My name is Kim Emerson and ever since I can remember I’ve had an eating disorder. At a very young age I developed hiding food in my room and waking to eat it in the middle of the night. I grew up without the extra’s, so hiding donuts, candy, and cookies that my neighbor friend bought for me from my parents, followed me into my adult life. I struggle with night binging and sugar on a daily basis!
My weight loss story is a little different than most. On June 4, 2012 I underwent gastric bypass surgery. Before having the surgery I asked my husband not to tell anyone. I didn’t want people to think my surgery was the easy way out, or that I was just too lazy to lose the weight the natural way. Soon after the surgery I would find this to be so far from the truth! I was also ashamed that my life had come to undergoing a surgery for the morbidly obese. I felt as if I let my husband and children down, because I no longer enjoyed partaking in life, I was too tired, too sick, and most of all embarrassed. At my highest weight I was 242 lbs with a BMI of 41%. Before the surgery I tried several different ways to lose the weight. First was Atkins, this was pretty successful for me until I ate carbs then I gained the weight back with an additional 10 lbs. I also tried Slimgenics twice, with success, until I ended up in the hospital with a bilateral pulmonary embolism. I gained that weight back as well. I decided that I was done being overweight and done with playing games with myself. I was at a risk for more embolisms, and border line diabetic because of my weight. I needed to be healthy for me, and my family!
After the surgery I could only eat small amounts. So, I followed all the rules! I ate very little, so everything I put in mouth had to be important. Eating healthy foods to me now tastes heavenly! The hardest part for me is to stop eating when something tastes so good. But I know that I will get very sick if I decide to keep eating. I’m very good at listening to my body, and figuring out if I’m really hungry, full, or even just thirsty.
Exercise has never been anything I’ve been excited about. My husband would ask me for years to join him at the YMCA, I would go a few times to make him happy, but I wasn’t. I dreaded walking in, jumping on a boring treadmill, or elliptical, just hoping that the time would go by really fast. In December I walked in for my free class at Nickie Carrigan’s. Upon entering I was greeted by so many friendly people including Nikki. I remember her telling me that everyone has a 1st day. Soon after I joined the group for 21 days of fitness, and I found out a few things about myself. 1) I actually enjoyed working out (even preferred working out in the morning at 5:45). 2) I love working out in a group setting with a trainer that has high energy. 3) I really don’t mind switching out one of my meals for a shake! 4) I love feeling that my body is getting harder and stronger!
Since the surgery I have lost a total of 80 lbs. I now have control of my life! I’m once again the fun, loving, spunky, social person I used to be. I no longer hide from anyone! I even love taking pictures once again with my children. It’s amazing how 80 lbs can change your life! Imagine carrying around 2 40 lb bags of water softener salt 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! I never want to be that person again, because loving myself once again is far more rewarding than a box of little Debbie cakes! I still have 20 pounds to go, and I have goals to run in my 1st warrior dash this summer, and I finally want that professional family picture to hang proudly on my wall!