Weightloss ups and downs

by WildcatFanRN 2,829 Views | 15 Comments

My up and down weightloss journey and it's not over yet. I have struggled with my weight since high school and have lived with the stigma of being obese. I even had a rather cruel uncle who thought his jokes at my expense were funny. It's hard to lose weight when you have poor self esteem. In order to be successful, one has to feel good about themselves even about being obese. Once that happens you can actually lose weight for the right reasons.

  1. 3

    Weightloss ups and downs

    After reading recent postings where some feel that someone who is obese is less than a person and even less than a nurse I decided to tell a bit about my struggle with weight.

    I started life as a really skinny kid, long and lanky. Puberty hit and I started growing in all the wrong directions. I was still a very active kid, played softball, was in marching band, rode my bike. I just gained weight so by my senior year in high school all hopes of enlisting in the Army was on definite hold. I never considered myself unhealthy though I knew in the back of my mind being the weight I was meant I couldn't do ROTC or join the military. Well, I tried many diets and exercise programs but either got tired or bored with them after a while.

    It's not like I do not have the motivation, though I will admit at times I am like "why bother". I know for my long term health it is in my best interest to lose this weight which for me has now gotten to 304lbs. I had promised myself I would never get to that weight, 300lbs, but here I am. I have made good in roads into losing this weight and had re-re-joined Weight Watchers Online and started walking. Then early this year my mom had a stroke and I found myself taking care of not just my own little family, but my sister and special needs foster brothers as well. Lets just say that my weight took a beating with all the stress than insued. I have finally realized that I am without a doubt a stress eater and I regained the 13lbs I had previously lost. I ended up losing the weight again, but have recently gained it back once again.

    It's a hard struggle that goes too what our relationship with food is. Heck portion sizes have increased steadily as well as the average waist line. I am currently unemployed on top of everything else that has been going on, and because of my mothers hospitalization and subsequent re- hospitalization, it has been an unexpected blessing. But being unemployed means eating all the healthy way is harder, not impossible, just harder. Fresh fruit and vegetables are expensive and my daughters WIC voucher of $6 doesn't get much. Food Stamps, we can get more but even that is limited. I've been trying to add more lean meats and less refined foods to our diet but I'm fighting the "taste vs healthy" fight with my family. I'm trying to set a good example for my daughter, but I'm a snacker. So instead of fighting it, I'm choosing better snacks.

    Part of my problem has been trying to do too much too fast. One of the things WW teaches is to take things a little step at a time. It's about changing bad habits acquired over years, it's not something that can be changed overnight. It's not about lack of willpower either like some very naive people have suggested. Willpower has little to do with it in my opinion, our convenience lifestyle does. We have been conditioned as a country to want things now and most now don't even cook meals at home anymore. We are a fast food nation and that is not something that can be changed easily. I have not given up on achieving a healthy self, I just have to re-boot my journey. Right now I'm on more of a roller coaster than a nice straight road and this is not atypical. The fact that I'm trying and succeeding in small changes is better than not doing anything at all.

    All this talk about places being justified in not hiring obese nurses is just plain wrong. It's wrong to discriminate against anyone whether they are in a protected class or not. I don't cost an employer more just because I'm obese, I unfortunately cost more because of not having insurance and not having seen a doctor on a regular basis to monitor things. Amazingly I'm obese, yet my cholesterol is perfect and right now so in my blood pressure. I can physically do the job if and when I get one. But the people who make these policies and who naively support them somehow think that since it doesn't affect them, its OK. Afterall obese people in general are lazy slobs, who just sit around their homes stuffing their faces with high fat foods. Granted there are those who are like that, and you usually see them on Discovery Health and Fitness channel, they are also not the norm. Most obese people hate being obese and have tried every diet under the sun in order to lose that weight. Which is why the weight-loss industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, with the latest fad being the HTG diet. Take this HTG hormone and eat 200 calories a day and just see the pounds melt right off. Profits off of people desperation to look like what all those books and magazine say we should look like. Policies against hiring overweight and obese people is not going to do a darn thing to end the epidemic that affects 60% of the U.S. population. All this is going to do is make people who already feel somewhat marginalized feel even more insecure in an already shaky economy. And those who feel "well, if your that obese just get a gastric bypass". I've seen the complications of gastric bypasses, they are not for everyone. I know one person personally who had one and now can't stop losing weight. Another person I know ended up having severe intestinal complications. I guess it's ok for people who will die if they don't lose the weight, but it's not for me. Also, you can't get one if you have no insurance.

    I honestly can't wait to see the next group of people hospitals will decide they don't want to hire. I bet it will be something that will affect those who feel it's OK to not hire overweight and obese nurses purely due to their weight, not job performance. But then, there probably won't be anyone left to speak out against the latest policy anyway.
    Last edit by Joe V on Apr 16, '12
    herring_RN, Joe V, and VivaLasViejas like this.
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  3. About WildcatFanRN

    I'm a 37 year old rusty grad almost finished with my BSN. I've struggled with my weight since high school and have finally made some serious personal breakthroughs. I am healthy despite what some assume :-)

    WildcatFanRN joined Nov '06 - from 'Wildcat Country'. Age: 40 WildcatFanRN has '1+' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Cardiac-Telemetry'. Posts: 1,061 Likes: 568; Learn more about WildcatFanRN by visiting their allnursesPage


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    15 Comments so far...

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    I could have written this post, as I'm in the same boat with you, only not as healthy as you are (I'm also a lot older than you ). But I don't need to add a single thing because you have covered all the bases most effectively---congratulations on a well-written essay!
    herring_RN and WildcatFanRN like this.
  5. 1
    Thanks. I felt I just needed to write something in response to all our so called collegues who feel that just because a person is obese they are less able from doing a job. The only person I'm a role model for in my daughter. I can show her healthier eating and exercise and my own struggles with weight. But I hope to also show her that my weight does not define who I am or what I can accomplish. Only those who are naive and narrow minded think that way.

    I don't post much on AN anymore due to school, stress, and the fact that more and more I see on here how discriminatory a lot of nurses on this board really are. Granted the majority are not, but I guess I've been reading to many from those who are. Also as a rusty old grad, I don't seem to have a lot to offer in most of the general nursing board questions.
    herring_RN likes this.
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    I liked your article and I admire your perseverance! Don't give up.
    herring_RN likes this.
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    Well, I've lost 4lbs somewhere LOL. Seems I'm back to losing those same 14lbs I've been losing and regaining over the past several months. Let's see if I can keep it going in the down direction this time. However, according to a poster on a recent thread I'm lazy so I probably won't succeed

    My weakness I've discovered is salty, cheesy type snacks. I try to keep greek yogurt in the house to snack on instead, but sometimes I just crave those salty cheesy chips...or crackers...or cheese and crackers.

    Also, fixing stress eating/snacking is harder then quitting smoking I think though I don't smoke so have no clue.
    herring_RN and VivaLasViejas like this.
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    Read what you wrote, very good and informative. I am a nurse to, who is over weight, I have tried diets and so forth, I always gain it back. But I am healthy now, just got thought the fight of my life, I beat colon cancer. I have been off work for two years and going back to work. The problem is most places wont even higher you if you been off work to long, even to fight cancer. I have been told in the past, from a past client, that because of my weight, she almost did not want me to work for her. But I proved her wrong. I can do the job despite the weight issue. Will anyway I think a lot of this healthy weight thing has to do with insurance company's not wanting to cover you, because you are a health risk, because of the cost of taking care of someone who has a weight issue and related health problems. I notice now they are trying to control your way of living, by what you eat, you do with your own life and the choices you make. Sorry to get off the subject, keep going. I admire the way you are!
    herring_RN likes this.
  9. 1
    I read this via facebook, and thought I could offer some support and encouragement. I was also a thin child. I was in a car wreck in 2004 while in Nursing school for my ASN. Thats when I really started putting on the weight. I am permanently disabled due to the accident, and complications relating to it. Over the last 2 year I have lost 88lbs. at one point I was down 97lbs, but I have regained and lost the same 15-20lbs over and over and over again over the last year. I have a blog on fb where I updated weekly, my struggles, my successes, frustrations, fears and anything else relating to my weight loss journey. I encourage you to friend me and read through it. Sometimes we just need a little bit of inspiration to encourage our motivation. Blessings to you and very best wishes on your journey to becoming healthy. I am Katrina Moore from Wooster, OH on the facebook.
    herring_RN likes this.
  10. 4
    Quote from WildcatFanRN
    Also, fixing stress eating/snacking is harder then quitting smoking I think though I don't smoke so have no clue.
    That's because we can walk away from all of our other addictions, but we can't stop eating entirely or we die.
    ShantheRN, herring_RN, Poi Dog, and 1 other like this.
  11. 1
    Quote from WildcatFanRN
    After reading recent postings where some feel that someone who is obese is less than a person and even less than a nurse I decided to tell a bit about my struggle with weight.

    I started life as a really skinny kid, long and lanky. Puberty hit and I started growing in all the wrong directions. I was still a very active kid, played softball, was in marching band, rode my bike. I just gained weight so by my senior year in high school all hopes of enlisting in the Army was on definite hold. I never considered myself unhealthy though I knew in the back of my mind being the weight I was meant I couldn't do ROTC or join the military. Well, I tried many diets and exercise programs but either got tired or bored with them after a while.

    It's not like I do not have the motivation, though I will admit at times I am like "why bother". I know for my long term health it is in my best interest to lose this weight which for me has now gotten to 304lbs. I had promised myself I would never get to that weight, 300lbs, but here I am. I have made good in roads into losing this weight and had re-re-joined Weight Watchers Online and started walking. Then early this year my mom had a stroke and I found myself taking care of not just my own little family, but my sister and special needs foster brothers as well. Lets just say that my weight took a beating with all the stress than insued. I have finally realized that I am without a doubt a stress eater and I regained the 13lbs I had previously lost. I ended up losing the weight again, but have recently gained it back once again.

    It's a hard struggle that goes too what our relationship with food is. Heck portion sizes have increased steadily as well as the average waist line. I am currently unemployed on top of everything else that has been going on, and because of my mothers hospitalization and subsequent re- hospitalization, it has been an unexpected blessing. But being unemployed means eating all the healthy way is harder, not impossible, just harder. Fresh fruit and vegetables are expensive and my daughters WIC voucher of $6 doesn't get much. Food Stamps, we can get more but even that is limited. I've been trying to add more lean meats and less refined foods to our diet but I'm fighting the "taste vs healthy" fight with my family. I'm trying to set a good example for my daughter, but I'm a snacker. So instead of fighting it, I'm choosing better snacks.

    Part of my problem has been trying to do too much too fast. One of the things WW teaches is to take things a little step at a time. It's about changing bad habits acquired over years, it's not something that can be changed overnight. It's not about lack of willpower either like some very naive people have suggested. Willpower has little to do with it in my opinion, our convenience lifestyle does. We have been conditioned as a country to want things now and most now don't even cook meals at home anymore. We are a fast food nation and that is not something that can be changed easily. I have not given up on achieving a healthy self, I just have to re-boot my journey. Right now I'm on more of a roller coaster than a nice straight road and this is not atypical. The fact that I'm trying and succeeding in small changes is better than not doing anything at all.

    All this talk about places being justified in not hiring obese nurses is just plain wrong. It's wrong to discriminate against anyone whether they are in a protected class or not. I don't cost an employer more just because I'm obese, I unfortunately cost more because of not having insurance and not having seen a doctor on a regular basis to monitor things. Amazingly I'm obese, yet my cholesterol is perfect and right now so in my blood pressure. I can physically do the job if and when I get one. But the people who make these policies and who naively support them somehow think that since it doesn't affect them, its OK. Afterall obese people in general are lazy slobs, who just sit around their homes stuffing their faces with high fat foods. Granted there are those who are like that, and you usually see them on Discovery Health and Fitness channel, they are also not the norm. Most obese people hate being obese and have tried every diet under the sun in order to lose that weight. Which is why the weight-loss industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, with the latest fad being the HTG diet. Take this HTG hormone and eat 200 calories a day and just see the pounds melt right off. Profits off of people desperation to look like what all those books and magazine say we should look like. Policies against hiring overweight and obese people is not going to do a darn thing to end the epidemic that affects 60% of the U.S. population. All this is going to do is make people who already feel somewhat marginalized feel even more insecure in an already shaky economy. And those who feel "well, if your that obese just get a gastric bypass". I've seen the complications of gastric bypasses, they are not for everyone. I know one person personally who had one and now can't stop losing weight. Another person I know ended up having severe intestinal complications. I guess it's ok for people who will die if they don't lose the weight, but it's not for me. Also, you can't get one if you have no insurance.

    I honestly can't wait to see the next group of people hospitals will decide they don't want to hire. I bet it will be something that will affect those who feel it's OK to not hire overweight and obese nurses purely due to their weight, not job performance. But then, there probably won't be anyone left to speak out against the latest policy anyway.
    I enjoyed reading your article. I am 30 and I'm overweight. I started gaining weight when I was a teenager. When I first went off to college, I went on a really strict diet and lost 50 pounds. Then, I got pregnant with my daughter. I didn't gain much weight during my pregnancy. Nope, it all came afterward. Unlike you, I am not healthy but it seems that I cannot lose weight no matter what I do. My doctor is baffled. His latest strategy is prescription diet pills. They cause me to be jittery and give me insomnia. That clearly isn't going to work. I think the only solution for me is gastric bypass or lapband surgery but I don't have insurance so...

    But, even being overweight, I never have trouble doing my CNA job and I can keep up with my fellow nursing students any day.
    herring_RN likes this.
  12. 1
    Quote from kajmorri
    I read this via facebook, and thought I could offer some support and encouragement. I was also a thin child. I was in a car wreck in 2004 while in Nursing school for my ASN. Thats when I really started putting on the weight. I am permanently disabled due to the accident, and complications relating to it. Over the last 2 year I have lost 88lbs. at one point I was down 97lbs, but I have regained and lost the same 15-20lbs over and over and over again over the last year. I have a blog on fb where I updated weekly, my struggles, my successes, frustrations, fears and anything else relating to my weight loss journey. I encourage you to friend me and read through it. Sometimes we just need a little bit of inspiration to encourage our motivation. Blessings to you and very best wishes on your journey to becoming healthy. I am Katrina Moore from Wooster, OH on the facebook.
    I am interested in reading your blog and following your story but I can't find you on Facebook. Maybe you can post a link to your page?
    herring_RN likes this.


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