71 Pounds Lost: Healing PTSD Through Fitness
NAME : Jennifer
BEFORE WEIGHT : 290
AFTER WEIGHT : 219
POUNDS LOST : 71
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
I’ve always been chubby but in my my late teens I started really putting on the weight due to depression. I remember when I was a child, hiding food under my bed because I was scared. Being told to “stop eating” or “Ive had enough” in front of people by my mother and that was just humiliating. That and being told I was big, and walked like an elephant. I grew to internalize it. I would start over eating to compensate for the emotions I couldn’t express.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
I had very abusive parents who never took the time to heal themselves and the cycle continued down to my sister and I. My mother is believed to have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The constant chaos I grew up in resulted in me being very depressed and suicidal. I was a cutter in my 20s, thrown in mental institutions, around physical, emotional, and spiritual abuse frequently. I was told at a young age I was evil. That I “acted weird around children and animals” locked in a basement as punishment etc..so I believed it subconsciously. I would self sabotage everything in my life. Food being a major one. I would eat to make myself feel good and because of my depression and PTSD I would lay in bed for days at a time thinking, what’s the point?
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
Last summer, I woke up to my family dynamic and the toxicity of it. I found a book someone suggested on an Internet forum by Dr. Karyl McBride. The name of the book is, “Will I Ever Be Good Enough.” When I read the book I was shocked. Every story was similar to my childhood. I had a wake up call! I started seeing a wonderful counselor for NPD Abuse survivors and my life completely changed. I opened my eyes to my value and why I was doing the things I was doing. I was internalizing so much anger and taking it out on myself. Well, I redirected that anger for positive and first slowly started eating better. Then eating better turned into walking more…
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I first got started in September of 2015. I changed my eating habits. I ate out a lot, had starbucks daily, pizza a couple times a week, pasta you name it. I just started to slowly cut those foods out or find a substitute. I cut soda out completely. Then I just started walking more and being more active. In February I joined LA Fitness and I’ve been addicted ever since.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
I lost 40lbs by January 2016 but I never noticed it because I had so much to lose. In September I was 290lbs at 5’11. When I started working out in Febuary the weight started coming off faster and my body was changing but it took a couple months to really notice a change.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
My biggest challenge was overcoming what I thought about myself and my anxiety. Stepping into a crowded gym? Oh no! I had support from my wife, my counselor, a few friends, and my NPD abuse support group but my anxiety is strong! It’s still a struggle but exercise and eating well doesn’t feel like a chore anymore. It feels like something I deserve.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
This is a mental and physical life long journey for me. I struggle daily, trust. I am still struggling with my panic attacks and high anxiety. I just love myself now. I continuously tell myself how great I am. Find things that you are great at. Listening, being a good friend, being a giver, for example and repeat in your head how wonderful you are. That’s what I do. It negates the old tapes from the past that tends to creep up in your head. If you believe you are a bad ass. You’re a bad ass!
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
Of course! When I hit a plateau I switch up my exercise routine. I’ll do more weight training that week, or try different cardio whatever works. It’s all a process and trial and error.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
About a year and I’m still going.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
Omg yes! Trying on my old clothes or looking at old pictures of myself. I’ve also found weight lifting has totally changed my body shape for the better.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
Now I eat healthy carbs like sweet potatoes, oats, lots of vegetables, lean meats and I tend to stick to gluten free options when available before I would try but never succeed. I grew up in New York so I was all about that carb life. Bagels, pizza, pasta daily.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
I remember when I first moved to Oregon, I couldnt make it through an easy 2 mile hike. I was so bummed and embarrassed that I was huffing and had to stop numerous times in front of the people I was hiking with. Now a couple years later, I can jog most of those hikes I struggled with! Yeah!
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Every journey is different. So cliché but SO true.
- Find an activity that you love. I like cycling a lot so when I first started working out, it was all I did but it helped me get on a routine of exercising daily.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling. Ive been learning this and have found 99% of the time people love to help. Whether it be with a machine at the gym or help with a problem in your personal life.
- Eat pizza. Sure I’ve given up a lot of the foods I use to eat but don’t deprive yourself or you’ll be likely to binge. I order pizza once a month and it does the trick.
- Love yourself! Do it. Every damn day. Even the days that you feel crappy. Find gratitude in the crap.
Originally posted 2017-01-19 16:09:28. Republished by Blog Post Promoter