Thursday, June 14, 2012
Losing Weight After 3 Stagnant Years!
I am hesitant to write this. I am wary to mention anything about my desperate weight loss saga, because I've thought I was losing weight before, and I was very wrong. Before, it was just a fluke; simply the normal fluctuations my body goes through during the month.
But my spirits are lifted today, because, over the course of the last two weeks or so, I have dropped from 208 to 204 pounds. The first time I saw a bright red 204 on the scale, I thought it must be mistaken, so I weighed myself again. And then a third time. And then I weighed myself a day later. And then the day after that. And then that time, the scale said 203.5 pounds! I weighed myself on the following day, and it was back up to 204. But the point is, I think this weight loss may be for real, finally!
As some of you may know, I've written extensively on my other blog A Life of Healthy Abundance about my traumatic experience of being on the Depo-Provera birth control shot for two years, the horrific weight gain I gained because of the Depo, and my frustratingly futile attempts at losing the weight while still on the Depo.
Because I've written about Depo so much on the other blog, I won't go into too much more detail here, except to say that the Depo is such a high-powered dosage of the birth control hormone Progesterone (I only had to get the Depo shot once every 3 months), it tricked my body into thinking I was pregnant for 2 solid years, and thus made me gain around 50 pounds in two years. I joined a gym and worked out 5 days a week for about 6 months, desperately trying to lose this weight that was sticking to my body.
This intense workout regimen helped me not gain any more weight while doing it, but I did not lose a pound the entire time. I was devastated, and I could not continue putting forth so much effort after such a devastating setback, so I quit the gym and tried to focus on eating healthier and doing less intense exercises (although I was keeping a food journal and eating fairly healthy already). The weight gain continued, even after stopping the Depo.
Once, I gained 10 pounds in two weeks (albeit while on vacation), but also while running 5 miles every other day during the vacation. Definitely NOT normal, by any stretch of the imagination!
I have been off of the Depo for 1 year and 3 months now, and I'm just now seeing some weight loss. After three extremely difficult years filled with increasing fatigue/low energy levels, constant lower-back pain, and severe hypoglycemia occurring every 3 hours, I believe I'm finally on the track back to health.
I wish I could proclaim from the mountaintops how horrible the Depo is for many women (although some women enjoy Depo with no side effects). If you're on Depo, or know someone who is, I'd strongly recommend you encourage them to do their homework on their own and educate themselves about this high-powered drug, and don't just take their doctor's word for it, that everything will be fine.
There is a fit and toned woman inside of me, who has been screaming to get out, for the past 3 years, and it has been hell on earth to see my weight skyrocket and being helpless to stop it. After endlessly researching this topic online, speaking with female friends who've experienced similar weight gain while on birth control and/or during pregnancy, and by speaking with metabolic professionals about my issues with Depo, I found out that there was no way for me to prevent the weight gain while the Depo hormones were still in my system. The only thing I could do was wait. I hate waiting. I had to wait until the Depo naturally left my system, in an excruciatingly, painfully slow fashion. The research (and consumer reviews) say that after stopping Depo, it may take up to 2 years for a woman to get pregnant. And I can attest to that (in a different way). Just like the Depo may stay in a woman's system for up to 2 years, making it impossible for her to conceive, it stayed in my system for almost a year and a half, making it impossible for me to lose any of my "baby weight." I gained weight from the non-existent "baby" that my body thought I was carrying for the last 2 years.
Sometimes I joke that, "Now I'm fat, and I don't even have a baby to show for it!"
But in all seriousness, this makes me very concerned about if my husband and I decide to have biological children someday. Will I gain a ton of weight, no matter what I do to prevent it, when I am pregnant? How much weight will I gain in 9 months of pregnancy, if I gained over 50 pounds during two years of my fake, Depo-induced "pregnancy?" I don't know the answer to that question, but it haunts me. And perhaps you think that's silly of me to not want to have children because I'm worried about weight gain. But for me, this weight problem has been the bane of my existence for the last 3 years, and I cannot wait to get slim and healthy again. I never considered myself very slim in the first place, so all I want is to finally get fit and healthy, for the first real time in my life! I know I can succeed at my weight loss and fitness goals, if the Depo hurdle gets removed.
I pray ceaselessly to the Lord that this weight loss I've experienced lately is genuine and is a hallmark of things to come. And what a blessing it will be, to lose weight and be able to be healthy again! Can you imagine? No back pain, no Diabetes risk, no more having to buy or borrow bigger clothes that fit better, and no more feeling like my limbs have weights on them! I'm 26 years young, and I cannot wait to feel my age! Right now I feel MUCH older than 26 years old.
What about you? Have you ever been on Depo-Provera, or do you know someone who is? Do you have any birth control horror stories? Or perhaps your experiences were great? Tell me about it!