Opal lost 72 pounds. This mom of three found her motivation after being hospitalized and bed-ridden for 2 weeks. Asthma and tinnitus could not stop her. She prayed, did research on inflammation, and committed to changing her life with nutrition and fitness.
When I started my journey in November 2017, I had just been released from the hospital with an asthma exacerbation [asthma attack]. I ate a pint or more of ice cream each day after the birth of my third child. Doing that made me physically sick.
A week after being released from the hospital, I was bed-ridden for two weeks with the loudest ringing in my ears. It was there in that bed, with the fan blaring and tv on 100 to drown out the noise, that I bargained with God. I asked God to give me the gift of silence one more time (stop the tinnitus), and I would never waste the gift of life with unchecked depression and eating my feelings.
In those two weeks after pleading with God, I started researching “inflammation” and found that what I had been experiencing could be from inflammation. It was there that God answered my prayers. I prayed to God to remove the ringing, and he gave me the gift of physical fitness.
I was not inspired to lose weight because I thought that I needed to in order to accept myself or receive love. I did it because my life depended on it. I’m a mother of three boys, and THEY keep me going. I want to be here to watch them grow.
I held firm in my belief that there is beauty in all sizes. However, once this heavy body began to make it impossible for me to leave the bed and enjoy life with my children, I had no choice but to take control of my health. I started at 277 pounds. Today, I weigh 204.8 pounds at 5’4″.
Up until two weeks ago, I only made changes to my diet. My diet used to be loaded with sugar and carbohydrates. I had a daily cycle of binge eating, but I’ve learned to use food for fuel instead of comfort. Today, I eat lean protein and get my carbs from vegetables. Occasionally, I enjoy a treat (because I am human).
This journey has taught me to be patient and kind with myself, and doing so has allowed me to stay on the wagon for longer than I ever have. When I first started, I committed to walking in my neighborhood for 30 minutes every single day. I took a slow walk somedays and a brisk walk other days. As long as I was there and moving, I had met my exercise goal for the day.
The biggest most important lesson that I learned along the way is to be patient and kind to myself. Weight loss is mental. Most importantly, losing weight is a spiritual journey. For me, losing weight has erased lifelong traumas that told me I was unworthy, weak, and unable.
You can do it. It won’t be overnight, but you can.