I never was one to watch my food intake or to even exercise. Despite that carelessness I managed to grow up to have a sort of slender shape up until giving birth. I had friends that would count calories, avoid certain mixed drinks while out and even join in exercise challenges or weekly routines. Ha! I hated it. I attempted to join the gym a few times. One gym in particular just received monthly donations because yea, you know…..I never went.
It was sometime after my divorce that I realized my greater love for food. Food didn’t hurt me. It helped me through the tough emotional moments. So how could I not love it in return? Fast forward to late 2020 and I no longer recognized myself. Every health appointment concluded with doctors saying: “You’re prediabetic,” “You’re prehypertensive,” or “Exercise would work well for you.” Mix that in with failed attempts at dating; and I suddenly realized that I needed a change.
Aside from not seeing a healthy version of me in the mirror, I also acquired underlying health issues that worsened and/or were created due to my weight gain. At age 39 this was just not ok. I no longer wanted to dread going to family reunions, cookouts and more. I was tired of hearing “I didn’t even recognize you,” when seeing someone from my past. Enough was enough.
I decided to take my life back around September 2020. I began doing more research on healthy food plans, smoothie recipes, exercise and even weight loss surgery. In October 2020 I had my consultation with a weight loss surgeon to begin the process for having the gastric sleeve procedure. All of my underlying health conditions and BMI made me eligible for this procedure with full insurance coverage.
However, that initial consultation schooled me to a lengthy process. Many may assume that people who get the surgery don’t put the work in but it’s the opposite. I was informed of having to do the following just to be cleared for the surgery:
- Lab work of about 20 different inquiries.
- Once a month nutrition classes for 6 months.
- Consultations and procedures with about 5 different health specialists to be cleared for a safe surgery.
- Record of a daily food diary and exercise log.
- Actual weight loss to show that you are capable of exercising and losing some of the weight on your own.
- Bi-monthly appointments with the surgeon for updates and check-ins.
I also found out that the procedure requires a 1 to 2 night hospital stay! Wow. I haven’t been hospitalized since labor and delivery for my daughter. But this is where I am. I decided that this is a healthy addition to my new eating choices, exercise and more. My new outlook on a healthy life has included:
- Drinking water: Yes, drinking water. This is new for me. I’m a super fan of sweet tea and juices so I had to limit those choices to turn to the good stuff. Of course, I had lemons and oranges for flavor but I’m proud to say that I’m drinking more water.
- Exercise: I’ve tried Zumba a couple of times. Sigh! Zumba always makes me feel uncoordinated like I have no rhythm. It causes me to think back on my clubbin’ days like wait a minute, “ I used to tear the club up” why can’t I follow these steps? LOL. Anyway my goal is to try yoga, invest in daily walks and give good ole Zumba another try.
- Watching my plate: I started monitoring my food intake. I lessen my fried food choices and try to spread out my red meat intake. This is the hard part. I have food allergies. I’m actually allergic to poultry, nuts and strawberries so there are many healthier options that I cannot eat. However, I have still managed to make better choices. For Lent, I also decided to give up meat and I’m still alive so yes, it’s going great. I never knew that meatless spaghetti or veggie subs could taste so good.
- Choosing Better Snacks: I’ve turned to smoothies a lot lately. I love trying new fruit flavor options. One of my favorites is carrots, mangoes, vanilla yogurt, honey and a splash of orange juice. I can easily make a smoothie over getting ice cream or chips now. I also stopped buying the unhealthy stuff. That’s the real change. I snack on crackers, wheat thins, italian ice, cheez-its or fresh fruit.
- Taking vitamins: I started taking Goli Gummies to help with my healthier lifestyle and GI issues. I started taking them around November and saw results within a week. My appetite was curbed, I had less GI upset and to top it off the gummies actually tasted good. If you’re interested in trying Goli Gummies use code: curlscoils.
- Doing the mental work: I’ve been in individual therapy for a few months. It’s so refreshing and necessary for my self-care. Sometimes our choices come down to not having a neutral party to discuss things with or to just have someone to listen. Some food choices come down to mental and emotional choices caused by trauma, stress or the environment. So tapping into my own mental work has been key for me.
- Just writing: Writing is bae. It’s my other form of self-care. I enjoy sharing stories of all kinds. Whether it be a new children’s book, ghostwriting for a client or writing a blog post; I love it.
I’ve currently lost weight and my surgery isn’t even proposed until August 2021. So with more exercise and the consistency of the above mentioned items, I’m on the road to naturally losing the weight. If I lose a significant amount (40 lbs) before August I won’t even go through with the surgery. But most importantly, I let go of my former ignorance and stubbornness towards health and nutrition. To me that’s the real goal. Even if I lose a massive amount of weight now, my recent education of healthier choices and implementing better choices will be required to maintain the weight loss. I’m excited and blessed to be able to make these choices before having a major health concern such as a stroke or heart attack. I no longer feel like that awkward fat girl that is ashamed to go for seconds at the work luncheon. I’m gaining more self-confidence with each given day and happy for the future. This can be you too. Join me!