My story

Hi. My name is Julie and this is my story.

I was born in 1973 in Houston TX. I was 9.6 pounds and 19 inches long. Since my birth mother was only 16  and was forced to give me up for adoption, I was adopted at 9 days old. My adoptive parents always loved me and supported me which I greatly appreciate.

I was always tall for my age when I was young. I don’t know how much I weighed when I was a child. Looking back at old pictures, I did not start gaining weight until I was 12 and in 7th grade. I wore glasses from the age of 6 and was always a little chunky so was made fun of a lot in grade school.

As I went through puberty and gained weight, I was forced to be on every popular fad diet throughout junior high and high school. A few of the ones I was put on were the grapefruit diet, the cabbage soup diet, the Oprah Winfrey liquid diet, Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers. After all the yo-yo dieting, by the time I graduated high school, I weighed over 300 pounds. With yet another diet, I was able to lose some and get down to 250 by the time I went off to college in 1991. After coming back home after a year away at school, I did whatever I wanted food wise and quickly gained weight.

By 1994, I was about 350 pounds. I was working odd jobs, drinking, and doing drugs and of course I kept gaining weight. I was able to get a better job in the travel industry with insurance in 1996 as well as quit using drugs. Due to sitting at a desk for hours a day and still eating what I wanted, I got up to 400 pounds by January 1998.

I used my insurance and had weight loss surgery, gastro-plasty, in January 1998. Gastro-plasty was a stomach surgery done back then that has a band with staples underneath to keep the band in place. The surgeon cut me open to do the surgery and also removed my gallbladder which was full of stones. After surgery, I had 3 weeks on a liquid only diet, 3 weeks of soft solid foods (mashed potatoes, etc), and then could slowly introduce regular foods back into my diet. In the first 9 months, I lost about 130 pounds. I stayed around 280 pounds and fluctuated my weight between 250-280 for many years.

I moved to Colorado a year after surgery thinking that being closer to outdoor activities I enjoy would make me more active so I could drop the rest of my weight. I usually just would be working or stayed in my apartment although I did go visit the sites around the state. I moved back to Texas in 2000 to be closer to and to help my family. I lost about 10 pounds each year over the next 5 years and was 240 pounds when I got pregnant with my son in 2004. I was 280 pounds again when he was born but soon lost the baby weight and got into the 230’s within 6 months. I stayed between 230 and 250 pounds throughout the past 12 years.

I was very depressed last year when my father died at the age of 75. My son and I moved in with my mother in October to help her and in November 2017, I decided I was done being overweight, heavy, depressed, and hating how I looked. I started watching my calories and eating a low-fat diet as well as exercising by walking at least 5 days a week. I went from 221 to 200 pounds between November and April of 2018. In April, I was experiencing numbness and pain in my feet. I went to a podiatrist and was diagnosed with foot neuropathy. He started treatment and told me that I needed to follow a specific diet plan called the keto diet. The keto diet is a low carb, high fat diet. When I first started the eating plan, I wasn’t sure of what to eat so I had a lot of cheese, bacon, eggs, and ground beef. After getting tired of the same foods, I bought some protein bars for snacks and started cooking keto recipes I would find on Pinterest and Google which made this kind of eating easier for me. I cut all sugar from my diet and now eat between 20-40 net carbs a day. The diet help me not have problems with my feet during exercise just like the doctor had said.

The side effect of the eating plan is the amazing amount of weight loss I had.  I was exactly 200 pounds in April 2018 and as of October 2018, I weigh 154 pounds and can fit into a size medium shirt and size 8 jeans which is what size I wore in sixth grade and have never fit into since, until now. That’s 45 pounds in 6 months! When I got my weight down to 170, I started having pain in my outer hip. Since arthritis is in the inner hip area, my doctor advised me that it was probably my excess skin hanging down past my belly that was making it hurt to jump, run, and dance. This is the first procedure I want to have done so I can feel normal again.

My future plan is to stick to the keto diet to make sure the neuropathy doesn’t affect my exercising as well as learning to maintain my current weight. I still need to lose 5 pounds in my opinion but it will come in time. With skin removal surgery, I expect to lose anywhere from 5-10 more pounds as well. I am much happier and even went back to college to get my 2nd bachelors degree, this time in nutrition. I want to work for a weight loss surgeon to help their clients lose the weight they are required to before they are approved for surgery or to help them realize they can lose weight on their own and change their eating habits. I believe with my past surgery, combined with my total weight loss of over 250 pounds, I can help other people realize that it is possible and show them that I have faith in them and will help them all I can in their journey.

I have excess skin everywhere. I have had many people tell me what I should try in order to get rid of all the skin. If a person has lost weight quickly like I did after my stomach surgery, the skin does not have time to “catch up” with the body and it will stay stretched. Also, the older a person gets, the skin just doesn’t bounce back like it did when they were younger and at the age of 45, I definitely can see that. It does not matter how much exercise a person gets or how many products they try, the excess skin will still be there waiting to be removed by a surgeon.

My story is also on Instagram under @juliehcares although not with this much detail. I am going to start a GoFundMe after I meet with a surgeon and am hoping to have the first surgery in July of 2019. I will make a blog about it when I post on GoFundMe as well. When I have the surgery done, I will be posting right before surgery as well as all of my recovery for anyone to watch the progress, see what was done, and how it feels on Instagram.

Thank you for reading my story!

Yesterday 🙄

It started out good. I went to Walmart to get school supplies for my son and I. His school list is really long and thankfully we have a bunch of the stuff so I only spent $30.

I took Styled to get her hair done and groceries so that was 2 hours. I went to school and got my student ID. It was a 30 minute line and the woman behind me talked on FaceTime THE ENTIRE TIME! And loud too! I finally put on headphones and listened to music while I stood there. That was much better than listening to this woman!

I walked around campus and found that the Starbucks there doesn’t have cold brew. How? I guess they think everyone should drink either hot coffee or high sugar drinks all day. Silly. I did not find the nutrition department. If I don’t hear from them on Monday, I’ll go find them on Tuesday when I have my first Anatomy class. It took me 4 more tries but I got a 100 on the stupid policies test and after opening the next practice test to “review” algebra, I was thinking to myself, “I’m screwed.” This math is going to take a LOT of work but I have to do it. I want to be a nutritionist and work for a weight loss doctor or clinic. That’s my goal.

My mother decided to tell me that she told everyone at her job that I was going back to school and that somebody said I wouldn’t be able to find a job. You think so? Too bad for you! I know that with my story, my surgery, and finally getting to a healthy weight will land me a job where I want. I’ve already talked to 2 clinics that said to come back when I get licensed! Don’t listen to stupid people.

I came home from school to my child being happy and upset. He is upset because his father is coming this morning. He’s happy because he gets to have friends over on Sunday to play. 13 year olds. 🙄

I text my cousins wife last night to tell her that I went where she recommended to get bras. Then she starts up on keto stuff since I got her onto it.

Cousin: Nice!! They’ll last for a good while. I keep mine for a couple of years. Good quality!!

No, did not quit Keto but results still VERY slow to none…. I was losing more on WW… But I like the food better on Keto and I’m not hungry all the time and don’t have sugar high and lows… I’m even doing strict Keto – way more than you and still nada…

Who knows…

My thoughts: What the hell??? She doesn’t know what I eat and don’t eat! Way more than me???

My reply: Maybe if you relax a little on it, it might be easier for you and you may lose more? (YEP! I went there! )😂

Come to find out, she’s not eating enough. 1200 calories a day. And she’s not having 20 carbs, more like 10 a day. So her body is in starvation mode. She said she will try it my way and see if it helps.

Cousin: Yeah I want to go to lazy keto but haven’t done the research on how to manage fat and protein and Calories that way vs strict keto… moving more towards counting carbs, no bread, pasta, potatoes etc… but being ok with eating processed foods if needed like packaged shredded cheese, low carb tortillas, Diet Pepsi, deli meat etc…

My thoughts: So I guess I’m LAZY??? Gee thanks cousin! What I’m doing works for me. You have to find what works for you. Don’t listen to other people because they don’t know your body.

For some reason, I didn’t feel that great after my taco dinner and was asleep by 9. I got up at 10 and went to the bathroom and was then out until 4:30 this morning. I’m fine this morning too. BUT I started my monthly so I’m sure that’s why. So today is Saturday and it’s my weigh day. Last week I was at 165 and I had that Twix this week so I didn’t think I would lose anything. BUT…

HOLY COW!!!! No way! How did I drop 5.2 pounds this week??? I’m telling you, the body is a weird thing! After a couple of weeks of barely any loss, BAM!

The reason my ex is coming today is to actually help me. I have a guy that wants to check out the car. Since I don’t know him and he’s this huge guy (I looked up his profile on Facebook), I asked my ex to come with me. My ex is not a huge guy but I would feel better if I wasn’t alone with a stranger. He said he would help so he’s coming here after work this morning, going to nap until 10:30, then we will head out. He knows I cook and that there’s food here too so I’m sure he’s happy to come over.

Y’all have a great Saturday!

Memorial Day

I am lucky. Most of my friends and family came back from the wars and died when they were older or are still alive. A lot of people are not as lucky. This is America’s day to remember our fallen soldiers. Please take a moment today to pray for those families.

Yesterday was pretty lazy. Well, towards the end where I binge watched the last 5 episodes of 13 Reasons Why and the first 2 episodes of Riverdale before I passed out at 9:30pm.

I took the kids from the other hotel room to breakfast at 7am since they had been up all night. I then took my son and the other 2 kids to breakfast at 8:30 after I had to wake them up and get them moving which included my ex husband.

I let the boys play until 10 when the first friend left. Then we cleaned the room, packed up, and left the hotel at 10:20. We came by the house to drop stuff off, walk the dog, and then leave again. I dropped my son and his friend at church and came back home and used that hour to clean up from the party. Too much stuff! I cleaned off the grill and put the cover back on it and got it put away, I cleaned out my cooler and dried it, I stored food, and got the only 6 remaining cupcakes into a smaller container instead of the huge box they came in.

I picked up the boys and was going to take the friend home. We drive the 10 miles to where he lives but his family is still at church. So I took them to go drop off Styled’s calendar that she left in my car on Friday (she she lives close to the friend). Then we drove to Beck’s Prime and got all 3 of us lunch. Then I drive back to his house and his family had just gotten home. My son and I drove home and I started to finally relax. My son did a Snapchat of all of his gifts he received.

I was going to go swimming last night. Did I? Nope! I watched Netflix until 9pm so like 6 hours. I chatted with my friend Hunida while I watched 13 Reasons Why since she had already finished it and I didn’t want to spoil it for my other friends. I was very tired and couldn’t fall asleep so I downed some Zzzquil and was asleep by 9:30. You may ask why I didn’t just sleep in this morning. I want to get moving and get the grocery shopping done if I can (if there’s a place open). I will be going swimming today with my friend and neighbor. She has this beer/wine cross she said I have to try and told me that it’s low in carbs so it will be okay on my diet. We shall see! I thought about working for Lyft today. I may just take my holiday and go back to Lyft tomorrow.

I have accepted a challenge on IG and I hope that my friends will join me. It’s a no scale challenge that you will not step on a scale from June 1 to July 1. Since I am the person that gets on the scale about 2-3 times a week, this will be hard! I will weigh myself on May 31st this week and then not again until July 1st. Since I am back on keto after my one day off, I should be able to not gain weight and do well for this challenge. I weighed myself this morning and am back to 182.8 so you can see why this will be rough for me (I just weighed on Saturday). My hope is that I am down to 175 by the end of June. I got these pills from my doctor to give me more energy called Cerevive and I really want to exercise so I will! I’m going to be more active. I have to be.

Alright peeps, I’m going to jump in the shower and get going! Have a good holiday!

Couple of pics this morning

After my post early this morning, I went back to sleep and didn’t wake up until 9am. The storm outside helped me sleep really well too!

So well, in fact, that I’ve been taking a couple of pictures this morning. 😀

Yep. I’ve lost over 25 pounds and have another 25 to go total. I am so excited and thankful for everyone’s support!

Driver license photos from 2005 and last June. 80 pounds gone since I gave birth to my son. 211 total pounds lost since 1997! I’ll find my license from 1996 and take a new face pic to show you guys that soon too. I have kept all of my old licenses and I’m glad I did, I can show how far I’ve come from the age of 16!

Oliver and Eliza do not have front claws so I am always amazed at how they can still climb things and hold on! Oliver loves to get on the top edge of the chair to try and get more attention! In this particular photo this morning, he was getting away from Amber who had just come in from being outside in the rain to go potty.

I hope you’re having a great Saturday!

Oh wow

I just made a HUGE realization!

As of this morning, I have lost exactly 200 pounds since I had my gastro-plasty surgery in 1997. So 21 years later, I have lost the amount of weight of a full grown man plus some.

I have lots more to go and from being sick, I am just hoping to keep this pound gone this week. I can work out when I’m not sick. I will get to where I want to be this year. I will just concentrate on one pound at a time.

You can see that my surgery is not performed anymore due to what they call better surgeries now. I am not sure I agree. If I had kept eating so much, I would have made my pouch huge and gained my weight back. I know plenty of people that did. I never did. I refuse to get that big ever again.

Today’s is women’s day and I’m proud to be a woman today and every day. I am a woman, a mom, a daughter, and a sister. I will get better and will not let this illness get me down or make me eat junk all day.