My entire life, I’ve been overweight. From the time that I can remember, my mom had me on a “diet,” which I have since learned was more about her issues than mine, but I’ll get into that later. I went through a couple periods of weight loss – but swiftly gained all of the weight right back (50+ lbs!) because I hadn’t really committed to the lifestyle or the mental aspect of weight loss – I was really good at restricting calories and exercising, but I hadn’t ever dealt with WHY I was eating so much or what, if anything, was an underlying issue that was leading to my inability to maintain a healthy percentage of body fat.
In January of 2015, I was 275lbs and miserable. I remember looking in the mirror and saying to myself, “I want my stomach to not feel like another appendage.” My best friend started Advocare, and I decided it couldn’t hurt, so I started it as well. As with any of those multi-level-marketing “quick fixes,” it was less about the supplements, and more about the really strict diet that I was following, that allowed me to lose a really quick 20lbs. After that, though, my weight loss stalled. I started going to Orangetheory Fitness in May of 2015, and immediately fell in love. See, I’d always been a pretty active person despite my weight – I was a figure skater in grade school and swam on the swim team in high school – but I would get bored so quickly! Orangetheory was (and continues to be) the magic bullet for exercise. There are times that I really hate the workouts that we do, but I know those are the ones that make me stronger! I went from then not even being able to walk without getting shin splints, to now running a 15K last year and running the same one this year, trying to beat my best time!
That said though, my weight loss stalled from May of 2015 through March of 2016. I’m sure you’re thinking – “How? I’ve heard about those Orangetheory workouts! They’re intense!” – They are intense, but you can’t outrun a bad diet and what I’d find out later is a thyroid problem. I went to my doctor and asked her to test my thyroid – it came back borderline low-functioning, but still functioning, so there wasn’t anything she was willing to do about it. She referred me to see my gynecologist to check for PCOS. My gynecologist said she wasn’t concerned about PCOS, but would re-run the thyroid test and see if there was anything she could see – it came back the same – moderately low-functioning, but not bad enough that there was anything she could do about it. She referred me to a weight loss doctor, who, upon reviewing MyFitnessPal (where I faithfully log all of my meals), decided the best option for me would be to go on Phentermine. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s 1/2 of the drug that Anna Nicole Smith died from – it’s a stimulant that is reported to suppress appetite. I took 1/2 of one pill on one day and decided NO WAY was I going to continue to take it – I felt cracked out! I eventually went back to my original doctor, who prescribed Contrave, a different weight loss drug, but a weight loss drug all the same. That worked for a few months – I was losing 10lbs/month and I felt great! I got down to about 185lbs, a healthy percentage of body fat, and then…I could lose no more. In fairness, I also started dating my now fiance, but with the amount of activity I do, I shouldn’t have had a problem. I got my metabolism tested, and my resting metabolism was 10% higher than the average 26 year old – leading to even further questions about why in the creation of the earth I wasn’t losing any weight.
I got frustrated in May 2017 and started to look up nutritionists. I figured, I’d tried everything else – why not give this a go? I’d been on the Contrave for so long I wasn’t feeling its’ effects anymore, and I knew I was going to be getting married in Summer of 2018…I needed to lose this last 30lbs!
My journey with Rachel begun, and my favorite thing about her is that she really helped me delve into what my greater issues with food are – where they stem from, etc. She looked at one survey and said, “I think I know where this problem starts.” and suggested that I go on a high-fat diet. I questioned her – “But MyFitnessPal says only 30% of my calories should come from fat!” She reminded me that was only a suggestion for most people – clearly what worked for them might not work for me, so why not try something different? OK, I said – and I started to eat nearly all of my calories from fat and MAN – I never felt better! I didn’t feel constant hunger. I felt like I was in control of what I was eating – I felt GOOD.
Then I had to go to a 2-week conference for work. There were unlimited snacks. The “snack room,” as it was called, had Famous Amos cookies. I don’t remember the last time I’d had those, but in that moment – driving back and forth to Colorado Springs every day, bored as all get out, I “needed” those cookies. That felt like a real road block to me, and I worked with Rachel as to why…we discovered that it had a lot to do with the snack room being a “destination” I could walk to when I was bored and a lot less having to do with the cookies! We decided my new boredom strategy would be to walk laps around the building I was in – that worked wonders, and I definitely didn’t miss the cookies!
Fast forward to a couple of weeks later, and Rachel got my bloodwork back. We discovered a number of different things – my A1C was high, but my resting glucose was low – meaning that I had been doing pretty well with sugar consumption in the days prior to the test, but over time I had been consuming too much sugar (no surprise there). The most fascinating thing, though, was the thyroid test. While every doctor who had tested it said, “nothing to worry about,” Rachel took one look at it and said – you need support. I went on Thyroid supplements and I’ve never felt better – I have energy when I wake up in the morning to go and take the 5:15am gym class. I’m going to see a doctor who specializes in test results like mine and see if I can get even more support beyond the supplements – I’ve got a wedding dress to fit in to!
Going to see Rachel has been a real blessing for me. Not only have we deeply delved into the psychological aspect of overeating and weight loss, we’ve dealt with a problem that I’ve likely had my entire life, but no doctor was ever willing to diagnose. I couldn’t be more grateful! Oh, and the self-confidence and happiness I’ve gained (and continue to gain) working on the things we talk about – nothing can compare. It’s money well spent – I couldn’t be happier!