In August of 2005 Dr Gregory told me I was gaining too much weight. At 5’7” I was the heaviest I had been in my life. But, at 164 I did not feel that I was overweight. I am sure that the tears would have swelled; but I was in such a state of shock I said nothing. Dr. Gregory went on to tell me that he did not think I was overweight, but that he had recorded a weight gain at each of my recent visits and I was reaching the high end of normal on the body mass index chart. Dr. Gregory was my savior, my hero a man who truly changed my life (another story for another time) and to hear those words come from his mouth made an impression.
However, not an immediate impression. I continued to live in denial for a while. The weight gain was a result of my attempt to be a happy house wife, cooking yummy (not healthy) meals for my husband, baking cookies and being totally enveloped in “our” new little world. I was not working out and I was still eating like I did in High School. I am sure part of my problem was that my metabolism came to a screeching halt…I WAS the girl who could eat everything. Exercise was never anything I thought about it was something that happened on a soccer field, in a skull on the river, or in my parent’s backyard pool.
Soon after my appointment with Dr Gregory I found that my Irritable Bowel Syndrome was acting up and I ended up in and out of my GI Doctor’s office for a while. My doctor and I decided I needed a nutritionist.
During all this I was continuing to go to yoga regularly and asked my instructor if she knew of someone who I could go to. I called Dr. Kelley and made an appointment with her.
Dr. Kelley blew my mind. I was eating three to four times more food than I needed to in a day. She is also a believer in eating smaller, more frequent meals and encouraged me to start to exercise again.
By the start of 2006 I was on board. Eating smaller, more frequent, meals. Looking for healthier options for dinner. To my delight Scott jumped on board and we joined the YMCA as well. I started to feel a change in my clothing first. I purchased a lot of size 12 clothing in 2005 and they started to hang on me. I pulled out some older clothes, in size 10, and was excited that they fit. I stepped on the scaled in March of 2006 to find that I weighed 152, a 12 pound weight loss. I felt happy and healthy. I believe that most of my weight loss was a result of my eating habits and the three days a week I spent on the elliptical trainer.
2006 was a tough year for me. I started to take Prozac for my OCD in the summer of 2003 and was doing great with 20 mg and behavioral therapy until the spring of 2006. At that point my therapist and Psychiatrist decided to bump me to 40 mg and then later in the summer bumped me again to 60 mg. After the 60 mg prescription I went on line and did some research, I was scared to death of gaining back the weight I had lost. Little did I know what was to come.
All of a sudden I could not keep the weight on. It was falling off me with little to no effort. One morning I pulled on my favorite pair of jeans and they were way too big. In the late summer of 2006 I started to by clothing in size 8 and by the fall and winter these clothes hung on me too. During one of my more and more infrequent trips to the gym I stepped on the scale and was shocked to see that I weighed 140 pounds. I did not weigh that little when I was playing varsity soccer in college.
But all around me, for the first time, people were noticing that I was loosing weight. The comments poured in…some positive and some family members commented that they thought I was too skinny. After Thanksgiving I saw a picture of myself and agreed. My previously prominent butt was flat and my face looked extremely sunken in. At the same time my sister-in-law mentioned that she was going to train for and run in a 10K. After three knee surgeries I never thought I would be a runner but something inside pushed me to consider this opportunity. Soon I was on the bandwagon and was run/walking daily.
An interesting thing started happening next. I was jumpy all the time, especially in the morning. I felt wired before I even had my first cup of coffee. I wondered if I was, now, on too much Prozac. I went on line again and this time did some deeper digging. I was amazed to find that some doctors are now prescribing Prozac, with other drugs, as a weight loss medication. Well that explained everything. For whatever reason the Prozac had sped up my metabolism to the point of excessive weight loss. Previously I had never felt jumpy on the Prozac, which in my mind means that I needed the dose I was on, but now, with the crazed feelings I was having everything started to make since.
I went to my psychiatrist and (literally) talked him into letting me reduce my dose. And I kept running. I got hooked up with an online community of triathletes who further inspired me to push myself and my body. I started lifting weights again. And once again as my activity increased so did the wired, buzzed feelings I hated so much. Then one afternoon I came home so worked up I felt like I needed a drink to level myself out. As I took the first few sips of wine I had, for the first time in a long time, an anxiety attack. I have always enjoyed alcohol; but I never needed alcohol. This scared me. Over the next two months I reduced my dose on my own. For the time being (I say that because OCD is a life long disease and I know that there is a strong possibility that there will come a time in my life where I will need the help of meds again) I am Prozac free.
I just completed a 5k in preparation for my 10K. I run four days a week and lift weights two days a week. This weekend I got on the scale for the first time in a long time. 147 stared back at me and I must admit that I was a little disappointed. A seven pound weight gain. I did not let this thought linger much longer. I threw on some jeans and a sleeveless top and looked in the mirror. My previously infamous butt was back, my arms looked toned and strong and I reminded myself that these legs had just carried me for three 10 minute miles.
I am writing this after a week at the beach where I witnessed women of all shapes and sizes strutting their stuff in numerous types of swim suits. The first day I was a little shy…but as I stood there on the beach, in my bikini, I was overcome with an appreciation of the body I had…a body I have worked hard for.