I’ve known Evie for a long time. We haven’t spent much time together, but a few things over the last couple years have connected us! I’ve mostly been following her on Facebook and watching her progress through her weight loss journey! I’m always excited when people make a conscious effort to improve their overall health and fitness, obviously because it’s something I’m really passionate about! Evie reached out to me a while back to get some tips on Paleo eating because her husband was interested in making the switch! I’m blown away by the commitment she has shown to improve her fitness, as this is not easy. I also witnessed her strength in hard times and remaining positive and focused on God. I think it’s important to share stories because everyone has a different journey and we never know how it will inspire someone else. I asked Evie to share her story because she has been an inspiration to me! Initially she wasn’t sure she wanted to for fear of what people would think, but I encouraged her to share it because there are so many things in her story that I felt would resonate with people! So, please take a few moments to read her story…it’s awesome!
I was always an overweight child. I was made fun of my entire childhood. I came from an overweight family with overweight habits. My father passed away when I was 15 and my mother nearly died after cardiac arrest when I was in my early 20’s. Obesity has haunted me as long as I can remember. I was never happy with being overweight, but I accepted it as my norm. I tried many diets and was successful in losing 60 lbs with Weight Watchers in 2005. Weight Watchers is a great tool for losing weight but like any diet program, it can be abused. I lost my weight without ever stepping foot in a gym or working out. I lost the weight while binge drinking and eating as much fast food as I could fit within my points. I achieved my goal, to lose weight but I went about it in the wrong way and resulted in gaining it all (plus some) back. I went back to living an overweight life.
I continued to gain/lose/gain/lose for my entire adult life. I tried many diet plans, had a personal trainer, gym memberships (plural!) and lacked emotional and spiritual happiness. This all changed in 2011 when I met my husband and renewed my faith in God. Mike met me and fell in love with me while I was extremely overweight. I never believed I deserved to be loved. We were married and had a son all within 1 year. Life had never been more complete for me, however I was still not “happy”. After becoming a mother, I knew I needed to change my life. I wanted to do whatever I could to live long enough to see my son grow into a man and grow old with my husband. I did not want my son to have to suffer the emotional scars that come along with being an overweight child nor did I want him to lose his parent to before graduating high school like I did. I decided that I needed to make a radical change to turn my life around. After much discussion with my husband and prayer, I choose to get lap-band surgery in June 2011.
Before I go any further, I will say a couple things about weight loss surgery. There are 2 types of weight loss patients- a person looking for a fix and a person looking for a tool. Surgery is not the easy road. WLS is like any diet or workout program, some succeed and some fail. Just as with any diet or exercise plan, you are in control of your choices. Surgery is not a fail proof solution to weight loss. After having lap-band I am faced with the same choices I was before surgery, I can choose to eat small portions, track my calories and choose healthy foods or choose to drink milk shakes and fast food. Many patients will continue to eat the same foods as they did prior to surgery but in smaller portions. I promised myself that would not be me. Since having surgery I was committed to making healthy lifestyle choices for myself and my family. Immediately after surgery I began walking 3-5 miles with my girlfriend. I was way too insecure to go to a gym in front of “fit” people. It took me 3 months before I took the plunge and got (another) gym membership to ensure I continued my progress! I did the typical 30-45 cardio and light core workouts. I was losing weight steadily, but not dropping inches. My diet consisted of a very low calorie diet with as much protein as I could get in! I was getting in the groove and then…. life happened.
I was laid off from my job of 12 years unexpectedly so my family decided to start over in Las Vegas! December 31, 2012 we found out we were expecting baby #2! We were beyond excited, but I can honestly say I was also a little scared. I had a miserable pregnancy with my 1st child and did not want to regain the weight that I had fought to lose! When I found out I was pregnant with our 2nd child I weighed 180lbs, which was significantly lower than my first pregnancy. Unfortunately, in March 2013 at 16 weeks, we lost our little girl. As expected this was a very difficult time emotionally for our family. I needed an outlet, so instead of eating or drinking away my emotions- I decided to run. I started C25K the Monday after I lost our baby. Running gave me the feeling that I was in control of something and I felt I needed desperately to be in control of something since I had absolutely no control of losing my daughter. This was the start of a new Evie! At this time, I also had my lap-band emptied to enable me to consume enough calories to fuel my workouts as well as give me 100% control over my journey. I signed up for a 5k and started Insanity with my husband. Working out together became a huge bonding experience for us as a couple. Not only did we get stronger physically but we became stronger as a couple. Every night we waited until our son was asleep and then headed out to the garage to workout. After completing the 90 day Insanity program we started doing HIIT training and weights! Our garage was slowly becoming a personal gym. Every night at 7 pm we had a “date” with each other and our gym.
I no longer have a goal to lose weight to become skinny, I want to lose weight and become FIT! Fitness is a way of life for us now. I have modified my diet to be as clean as possible while monitoring my calories, carbs and protein. Our dates now include hikes and jogs instead of always going to eat. As a former fat girl, it’s very hard to change your mindset and make yourself eat more to lose more. I am currently within 15 pounds of my goal weight. I have lost a total of 153 from my highest weight and 110 since June 2011. I religiously track my calories, water, consume 0 alcohol and workout 6-7 days per week. I started my journey wearing a (tight) size 20 and I am currently in a 6-8.The biggest surprise along my journey has been that the emotional change can be more difficult than the physical change.
Knowing what I know today, I would not choose to get lap-band because I now have the knowledge and tools to live a healthy life however I do no regret my decision as it helped me to see the strength I never knew I had. It has not been easy, but it has been worth it!
Healthy living is the end goal, how you get there is your choice! I challenge everyone to find a path that works for you and reach for the stars!