I think I weighed in at my heaviest at 240 or more pounds. Maybe close to 247. I am 5’4” tall. That’s a lot of weight for a petite person.
I never thought of myself as overweight. FAT. Heavy. I did everything anyone else did. I was basically in pretty good shape. I had good health. Nothing was wrong with me.
Then, IT hit. The Thyroid Storm. I literally felt like I was having a Heart Attack. I thought I was going to die. I was at work, at a company in St Petersburg, FL. My doctor’s office was in Tampa, FL. I only had one thing on my mind – get to my doctor. I refused letting anymore drive me, I refused an ambulance and I drove myself the 20 miles across the Howard Frankland Bridge that spanned the Tampa Bay and made it to my doctor’s office. Stumbled to the front desk and gasped, “I think I’m having a heart attack!”
That’s all it took. They whisked me to the back office. Connected me to an IV. Pushed drugs and took blood. I was there all day. They called my fiancé. He rushed from work. Brought me a huge Winnie The Pooh teddy bear. After all was done, and test results came back, the doctor explained to me that I didn’t have a heart attack, but my thyroid went berserk. Thyroid Storm. I had Grave’s Disease.
I was put to bed rest for six months. I was literally so exhausted I could barely make it from the bed to the bathroom without heart palpatations and shortness of breath. I had to use a wheelchair for about a year after that. All that sitting aggravated my back. So, after the doctor sent me for an MRI, we discovered I had Congenital Spinal Stenosis. Crazy, huh?
It just kept getting better and better. Because of that, my doctor sent me for a Bone Density Scan and discovered I had Osteopenia. My grandmother had a hump when she was alive and Osteoporosis. So, this was something I wanted to nip in the bud, big time! “What could I do?” I asked the doctor.
She gave me the best advice I ever received. Walk. Start walking. So I did. It was a challenge too, at first. I measured the street I lived on and figured it was 0.25 miles. Perfect. The first week, I could only walk it once a day. Then I started setting goals. Each week I’d add another lap.
Then, I started walking my dog a lap, and walking myself a lap. Then walking my dog a lap, and walking myself two laps. And on it continued. Weeks passed. Months passed. My neighbors became very friendly, stopping me and telling me how much they admired me for my dedication to walking every day. The pounds started coming off. People were noticing. One year passed. I’d lost 30 or 40 pounds. Then another year passed, and I was up to walking four miles a day and down another 20 or so pounds.
I’d made a complete lifestyle change. I walked every day. And with that, I started eating better. I made better food choices. I started taking supplements. More vitamin B’s. Calcium. Eating more fiber. More vegetables and fruits.
By the third year, I was walking eight miles a day – every day. I was down nearly 100 pounds. I felt great. I went from a size 20 to a size 6.
Now, I am in maintenance mode. I walk four miles a day. I have been for a couple of years now. I’m at 138, and I wear a size 4. I think that’s a good comfortable size for me. I still have health issues. I have Hypothyroidism now as well as Narcolepsy, and a slew of other things. But, I don’t let them get me down. I walk every day for my mental health and well-being. I walk on Sunshine!
~ Vibrant Nation blogger Vicki M Taylor
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