Lifestyle

Weight Loss Journey – Part 1

Last week, on May 6, 2020, I had my Mirena IUD removed. I got my first IUD after the birth of my daughter in 2010. After I got married in 2014, I had it removed so I could get pregnant again. After my son was born in 2015, I had another IUD put in. I absolutely loved having it! No periods, no PMS, no real side effects.

Or so I thought.

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I’ve always been on the heavier side. I was a Juniors size 9 when I was 13 years old. I managed to get down to a size 8 while I was in college when I weighed 130 lbs, but it was extremely difficult for me to maintain. My “happy” weight was around 140.

I gained quite a bit during my first pregnancy and only lost half of it after the pregnancy, leaving me around 160. Slowly, my weight crept up over the next 4 years, eventually putting me at 215 before getting pregnant with my son. I lost about 20 lbs during the second pregnancy, but slowly gained it back over the next 2 years. 

BBG

In the fall of 2017, I started eating healthier and working out. I was up to 215 lbs at that point and my self esteem was terrible. My sister Michelle and I completed 12 weeks of Kayla Itsines’ BBG program and I looked AMAZING! I had lost a significant amount of body mass, but the weird thing was, I didn’t lose much weight. From the outside, it looked like I had lost at least 30 lbs, and in reality, it was only about 10 lbs.

10 lbs over 12 weeks is ok, but it’s under the 1-2 lb/week average and it just seemed like I should have lost more with how hard I was working and how healthy I was eating. 

Beachbody

In early 2018, I joined Beachbody and completed both their 80 Day Obsession and LIIFT4 programs. Again, I lost a bit more body mass, but only another 15 lbs or so. That was over 6 months of strictly following the eating and workout plans. A typical person loses 1-2 lbs a week and I was losing barely half a pound a week on average.

Then the weight loss completely stopped. I was still working out and eating well, but the scale stopped moving.

I know I should have been happy with the visual progress I had made, but when that stopped too, I got extremely frustrated.

It seemed like no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get under 190 lbs. So I just stopped trying. Over the next year, I gained back 15 of the pounds I had lost and in the fall of 2019, I was back up to 205 lbs.

Intermittent fasting

My brother-in-law introduced me to intermittent fasting. I read books and studies that showed that just by implementing intermittent fasting, people were losing weight. They didn’t have to work out a ton or follow a strict eating plan – they just lost weight.

I decided to try it. What’s the worst that could happen? 

I started with a 16:8 plan, which means I would fast for 16 hours, then have an 8 hour eating window. This just meant skipping breakfast, which was very easy for me because I struggle to eat first thing in the morning anyway.

Over the next 4 months, I worked my way up to a 20/4 schedule, which usually ended up being just one meal a day. Because I did it gradually and could still drink coffee with a splash of cream during the day, it wasn’t very difficult for me.

I lost 5 lbs in those 4 months.

Added keto

Clearly, it would take more than just doing intermittent fasting for me to lose weight. Because I was only eating one meal a day which meant minimal meal planning, I decided to add eating keto to my weight loss plan. It required a bit more planning and tracking macros, but I was determined to finally lose weight! I had friends that had lost significant amounts of weight in only a few months eating keto, and I was looking forward to seeing the same results!

Those results never came. It took me 3 weeks to get into full ketosis, about 3x longer than the average person. But once I was there, it was easy to maintain. My blood sugar levels were great from the intermittent fasting and my ketone levels were fantastic from eating keto!

I maintained the ketosis for around 6 weeks. The average weight loss on keto is around 10 lbs per month, so one would expect to lose around 15 lbs in 6 weeks on strict keto. I lost 5.

Nothing was working!

I began to wonder if there was something else causing it to be extremely difficult for me to lose weight. Did I have a thyroid problem? Were there other hormone problems I didn’t know about? I knew I didn’t have diabetes because I was tracking my blood sugars and they were fine, but it’s possible there was another issue.

When the coronavirus hit the US and we were quarantined in mid-March, I stopped eating keto. It was difficult to find many things in the stores and it was more effort than I wanted to put in, especially since I wasn’t seeing great results. I immediately gained back the weight I had lost while I was eating keto and over the next 8 weeks, put back on the weight I had lost doing intermittent fasting.

It is now May 2020 and I am only 5 lbs less than where I started 2.5 years ago.

A few weeks ago, my sister and my brother-in-law asked me if I thought my IUD could be preventing me from losing weight. I told them it was unlikely as weight issues is not one of the symptoms like it is with other birth control.

Moving forward

Last week, I started doing more research and found a thread of over 500 women that all had weight issues from their Mirena and lost significant amounts of weight after they had it removed. I was due to have it removed in December anyway, so I thought what the hell. Why not have it removed now and see what happens?

I know there will be struggles over the next few weeks/months as my hormones readjust (I’ve had several MASSIVE headaches this week) but I’m hoping that I will start seeing weight loss as well.

Stay tuned for future updates!

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