My name is Annette and I want to share my weight loss journey in the hope that it will encourage you in some way.
In June 2018 I discovered two painful lumps in my right breast which literally stopped me in my tracks. Basically, I thought the worst and started planning my own funeral. I remember the look on my Consultants’ faces as they examined me and I recall being asked if there was a family history of cancer. I was so scared. Over the next few days I went through many painful examinations including a mini-operation in a cold consulting room without anesthetic.
Within a week the decision was made to remove the cysts. All I was thinking is that I have cancer and I am going to die. Following on from the operation the surgeon advised me that the procedure was successful and the cysts were being sent away for analysis. I clearly remember my lead Consultant say to me “Annette, you really need to lose weight because in most cases your condition is linked to being overweight. If you don’t lose weight, you increase the likelihood of the return of the growths and upon their return they’re likely to be worst.” I really thought I could endure pain but nothing prepared me for the pain that followed the operation not to mention six weeks of very little undisturbed sleep due to not being able to lay on my sides. I remember one night just crying because I was so tired and my back and bottom were so sore from literally sitting upright in my bedroom chair. I had to go the hospital three times a week for wound dressings and each visit I had to endure the Consultants and Nurses reminding me about the importance of losing weight. Being a staff member at the hospital further meant that I was being spoken to very directly and without the ‘candy-coated dressing’. Deep down I knew that physically and mentally my body would not withstand a recurrence of the cysts so I sat down and I thought either you beat this weight thing or it will kill you. Probably like so many people, I had previously tried so many diets but they never lasted longer than someone suggesting “let’s go out for a meal” or my mum cooking my favourite dish.
This time I knew I had to make the change to my diet but more importantly was the change I had to make to my mindset with regards to food. The funny thing is, I make wigs and would buy the most expensive hair and related products wanting the best results, yet there I was eating unhealthy ‘convenient’ food but wanting to look good and feel healthy. It didn’t make sense and now the penny had finally dropped. I sat down and started working on a new daily regime. I cut out a few unhealthy bad habits and I joined my local gym. So here my journey began, I remained under the scrutiny of the hospital each visit and had to inform them of my weight loss protocol which in the past would have annoyed the hell out of me to the point of just quitting everything. I pushed on cutting out more unhealthy things from my diet and exercising more at the gym up to four times a week. I was determined this time around. Some days I could barely get on the treadmill due to the pain but I pushed on. I met a PT who made life easier for me by creating a diet plan and he encouraged and supported me from the get go. There’s nothing better than someone believing in you when it’s difficult to even believe in yourself. Slowly but surely my weight started decreasing. I have lost close to two stones (12.7 kg) so far and have reduced my clothing by three dress sizes.
Toward the end of my three months outpatient treatment, I was given the great news that my cysts were non-cancerous and by that time I was giving my nurse diet and exercise tips… what a fantastic turnaround! I feel so much better within myself these days I even run up and down the stairs at work rather than take the lift. My sugar levels have dropped to a healthy reading and I have so much more energy now that I want to engage in all the sports I used to love doing as a teenager. My journey is ongoing whereas when I started I only wanted to do this for a year to reach my ‘ideal weight’. I now realise that this is for life, I have changed my mindset and consequently changed my life for the better. I have no regrets and certainly do not miss any of my bad habits.