My story


As I have been surfing other fitness and food related blogs I noticed that in addition to their “About me” section, pretty much all of them have a deeper story.  Of how they decided to start, to lose weight, cook more…or how they changed their life.  So, it’s only fair to share my story.

Food has always been a frienemy to me.  I love it, but it doesn’t always love me back.  It entices me and takes over my logical thinking part of my brain.  We didn’t have much when I was young; my mom was a single parent for a few years after her and D* split up.  Then she met my Dad.  Seriously the most patient, most amazing father a girl could ask for.  He spoiled me and loved me unconditionally.  Still does.  We spent a lot of time together as a family when I was growing up.  And it usually revolved around food.  However, I was never heavy.  I ate what I wanted and learned bad habits young.  I was never involved in sports or any other physical activity.  So I didn’t learn healthy habits as a child.  I became a stress eater.  When life is too much to handle…I binge.

Around the time I was 15 I started to realize that my monthly friend was also not so kind to me either.  I started missing classes because the cramps were so unbearable.  I couldn’t sleep, eat, or even sit up most of the time.  After several months of this my parents said I needed to go to the doctor.  After talking to the doctor, describing my symptoms I was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, and put on an oral birth control pill to stop me from ovulating thereby ending the cysts and pain.  And it did for many years.

Also during this time in high school I started to assert myself more where my food was concerned.  I stopped eating meat.  When I was 16 my Mom found out that she was diabetic and needed to lose weight, and soon.  So we started walking around my High school after hours during that winter.  I would stay after school and she would come up after dinner to meet me and we would walk, and talk.  Sometimes we’d hammer out 4-5 miles in less than an hour.  Then I’d go home and push food around on my plate for a few minutes and go to my room.  I assume that my parents figured I was eating at school, saving part of my lunch or packing food to eat and never seemed too concerned that dinner was not a big priority.  But…

I wasn’t eating at school.  I would get a bottle of Dr. Pepper and a bag of Cheetos, or Famous Amos cookies and that is all I would eat all day.  I would look in the mirror and not like what I saw.  I saw a fat stomach, fat thighs that rubbed together when I walked.  Fat, fat, fat.  My junior year of high school I went from a healthy 125 pounds to 105, with the help of Mono.  Which I blamed entirely for my “dramatic” weigh-loss.  As the spring of that year approached and I started to get very thin, I hid my withering body in overalls and spent my lunch-hour and study-halls in the darkroom and in the art studio.  I hid from my friends, and got lost in my own silence.

My drawing teacher constantly tried to feed me.  Which at the time, was seriously annoying.  I thought she was overweight and was trying to fatten me up like her.  And I didn’t want to be fat!  My Grandmother was overweight and diabetic, my Mom was overweight and diabetic…no.  I had control over what went into my body and I was not going to be fat and diabetic.  I realize now that she saw what I was doing and was trying to help.  She was trying to save me from hurting myself.

Junior year ended and so did the evening walking.  I was not athletic, so sports or outdoor exercising did not appeal to me.  I no longer had the walking every evening, no longer was exposed to the vending machines.  I was home and had my own kitchen to explore.  I know that my relationship with food changed that year…and it could have ended a whole lot worse.  Whatever fear that I had of getting fat and sick ended as the school year did.  Senior year was uneventful…and I went back to my normal eating but never gained any of the weight back.  My senior prom dress was a size 2…and slightly loose.

Me, the day before high school graduation at 105 pounds

Once in college, my busy schedule left me working a full-time job, a part-time job and a full class load.  My part-time job was at a gym.  If I was not in class or working…I was on a cardio machine.  I got down to close to 100 pounds.  I was too busy to eat normally, and frankly didn’t have the money.  I lived at home the first 2 years of college and then moved to Mankato and into a dorm.  Worst year ever.  I was miserable.  I didn’t know anyone, didn’t have a job and being painfully shy never put myself out there.  The cafeteria food was repulsive so I lived on vanilla coke and hot-pockets. (ew!)  By the end of first semester I had gone from 105 to 135.  I felt gross and none of my clothes fit.  I hated my roommate so at semester time I switched rooms.  That did not help things at all.  Sweet roommate, just around all the time.  At this time I had discovered that I could eat the food in the cafeteria because it was all you could eat.  Well, heck!  Why am I spending all my money at the grocery store?!  And I ate.  I ate and slept and went to my favorite class.  I had a full load, but Music History: R&B to MTV was the best part of my week.  It got me out of bed and smiling.  By the end of that year I knew I was not coming back.  I left Mankato at 165 pounds and so deeply depressed that I didn’t even know what to do.

Me in 2004 about 60 pounds heavier, the last day at MSU.

I struggled several more times over the next 7 years going up and down.  From that 165 to wearing a 14 in girls from The Gap when I worked there; back to 156 last year.  Constantly yo-yoing.  But 4 years ago those oh so familiar monthly pains were back…

One morning in January I was getting ready to go meet a friend for coffee.  I put on my shoes and turned to get my purse and it was as if someone stabbed me in the abdomen.  The pain radiated from my belly button to my feet and back.  It knocked the wind right out of me.  My initial thought was “Get some midol”.  It’s a muscle relaxer…that will help.  By the time I took the 3 steps to the bathroom my world was going dark.  I managed to get the midol and get to the kitchen before I couldn’t see.  I sat down on the kitchen floor shaking so hard I splashed all of the water out of my cup.  In all my brilliance I decided to drive to urgent care because it was just across the street.  When I got there they took my BP and it was low…really low.  I explained the situation and they instructed me to go to the ER.  I needed an ultra-sound.  They wouldn’t let me leave until my BP came back up.

I did manage to make it to the ER, explained what had happened, what the nurse at urgent care said.  But all I got was an x-ray and a “you’re constipated…go home”.  No pain meds, no ultra-sound.  I argued.  I demanded an ultrasound but the doctor on call wouldn’t budge.  So I went home in pain, and in tears.

Fast forward to one year later.  Almost to the day.  I awoke in the middle of the night to those same pains.  I got up and writhed around on the sofa in pain for 6 hours.  I have no idea why I didn’t wake Jeff…I guess I didn’t want to worry him or, disturb him.  But I knew that something was wrong.  For 2 weeks I put up with that constant pain.  My OB later said it is most likely on the same level as labor pains.  Yippee.  I finally made an appointment.  2 ultrasounds (1 external, and one internal), 4 appointments, one screaming, crying phone call to the doctor later I finally got the news.  I had a mass on my left ovary.  It was large, the doctor wasn’t quite sure how large, probably orange sized.  She referred me to a specialist.

The OB/GYN surgeon that I was referred to was amazing.  She listened, she heard me and she believed that I was in pain.  I was diagnosed with Endometriosis, not PCOS.  My doctor told me that is probably what I’d had all along.  It explained the pain, and lots of other things.  She said I needed surgery.  And I was terrified.  Seriously terrified.  I’d only ever had stitches twice in my life.  And one was dental so that doesn’t count.  We went over what would happen.  There were two possible outcomes.  One they would start laparoscopicly and try to remove the mass that way.  While removing burning away the endometrial tissue.  Or in the event that they were unable to do that…I would have to be “opened up”  from hip to hip.  Guess which one I got…

When I awoke in recovery it took me only seconds to realize that I now had a 9 inch scar for the rest of my life.  I was in so much pain.  And then I heard the worst of it.  My official diagnosis is stage IV Endometriosis.  I didn’t even know there were stages.  The mass ended up being soft-ball sized.  And the pain that I was feeling was caused by the mass being so heavy it was twisting my fallopian tube, cutting off the blood supply to the tube and my ovary.  I went into the surgery knowing that it was possible that I could lose it if it was too damaged.  Luckily they were able to save it.  Although both of my tubes are acluded (blocked) and there is so much damage and scar tissue from about 20+ years of endometrial tissue ravaging my insides from my uterus to my bladder to my bowel…I don’t have any more endometriomas (endometrial tissue that has metastasized).  All in all they removed half a dozen endometriomas from my abdomen, the largest from my ovary, the others grape to golf-ball sized.

When I went into have the surgery I looked like I was 6 months pregnant.  Once the swelling went down, and I could stand up straight…I saw my feet for the first time in over a year.  During my recovery I could only stand for a few minutes at a time which meant I lived on cereal and pudding.  I got down to 135 by the end of my recovery.  And then because my doctor did not want this happening again and I needed additional time to heal, I was given a shot of Depo-Lupron.  This shot is the devil.  It put me into menopause at 28.  Hot flashes, night sweats, terrible mood swings.  I totally lost my focus and my mental clarity went right down the tubes.  By the time I was given the 2nd round of treatment I had gained nearly 15 pounds.  At the end of the 2nd round I had gained another 20.

Me & TAJ at his sister’s wedding, about 2 and a half months after my surgery, at 145 pounds.

I was miserable, and scarred.  I was fat, and uncomfortable.  I was also dealing with the news that I would not be able to conceive on my own.  The only thing I ever wanted was to be a Mom.  And,  sadly my body has betrayed me.  After the second round of treatment I decided I’d had enough and went back to an oral BC.  I knew that I needed to get some of this weight off, and the Depo- Lupron would not allow me to do that.  6 months of oral BC, and nothing was changing.  I was so frustrated.

Thankfully…I was unable to afford the pills at the end of this past December.  I took my care into my own hands and stopped taking the pill.  2 years since having that major, life-changing surgery and I am pain-free, hormone free, healthy and getting the body I have always wanted.  One that I love and can be proud of.  I have made bad health decisions in my life, but the worst one was not advocating for myself that day in the ER.  Had that doctor paid attention to my words, and done what I’d asked…she may have been able to prevent a traumatic surgery, 6 weeks of recovery time and a year and a half of being miserable and in pain.

And now…I love my body.  I am 30, and I have never been happier.  My relationship with food is still rocky; but we are working on it.  I know that I will always be a stress eater; but I now have the tools to make responsible choices with my food.  I have realized what my passion is, and what I want to be when I grow up.  I hope that my journey will one day be an inspiration to others who are struggling and who want to make a change.

My friend Kristine and me, at 135 pounds.

 

March 2013 UPDATE:  Very, very excited to announce that there is a little life growing in my belly.  To our amazement, after being told it ain’t gonna happen, a year of sad, negative tests there were some positive ones!  We are overjoyed to be welcoming a little one this fall!

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January 2014 UPDATE: Despite 2 years of hard work I find myself right back where I started.

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I am now on a mission to get my pre-baby body back, and fully invest in myself and make this a way of life; not just a means to a smaller size.  Follow along with me as I huff, puff, run, lift and eat my way back to a healthy, fit body and mind!

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25 thoughts on “My story”

  1. Hi Krysty, I just stumbled upon your blog and you are inspirational in how you’ve turned your health around put those doctors in their place! I too get horrible horrible pain during that time of the month and next time I am going to tell my dr about it (and hope they don’t prescribe BC like they always want to!) You are so strong for going through all of that and enduring that pain for so long. I also wanted to let you know that I am also running the Nike Women’s Marathon this year as well- how cool is that? Good luck with training and maybe we can swap training tips and such! 🙂

    ~Michelle @ The Gluten Free Wife

    1. Oh thank you! Luckily I am pain free now, and have been for months. You are your best advocate. I love that you are running Nike! I am so excited and I really hope I can make it happen with the fundraising. Good luck to you too!

  2. Hey Krysty, just read your inspirational story, wishing you the best of luck with your weight loss! Hope you get the body you deserve 🙂

  3. Hi Krysty! I ran into this blog by accident looking for different types of workout plans and i can totally relate to your story. I am 21yrs old and i have been dealing with horrible cramping pains since i was a freshman in college (18) also pain was compared to labor contractions. I was in the er at least 4 times over the next 3 years getting every test possible (good thing i have great insurance) I have been on 7 different birth controls since 18 and none of them helped. Finally i went to a specialist and he said the only way to find the problem thats cauisng all the pain is to look inside. I was so nervous because i have never had surgery before, but i knew it was my last option and if it ment i would be pain free i had to do it. Finally he found out what was causing the pain. I had endometriosis and a big cyst on my right ovary. He removed it all and after i recovered i started to feel less bloated and my moods were perfectly fine. i have no more pain and i stared to eat healthy and workout everyday and within a month i lost 15lbs!!!!!!!! i was so happy and excited that i could finally enjoy myself. I was 143lbs before surgery and bloated all the time and i am currently at 120lbs 🙂 i thought i was the only one with endometriosis and weight gain. You are doing a great job! keep up the good work ! And i will continue to follow you and your journey !

    1. Welcome Kristi!! Thank you for stopping by and thank you for sharing your story with me. I am so happy that you got your issues resolved so soon and that you didn’t have to go through what I did. And way to go on your weight loss success! Keep me posted! Set big goals for 2013 and stay focused!! So glad you’re here!

  4. So, little runner girl, are you or are you not still involved with Isagenix? I’m a new associate and have had tremendous results with the product. Just would like to know what happened on the bizz side of Isa for you? Will you share with me please?

    1. Yes I am still involved with Isa, I am expecting right now, so I am limited in the products that I can use, but I am an Isa Mommy for life!!

  5. Hi Krysty!Ii can so relate to your story.( I too actually ran into this blog by accident looking for different types of workout plans). I totally thought I was reading my life story! I was diagnosed with Endometriosis when I was 22 I am now 38. It has been one hell of a journey!!! And you are right the Lupron shot IS the devil!! I laughed so hard when I read that in your blog. You name it I have been through it; multiple birth control pills,weight gain, mood swings, several surgeries, horrible periods, never ending pain, shots, endometrial ablation, but I am also happy to say I was able to produce two beautiful children even though it was said it wasn’t going to be possible. They are 6yrs apart, neither planned but, they are here and healthy!
    I am still waiting to have a total hysterectomy performed (possibly in the next year) I’ve only held off because I’m afraid of the unknown and what it will do with my hormones (which really can’t be worse then what I’m experiencing today 🙂
    Just wanted to let you know you are not alone and hopefully for you, you will be one of the few that after your body experiences pregnancy, your Endo will become dormant.
    Best of luck to you, Congratulations on everything and enjoy every minute of mommy hood!

    1. Oh thank you so much! This little one was a surprise for sure, but hey that is life! That few months was a nasty ride, but I am glad that I finally got it taken care of and that everything is working properly. I hope everything works out for you too! Thanks for checking out the blog!

  6. i can truly appreciate what youve gone through. i have a major question for you…… how did you flatten your stomach? 2 c-sections and ……..i’m so embarrassed. i only WISH i had a muffin top hanging over the scar! i would like very much to know what youve done. i have yet to find anyone w female/abdominal surgery. every one i speak w what has flattened their belly have happy unscarred bellys

    1. I actually wasn’t able to flatten it per se, but through eating a clean diet, and improving my core strength I was able to get a flat-er tummy. Although now, it is big with baby! So I will get back at the ab work after The Bump arrives!

  7. I found your blog as I was looking for clean eating recipes and fell in love with it (and you!!!). We share a lot of similarities, I too have PCOS, I too have struggled with my weight forever. I am a bit older than you and my struggle has gone on a bit longer but I yo-yo’d for years, sometimes gaining and losing the same 50lbs in the course of a year. So, so hard on your body and self esteem.
    2 1/2 years ago I went to the ER with horrible abdominal pain, thinking it was just another cyst, nope it was undiagnosed diverticulitis and my sigmoid colon had ruptured and was leaking bile and bowel contents into my body and starting to get into my bloodstream. Had I waited even a few more hours I might very well be dead. I underwent 5 major and 7 minor surgeries, had a 6 week hospital stay and came home with a port (like a cancer patient has for chemo) and a colostomy bag. I have since had a resection and no longer have the bag but my body is a mess. I am 40lbs heavier and on anti-depressants (no one told me I would become so depressed that I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed???) and have several hernias from the damage they did to my abdominal muscles to get to my colon. I want my body back, I want my life back and I am getting myself prepared to fight for it.
    I have enjoyed reading how hard you fought back and have used a few of your recipes. I am currently doing the VB6 method where I eat Vegan before 6 and then have a normal dinner. No red meat, no processed foods and am trying to give up my beloved Diet Dr Pepper. Exercise is my next hurdle, I have a ton of scar tissue and adhesions inside and am in pain even just getting through the day much less adding exercise but I am determined to do it.
    Anyway didn’t mean to hijack your blog with my story but wanted you to know I am following you and have read a lot of of your getting started posts and would lover ANY advice you have for me.
    Congrats on the baby, I know how hard that can be with PCOS. My little miracle is 5 and spoiled rotten because I was told I could never have him without IVF and then only a 10% chance. Shows what those docs know huh?

    1. Welcome! I actually really love hearing other people’s stories. You went through a lot! And I don’t think Drs. know anything these days! The human body is amazing in it’s ability to endure, recover and persevere. I am really happy that you here! Getting started is all about the decision to get started. Make a commitment, write down your goals…and then go make them happen! Thanks for stopping by!!

  8. Hi Krysty,
    Starting a new program at the gym today, want to get these lbs. off I once again regained. So mad!!! Going to start tomorrow with the grocery shopping and will start Monday. I know we both can do this, again, never stop trying. How’s the baby? Congrats! Gena

    1. Awesome Gena! We CAN do this. Life can sneak up on you, and before you know it you’ve got an extra 10 pounds on your rear! It’s easy to eat healthy if you bring healthy food into your home. We slowly acquired a ton of junk over the holidays, and I am rapidly throwing it away!

      She is magnificent. 🙂 Thank you!

    1. Thanks so much. Motherhood has been an experience…both beautiful and challenging but I am so glad that we didn’t give up on it.

  9. I was surprised to find your blog. As of your last picture, out bodies are identical. Only, I had severe stretch-marking with two babies before 20, And c sections with both. Not to mention i got a tattoo across my entire stomach BEFORE the stretchmarks came, i hate it. But, I’m half determined to reshape myself and reward myself with a tattoo cover up. I’ll be following your blog :).

    I love my boys but, my body doesn’t look nearly as young as it should haha.

    1. Welcome! You can do it! It is amazing how much control you have over the shape of your body. Diet and exercise have a huge impact. I hope that I can help inspire the other half of your determination! 😉

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The musings of a toddler Mom and sometimes runner

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