I was amazed, when you make your reservation for the restaurant they ask if you have food allergies. I checked yes – Gluten/soy/dairy/grains those all pertain to my diet. Then when we get seated the hostess confirmed that we had allergies in our party. I was expecting a separate menu. As always I mentally prepare when I go to any restaurant, knowing the basics: veggies, meat, & beans are basically what I eat on this diet.
Well they full on had the chef come out to discuss my dietary restrictions with me. There was basically two things that fell into my allowance… a salad that he would have to take out all the fruit so it would basically be lettuce and chicken OR the N’awlins Vegetable Ragoût with Blackened Chicken– It comes with Eggplant, Red Onions, Bell Peppers, Squash, Zucchini, and fresh Garlic served with Corn Cakes topped with Grana Padano Cheese. SO the chef said “I can omit the cheese and the corn cakes but we can give you rice” I said, “no grains” So my meal came out with a spicy tomato sauce with all the veggies, chicken & some asparagus instead of the corn cakes. It was SO filling and delicious.
I was so impressed with the accommodations that Disney provided. The fact that they had the chef come out to accommodate my dietary needs is top notch customer service. I mean you can eat healthy where ever you are; you just need to be creative and be willing to ask. Disneyland makes it so easy to eat healthy too. There are fresh fruit/veggie stands all over in California Adventure and right there on Main Street. It comes down to choices. Either you choose to or you don’t.
If anyone tells you that Disneyland or anywhere for that matter only has unhealthy options it just means they are lazy or unwilling to research, because honestly there can be good choices if you look for them.
I was Ursula the Sea Witch this year……. How amazing did my tentacles come out?? My friend Laura is amazing, cant wait for next year!!!
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.”