What was the turning point that made you lose weight?
I couldn't figure out why I went from really thin, to a very fast progression into morbid, super morbid obesity. At my 5′9 height, I was very thin, a runner and a ballet dancer, around 120 pounds - well under weight for my height. I noticed when I hit 140. I remember my mom commenting that I needed to "just lose ten pounds and I'd be perfect." (Gee thanks Mom)
Suddenly ... I couldn't stop gaining weight. I looked at the scale at 195 and thought, if I hit 200 pounds I'm going to kill myself. (Not really - I was just pissed, and the thought of 200 pounds was insane to me.) Well I hit 200 pounds. Then 220, then 250. As I closed on 300, I thought... no way. Just no way. I recalled my thoughts about 200 pounds, and couldn't believe it was about to be a 3 in front. I had been going to the doctor a few times and the response was just to "eat better." I was in my mid-late 20s so... nobody really took it seriously. I had to stop dancing at that weight of course... I was still trying to run but I could not carry myself very well anymore. 300 pounds came and went. I went to the doctor more times. I remember screaming at my doctor on the day I went in weighing 368 pounds. THIS IS NOT RIGHT. I was in law school and was stuck with our lousy health clinic. Nobody thought it was anything serious. My periods had also always been a little off because of how thin I had been before - there is speculation that my own previous eating disorder caused my periods to be so off that the hyperplasia resulting in my uterus is what became the cancer.
At the point I weighed in 385.5 pounds, along with excessive bleeding and pain, my doctors finally agreed to look. They thought perhaps I had a prolapsed uterus due to my new-found morbid obesity. I was so heavy so quickly that my muscles could not carry me - I remember my ankles feeling like they would just give out walking across the street from the law school to my dorm/apartment. In the time between the initial "Ok, we'll take a look," and the "holy shit, it's actually [by this time] aggressively spreading cancer," I weighed over 400 pounds. 421 pounds is the last weight I got in the scale before it starting just saying E for error because it couldn't handle anymore.
Stage 3C endometrial adenocarcinoma - aka, Uterine cancer. 28 years old - 29 by the date of the formal diagnosis. It would later spread and become stage 4.
This cancer is hormone dependent and estrogen, which fat cells produce, is like miracle grow for it. So - I survived many surgeries, chemotherapy, multiple forms of radiation, medications galore, and then found out I had to drop a whole lot of weight, really fast. So I did.
I chopped my portion sizes to almost nothing, focused on lean protein, and started walking, with the help of special LiveStrong Foundation trainers (many days my legs did not work at all, so I needed special care from people trained in post-cancer). Since, I've lost about 300 pounds.
I'm chubbier than I was before it all started, but before I had also suffered from some anorexia and body dysmorphia, so this is actually where I should be, and I feel good. I am about 6 months in remission at the moment. I enjoy running (my legs now work most of the time, but at times I have to take a rest day) and being active, but because of all the crap above my metabolism is still quite slow, so I do have to keep close track of my portion sizes and I have to eat very little. My doctors and nutritionist teams help me make sure I'm getting all the right things (for some reason I am always very low in magnesium so I take some supplements).
I can say that cancer probably saved my life - at least whatever is good from being alive. I did not enjoy life very much before. The loss of weight and the need to get over things that were so stupid and meaningless in life - body dysmorphia? really, self? why? - and now I am active, I enjoy life, and my priorities are entirely re-evaluated.
Here are some photos along the way.
Right around the time of diagnosis (my dates below are a little off I think but I'm too lazy to fix it, sorry!):