But this week, I thought I would ask someone who started a journey towards a better health. Someone who has health issues but is trying to overcome them.
So I interviewed Misty, who is not just a fat girl. I hope you will find her story as interesting and inspiring as I did.
Hi Misty, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog?
Well, I am a mother of four children ages 12, 9,8 and 11 months. My blog is about my struggles to lose weight while having health issues such as hypothyroidism, Pulmonary embolism (clots in lungs), Factor V (blood disorder), and Pulmonary Edema (fluid in lungs). I have been bounced
between doctors who first look at me and think I am overweight because of what I eat, so I set out to start a blog to document my weight struggles and eating to help find out what really lies beneath the weight.
You wrote about all the health issues you have had. Could you give us an idea of what you went through?
My thyroid was the first condition I found out about. It was the easiest really to maintain and I didn’t really put much thought into the condition other than it can be pretty hard to lose weight if your thyroid isn’t normal. However, the part that sucks is if your thyroid does go abnormal and you do gain weight you have to work really hard once your levels are normal to lose the weight you gained. (And I swear I could gain just eating salads everyday it was annoying!).
I found out about my first clot in 2010. I horrible pain in my leg and it felt like someone kicked the crap out of me. I went to the ER they saw nothing and sent me home, I then the next day went to another ER who made me feel like I just had forgotten” that I hurt myself and they told me it was arthritis (I was 28 yrs old btw). The next morning my leg was so swollen I couldn’t put
on my shoes my doctor told me to go to the Plano (a nicer area) and go to their ER she thought I had a clot! Sure enough…. I did. But just a superficial clot (these are clots that are typically in varicose veins and not usually a threat to most). I was sent to a vein specialist to then I found I had weak valves. Just before my hematologist appointment I was laid off from my job. With
out insurance I couldn’t do anything. I was told just to take a baby aspirin everyday and to avoid birth control pills.
A few months later I got pregnant with my 4th baby (Thank you NO birth control). I was depressed because so much had been going on with my health. I swelled up pretty bad, and couldn’t get my doctors to understand that this wasn’t “normal” for me. But they still insisted my swelling was normal. Near the end of the pregnancy I gained 16 pounds in a week, a few days
later I showed signs of pre-eclampsia so they induced…. Long story short 13 hrs of later and a 10 1/2 lb baby who was stuck and I ended up with a c-section.
4 days later I was home. The night I was released which was a Sunday I started having shortness of breath. My doctor then told me to go to the ER. I was told by two ER’s within 3 days that I had pneumonia. By Thursday I was convinced I was going to die. I couldn’t even get off the couch with out being able to breathe. I would go to the bathroom and sit for 20 minutes just to regain energy and breath to make it back to the couch. I had not slept in 3 days because I felt like I was drowning. I cried to my fiance telling him I thought I was going to die and I couldn’t understand how two ER’s already sent me home when I obviously couldn’t breathe well!
Then my c-section busted open. I was rushed by ambulance that night to Baylor of Dallas, right before they were going to release me after getting my stable the doctor asked if there was anything else I had questions, and I said yeah? I can’t breathe! He looked puzzled and I adjusted myself in the bed knowing this would cause me to hyperventilate and immediately he
was concerned. I was whisked off to the CT room where no time later I had a team of doctors and was told how lucky I was.
Apparently, I would have died that night had I not of gone in. I had so much fluid on my body that I was literally drowning in it. I spent a week in the hospital and they removed about 70lbs of fluid off my body. For the first time in almost a year I finally started to feel “normal”. It was nice
that someone FINALLY listened to me! Come to find out I had Pulmonary Edema.
6 months later I found myself back in a hospital for breathing issues and with in this time I had gained about 40lbs, I feared the same thing was happening again and so trip number 1 consisted of the ER giving me lasiks for swelling and a doctor telling me how to lose weight. The
next day things were not any better so I went back….. Low and behold Pulmonary Embolism this time (clots in the lung) going by the ER doctor I am lucky because lots of people just up and die from these things. During my hospital stay is when we also found out I have Factor V (The
reason for all the clots).
It’s been pretty clear in my journey that doctors are so quick to judge and look at me thinking my weight is all about my eating when in reality I don’t think we still know what all is going on. But I
am in the fight to find out what all is really wrong with me. I have a team of doctors I am slowly finally getting to see one by one in hopes of some answers.
It’s no secret you are trying to lose some weight. What are you doing to lose it? Exercise / diet etc?
I started out counting calories and walking… Pure and simple… But after a few weeks I stalled then started gaining again. I saw the documentary Fat Head one day after questioning if I was
insulin resistant and it made sense. So since then I count, cut my carbs to below 100 grams a day (which is pretty doable), and I walk about 3-4 miles a day taking my kids to and from school.
You wrote before about making your diet healthier. What changes did you make?
LOTS actually, I didn’t want doctors to have ANY excuses so I wanted to rule out my diet being an issue so I started eating more foods by “mother nature”. We cut out almost all processed foods. We still do have them but not much at all and it’s sparingly. I do ALOT of cooking. We typically eat mostly meat, veggies and fruit!
What is the hardest thing for you to change?
I would say the hardest thing to change has been my mindset more than anything. I had to realize that I am just not like everyone else. Calories in vs calories out doesn’t work for my body. It just has too much going on with it. I have to watch what I eat, I have to work out more, I have to do more than what most people have to do to lose weight. It’s hard. Because of the previous
clots in my lungs I get tired so easy now. So it’s been hard to get around that my body is still limited. I want to do so much and I physically can’t. I have been trying to learn patience! Also, learning that food is for nourishment not a tool for boredom or a confidant.
What about exercise? Tell us about your walks.
I walk at least 5 days a week. I typically walk my kids to and from school which is a 4 mile walk total there and back. At first this was something more out of convenience because my fiance and I share a car. I just couldn’t see spending double in gas to take him to work so we started walking instead. I have since found I LOVE walking in the mornings (the afternoons not so much!). My real challenge will be to continue the walks once school is out!
I am hoping to start doing some circuit type training this summer so we shall see :) My fiance likes to work out with me on the weekends so he has been helping me a lot.
How has your healthier lifestyle affected your family?
It has affected things great deal, fiance has lost about 25 in the past 10 weeks, my kids are getting healthier and my son has went down a pant size. We do more as a family now and I like that!
Do you have any advice for people in a situation similar to yours?
Don’t give up on YOU… Be your advocate! I have had numerous doctors tell me nothing was wrong with me, misdiagnosed me, and make me feel like I was just fat and lazy. If you know
something is wrong stick to it. Look for answers, research and keep at it.
And last but not least: What’s your favorite healthy food? And your favorite unhealthy food?
My favorite healthy food would be fruits, I love peaches and strawberries!
Mac N Cheese, I am a fool for cheese :)
Thank you Misty