In 2010 I had the great honor to be picked for the show Extreme Weight Loss on ABC. Some of you may have watched my story and some of you may have missed it. (Watch it here)
On the show I had incredible success. I ended up losing 207 pounds in one year. When I started the show, my greatest desire was to get healthy. I wanted to know what it felt like to live in a healthy body. I wanted to know what it felt like to live at a healthy weight. I wanted to be healthy enough to finally start the family my husband and I had been dreaming of for many years.
At the time of being chosen for Extreme Weight Loss I had been morbidly obese for half of my life. My weight struggles began when I was 14 and got worse each year. I had a very troubled relationship with food. I didn’t use food as nourishment or fuel. I used food for emotional reasons and stress relief. I learned this behavior at a very young age after suffering a trauma at 14. Of course, at the time I didn’t realize what I was doing or how it would affect my future or my health. As I grew into young adulthood I felt trapped in obesity with no way out.
Even though I went into the show with the best of intentions at some point in my journey the true reason I started losing weight in the first place got lost. I knew that many people wanted to be picked for the show and for some reason I got this chance. I wanted to make the most of it. I wanted to make sure I didn’t waste one moment. I wanted to make sure I did everything perfectly and lost every pound I could. As the pounds started to come off more slowly I didn’t know what to do. The pressure to lose as much weight as I could in one year coupled with the pressure I put on myself internally was all consuming. I did the only thing I knew to do at the time. If I wasn’t losing much weight with 5 hours of exercise a day and 1600 calories a day, then I had to eat less and I had to exercise even more. I now falsely found my value and self worth in the pounds I lost on the scale each week. This is where a dream to get healthy became an unhealthy eating disorder and the most intense mental and physical battle of my life.
to be continued…