HomePersonalMorbidly Obese Weight Loss Story Update – 70 Pounds Down!
March 22, 2019
Morbidly Obese Weight Loss Story Update – 70 Pounds Down!
I can’t believe I am actually saying this, but I have successfully lost over 70 pounds these past eight months on my quest for better health!!! I have never lost more than about 20 pounds before, and that was lymph fluid not fat. While I still have more than 200 pounds more to go, I am definitely on my way and up for the changes it will bring.
Quick Recap For Perspective
I am a 56 year old super morbidly obese menopausal woman who has faced several health challenges leading me to my heaviest weight back in July of 2016 – 545 pounds! I lost 25 pounds due to aggressive compression techniques in both my lower legs over the next two years while I continued to suffer horribly from stage 4 lipo-lymphedema. In the past two years I have been diagnosed and suffer daily with Celiac Disease, sleep apnea, leaky gut, MCAS, IBS, osteoarthritis, hypermobility, kidney stones, POTS, and suspected thyroid or parathyroid issues (have a nodule on my thyroid). I am also starting to see evidence of Dercum’s Disease too.
I fell from a stool a year ago straight down onto my tailbone. Thankfully, nothing broke, fractured or herniated! When I ended up bedridden and nearly immobile following that fall, I had nearly given up hope of ever having any quality of life. It was then I stumbled across the ketogenic way of eating and intermittent fasting. I continue to suffer severe recurring tailbone pain after sitting upright for only an hour, but am trying to mitigate it. My world has now changed for the better since implementing these practices! And if I can make these lifestyle changes to regain my health – so can you!
Morbidly Obese Weight Loss Story Update – 70 Pounds Down – Noticeable Changes
Losing 70 pounds has different effects on people depending on how much extra weight you have on your body. If you have 70 to 100 pounds total to lose then the effects are going to be quite profound!
However, if you fall into the super morbidly obese medical classification, like me, then 70 pounds may not be as noticeable. Even so, healthy weight loss will manifest so positive changes you should be able to see and feel.
Don’t misunderstand, I am not negating the accomplishment and success of one weight class of people over another. I celebrate all healthy weight loss that is intentional or an accidental side benefit for those looking to reclaim their health! The changes are just different and sometimes more significant as it may mean regaining a lost functionality, such as mobility or even getting out of bed.
Here are some of the most noticeable things I have experienced in losing my first 70 pounds.
I chose the low carbohydrate and ketogenic (keto) way of eating plan. It is not a fad diet, rather a means of converting your body’s current carb burning fuel source into a fat burning fuel source. This is much more efficient and satiating than having to constantly refuel your body every couple of hours with carbs.
I removed all sugared drinks (soda pop, fruit juices, alcohol and artificially sweetened drinks), snacks and boxed processed foods from my eating plan. I will occasionally have gluten free pasta with my family when we make homemade macaroni and cheese or spaghetti and meatballs.
I incorporated lots of leafy greens to my salads, added a variety of cruciferous vegetables, healthy omega-3 oils (extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil), and healthy fats (hard cheeses, creams, nuts) to my meals and snacks.
I continue to take regular vitamin and mineral supplements as I am diagnosed deficient in several areas. I take vitamin D, C and B-complex, Quercetin, Magnesium, Ranitidine, Cetirizine, and a Probiotic daily. Many people with Lipedema also suffer with deficiencies in key vitamins and minerals.
I will add some ice cream to my snacks once in a while (my kryptonite). I have found if you deprive yourself of everything you like, you will be prone to binging and fall out of your eating plan. Plan your cheats and incorporate them into your daily intake of calories or macro counts.
I have researched and determined intermittent fasting (IF) is a great way to move your body into autophagy. I normally do a 16-8 eating plan daily (fast for 16 hours and eat 2 meals and a snack in an 8 hour window). I am contemplating reducing my window to 6 hours. Some do OMAD (one meal a day) but I don’t think I am ready for that yet.
I try to incorporate at least one or two longer fasts into my month. They range from 24 to 48 hours, which I appear to handle well. At some point I want to kick it up to a 72 hour fast and see if there are greater benefits.
Physical Body Changes
Pain and inflammation levels are down to the point where I don’t need daily pain medication! I can manage most of it through food choices. Osteoarthritis in both knees is still painful, but a little more tolerable with less weight on the joints. Lipedema “fat pads” on my knees and ankles are still painful along with pressure on pea and marble sized lipomas throughout my body. (Some are larger and may actually be a co-morbid Dercum’s Disease condition.)
I still need two canes to move around, but my knees seem to tolerate just a bit more walking before starting to ache/hurt. I can get up and down easier, which includes getting in and out of the shower (4″ barrier) by myself now. Walking is limited to within the house, except when needing to go to medical appointments. We live on a steep incline with a ramp. I plan to tackle that next month when I visit my mom for Easter.
I have also noticed I can lift my legs and get into and out of my minivan with greater ease. There is more room between my knees, the seat and the dashboard, which is great trying to swing my legs out of the van once they start swelling. I can also buckle my seat belt by myself with a couple inches to spare! People used to have to force the belt into the holder while I sucked in my gut.
Range of Motion
I can now hold both arms over my head to wash my hair without getting tired! I am also showering completely by myself with no assistance. I do still require a stool to sit and shower as I cannot stand more than about 1-2 minutes, but at least I am managing everything myself!
I am hypermobile and can bend down to the floor without bending my knees more freely now. (Still need assistance with toes and cutting nails.) I can get into, out of and sit up in bed by myself. I can walk around the house, but still can’t stand and cook in the kitchen…yet.
I am hypermobile, which explains a lot about how my joints have behaved in the past. When I was 70 pounds heavier, fat packed my knees, shoulders and hip area thus stabilizing my joints. Now my knees are starting to move around more in their sockets either to the loss of cartilage or the faulty collagen in the tendons and muscles, or both, holding the knees in place. I may need to look at knee braces soon to stop them from going out on me while walking. My shoulders and hips “pop” more now without the extra padding. Different problem to address as the weight continues to drop.
Most exercise is off the list as my weight and knees cannot tolerate very much activity. I am using resistance bands to work on arm and leg muscle re-development. I use small weights for my arms. I plan to restart my seated Sit and Be Fit series to work on all muscle areas. I am aspiring to walk outside for spring cleaning soon!
This is a strange area for me as I have never lost this amount of weight before! My lower legs are getting much smaller and I can actually see my ankles for the first time in 20+ years! My upper arms and thighs have always been densely packed and solid. Now they are loose and very jiggly. Never thought I would be happy to say I now have loose skin. Yay! My upper arms (bat wings) now have skin folds you can lift up. I also have loose skin on my boobs and the cleavage between them. The large lobule on the back of my left leg is smaller and is more malleable. My apron belly/panus is shrinking with lots of loose skin too. It’s a strange problem that I am happy to have…for now!
Since I have cut out most sugars and processed food thereby reducing my inflammation levels I have noticed the amount and frequency of yeast and Intertrigo infections in the skin folds have significantly decreased. Increased sugar is known to help fester those infections. (They were never bad, just annoying. You have to be vigilant about your hygiene and keeping all those skin folds clean! They can lead to cellulitis, which is a very serious condition for those with Lipedema or Lipo-Lymphedema!)
Besides the presence of loose skin now, my overall skin has gotten softer and smoother to the touch. Applying moisturizer just makes it better. The hyper-pigmentation around my left ankle is clearing up, meaning the circulation is rapidly improving in my lower leg. My daughter also just noticed hair is beginning to re-grow on parts of my legs that have been bare for 15+ years.
Generally I do feel more energetic, but knee and back pain still prohibit me from doing more physical activities. Frequently my mind can see and plan more activities than my body is capable of performing. This can be frustrating as you must rely on others to help you achieve those tasks or learn to accept certain will not get done in a timely manner, or at all. I am hoping to see bigger improvements in this area as the weight continues to drop.
While I generally sleep better now there are times I will experience a level of neuropathy on the left side of my body. At first I thought I needed to replace my mattress. Then I realized this can happen while losing significant amounts of weight. I am a left side sleeper. My body now has to adjust to the new curvature and shifting fat deposits in my body and can impinge nerves or nerve bundles along the way. (See Resources section below more articles on this topic.)
You would think after 70 pounds gone I would be in a different clothing size. I have worn a 5XL for years now and haven’t actually tried to wear a 4XL. Most of my clothes are lounge wear as I am fairly housebound. I have noticed the 5XL loungers are falling off one shoulder and are a lot looser around the middle. Perhaps by the time I hit 100 pounds gone I will actually try the 4XL loungers and see how they fit. I know for most folks 70 pounds would represent several clothes sizes down. I know someday that will be me and eventually I will even be able to shop in a regular clothing store after 30+ years!
My acuity level has definitely increased! I couldn’t play scrabble or crosswords before because I couldn’t focus and think clearly. It was if I was moving around in a fog or just constantly tired. Now I can beat my friends at these games and regularly play word games online to keep my sharpness. It’s like a fog has been lifted and is very refreshing!
Oh this is a good one. My mood generally got happier with dietary and weight loss changes. However, menopause set me back a cranky level or two. I blame the life change on things that seem to irritate me more or give me less tolerance these days. However, I do have a renewed spirit that life WILL get better as the weight comes off, medical conditions in turn improve and I reclaim more and more of my health!
I still can’t readily get around outside the house so socialization is still limited. I also still feel very self-conscious about navigating, seating, standing and getting around in my manual wheelchair at this extremely large size. It has been years since I have been on an outing with my family to church, a restaurant, the movies, shopping, etc. I want to be able to do these things again. Hopefully, another 25-50 pounds and I might have a shot of trying to socialize outside my home!
I plodded along in life dealing with a condition I didn’t even know I had along with other medical issues that jumped on the band wagon, in pursuit of building a professional career and raising a family. In 2014 that came to screeching halt when my health failed. Sometimes, God will put you flat on your back so all you can do is look up to Him! And that’s what He did. Once He had my full attention, He led me to information on Lipedema, which I quickly recognized as my condition (actually Lipo-Lymphedema), and helped me line up quality care in treatment of this disease. He giggled and threw in an unsuspecting diagnosis of Celiac Disease and MCAS, which cured a lot of my digestive, allergy, and output problems. He then led me to folks who had Lipedema and were able to reduce their pain, inflammation and weight through a Ketogenic way of eating. This then led to Intermittent Fasting. I thank Him for the CD because it made keto much easier to adapt to my new way of eating! So, if you are willing to listen and be patient He will lead you to the answers you seek in reclaiming your health.
My Current Statistics
Highest Weight before Keto (HW) – 545 pounds (83 BMI)
Starting Weight on Keto (SW) – 520 pounds (79 BMI)
Current Weight (CW) – 450 pounds (68 BMI)
Goal Weight (GW) – 170 pounds (26 BMI)
Do you have a success story to share? I would love to hear if you have had similar results as someone suffering with lipedema or lipo-lymphedema! It would be great to hear from those who have chosen keto and IF as their eating plan to see how it is working for you! Drop me a note below and let me know your success story or even struggles you might be experiencing trying to rebuild a healthier version of you!