My name is JD and I’m fat.
I’ve always been “big boned.” At my thinnest — playing soccer 7 days a week — I was 150 pounds. I always had a little pooch on the front of my belly. As I got older the pounds stuck around. At first it went to my boobs. Then it started accumulating around the middle.
In college I tried Weight Watchers, but I ended up binging on the low-point foods and Weight Watchers branded ice cream. I tried Nutrisystem with my then fiancé to prepare for our wedding. That food was so disgusting I cringe just writing about it.
It wasn’t until I started having kids that it really piled on. Peanut was born 10 years ago, and the 25 pounds I gained in that pregnancy wouldn’t come off. I started running 5Ks — my fastest time was something like 40 minutes because I’m not built for distance. With a baby in the house I tried cutting out all processed foods. The food tasted better than the other systems I’d tried, but it was hard to keep up with that lifestyle with a small human underfoot.
It wasn’t until we’d tried unsuccessfully for a couple years to get pregnant that I started to think something may actually be wrong. I had my doctor do a full blood workup — which all came back in normal ranges. But when I told her about my other complaints — inability to lose weight, hair on my chin, irregular and missing periods — that she first introduced me to PCOS. More specifically PCOS with insulin resistance.
But when I told her about my other complaints — inability to lose weight, hair on my chin, irregular and missing periods — that she first introduced me to PCOS. More specifically PCOS with insulin resistance.
She then described how insulin resistance works and how for people with PCOS it can be incredibly hard to get weight off. If you can do it, she said, the symptoms will back off. Once you shed enough fat your hormones will be able to balance and the condition can be reversed. The only caveat is that your body won’t want to release that fat, so it will be a slow and tedious process. Expect to lose maybe 1-2 pounds … a month.
Hot digging dog! Sounds easy-ish? Just lose some weight. She sent me home with a prescription for Metformin to kickstart it all.
I didn’t make it more than 2 months on Metformin. I had a day where I was in the zone working — and when I’m working my brain loses that “I’m hungry” signal. With Metformin this can be bad because your blood sugar can get too low. That feeling was so awful I scrapped the prescription.
Peanut had just turned 4 when I got a positive pregnancy test. I was thrilled. Finally! We lost that baby before I could make it in for the OB visit. Not long after we talked about just being a family of 3. I think that experience broke me. There was a severe emotional toll to wanting something so badly and being denied. Or finally thinking you got him and lost him, not knowing if that was the closest you’d ever get.
It was once Peanut started kindergarten that I went in to my doctor to tell her my period had disappeared again. But this time we were done trying to get pregnant. This time I wanted to go back on the pill so I could focus on getting healthier. She did the standard pregnancy test in office before writing a script for a 10-day hormone jumpstart that would force a period before restarting the pill. I never left the office with those scripts. Apparently I was pregnant and didn’t know it.
Bubs had a single umbilical artery, making the pregnancy high risk. I sat up at night googling possible heart or kidney complications. We had a lot of ultrasounds to make sure he was OK. He also made my uterus grow in a funny direction. Rather that out he went up into my organs. He wrecked my lower back — I remember having to ask Hubs to put pumpkin pies in the oven that Thanksgiving because my back was so useless I couldn’t support myself to bend to get them in the oven. The doctor worried the umbilical cord would fail, so I was induced on his due date.
The 30 pounds I gained in that pregnancy stayed with me long after he was born. He was born skinny, something I internalized as my body being unable to give him a fully-functional feeding tube. It was made so much worse when I was unable to nurse him beyond 6 months because my milk just dried up. It was like my body was actively trying not to share any of its energy with anyone.
So here I am, approaching 40 with decades of dieting experience and nothing to show for it. I have 2 beautiful kids, a lovely Hubs and a blessed life. Why put myself through another weight loss attempt?
Hubs took this well-meaning photo on our family vacation just a few days ago. It was the final straw. I don’t want to go through the rest of my life creaking and wondering if I’m too heavy to sit on things. In my head I’m still 40 pounds lighter. Seeing photos like this is jarring.
Why post about it? I need some accountability. Hubs claims to be allergic to vegetables, so every attempt I’ve started ends miserably because I never had the self control to stay out of the Goldfish crackers or chocolate chips on a bad day. If I want vegetables with a meal I make one serving because the rest of the family belly aches about it. I’m convinced Peanut will eventually experience PCOS. She’s built like me. It is time to get everyone on track.
So when we get back from our beach vacation today I’m doing this thing. I’ve been psyching myself up for a few days now. I’ll be 38 later this year. That gives me a solid 2 years until I hit 40. That’s my goal: 50 pounds in 28 months. Let’s do this.