I have always felt overweight, now when I look back on old photos I think “Wow, I looked great!” but at the time I felt fat. I was probably comparing myself to others. My Dad was overweight and so was my paternal Grandfather. He was so fat, he used to get called “Cannon” as in the 1970s tv detective. I believed I was like my dad's family and thought I was naturally fat.
In my teens I started dieting so many I can’t remember the names of them. I would go with my great aunt to Weight Watchers, I tried the Cambridge Diet with those nasty meal replacements, I even tried a diet where all you could eat was red meat, oranges and grapefruit (it might have been the Atkins diet - it was the mid 70s).
By the time I was nearly 18 I had grown a tumour the size of a football on my ovaries and had to have it removed along with one and a bit ovaries and my appendix. Then my weight started to really pile on at 19 I weighed 14 stone. what I didn’t know then that I am starting to understand now is how a woman’s ovaries effect her hormones and how the hormones influence weight. I also didn’t know that a child should never be on diet and it can actually stunt growth and cause obesity in adulthood.
At some point along the way I gave up dieting, diets don’t work. Of course we know it is true but left unchecked weight continues to accumulate. I was always in admiration of others who lost 4 stone or 5 stone but I never felt I could do it. I knew what I had to do eat less and move more but I just couldn’t do it. If I put less on my plate I felt hungry even before I started eating, I felt hard done by. I could skip breakfast but I could never skip lunch or supper. If I didn’t eat at lunch time I would get a headache and feel sick.
Even in my 20s I had to get my clothes from Evans or Marks and Spencer because they were the only places that catered for my size. I also have always had large boobs so that made it even more difficult to find clothes that fit. I was envious of those who could go into any shop and buy clothes. Consequently I have never enjoyed shopping for clothes as it was such a chore. It was a necessity not a joy.
In my mid twenties I started to get migraines and was taking powerful medication to keep them at bay. By my early 30s I couldn’t drink alcohol and was getting migraines every other day. The medication to get rid of the pain should have been taken twice a month and I was taking between 9-12 pills every month. I even saw neurologists and had MRI scans to make sure the pain wasn’t caused by something more sinister in my brain.
Up until my mid thirties I would believe whatever a doctor said. I believed doctors know what is best and what they said should be followed.
Then in 1996 my husband bought me a book for Christmas about aromatherapy and everything changed. He probably doesn’t realise it was that book but I know it. I started to try complementary therapies and when I couldn’t conceive it was for fertility and migraines. If there was a slight chance it would work I tried it, never with any great success.
After a successful round of IVF my twin boys were born. Three weeks after they were born I was in agony in my stomach and back. After a doctors visit I was told I had gall stones. I saw a consultant who told me “The ONLY option” was to have my gall bladder removed. Having had a c-section three weeks earlier I said “Thanks but no thanks” and set off to help myself. I cut out fat, had regular sessions of kinesiology and acupuncture and by myself did several liver flushes to flush the stones. Within six months I no longer had pain. Over time the old foods crept back in and within a couple of years I was eating everything.
In 2010 on a flight from Malaga to London I had another gall bladder attack and for anyone who hasn’t had one it is an incredible pain in the centre of your back and stomach. You don’t know where to put yourself and it often makes you feel nauseous and sick. It is full on pain for 8-12 hours. Once again back to another consultant who said “The ONLY option” was to have my gall bladder removed. Where had I heard that before? I said thanks, I had sorted it myself before and I will do it again. My belief had changed over the 14 years from believing what doctors said to doubting them. I also believe that we need all parts of our body and although doctors may consider certain part unimportant they still still have an important part to play. I had read about people having liver problems later down the line when their gall bladders were removed and those that still couldn’t eat fatty foods.
I healed myself with diet and some kinesiology and acupuncture. Keeping to a low fat way of eating I reduced a stone - stone and a half and felt great.
To Be Continued ... The Journey Begins - Part 2