Fear of Heart Transplant Leads to Beth's 200 Pound Weight Loss*

By , SparkPeople Blogger
This blog is a featured "SparkStory", one of the classic posts from our members that provides support, encouragement and inspiration to the SparkPeople Community. 

SparkPeople Member: EMSSBEARS

I am the perfect example of the yo-yo dieter. Having been overweight for most of my life, I tried nearly every diet out there, some several times without success. Each time I’d diet, I’d lose the weight, but then as the attention and compliments became stressful, the insecurities and low self-esteem would kick back in and I would start overeating again. The end result was not only gaining back the pounds I’d lost, but adding an additional 20 or 30 pounds each time.

It took a long time for me to realize that I was using my weight as a defense mechanism to keep people away, a thought that came as the result of being physically attacked once when I was at my ideal weight.

When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) and found myself unable to walk or use my arms to exercise for seven months, I became quite depressed. Over the next two years, I was given chemotherapy treatments and eventually regained the ability to use a walker and limited movement. By that time, though, I was at my all-time highest weight and my heart muscle had been severely damaged. I was ready to give up.

I decided to give it one more chance when I was browsing another website where someone suggested SparkPeople. It saved my life. Even though I have struggled from time to time, I have never given up. I have had setbacks that have landed me in the hospital for months at a time, forcing me to press the restart button many times, but I’ve always kept trying.

The ultimate wakeup call came when I had a heart attack, and my doctor informed me that I would need a heart transplant. I was in shock, but that was just the beginning. When my doctor told me that I would have to lose 100 pounds before I could be considered for the transplant, I decided enough was enough. I challenged myself to 100 minutes of exercise for 100 days, and I lost the 100 pounds quickly, bringing my heart function up to the point that I was off the transplant list. I continued following the plan and have now lost over 200 pounds.

Every 100 days, I challenge myself to a new set of goals in areas in which I need to improve. I also finally realized that, while I am still uncomfortable getting them, it is okay to receive compliments. I will always be so grateful to all the wonderful people that have made it possible for me to still be here. Without you, I would never have lost the weight. The support here is awesome.

You may have to make this journey for yourself, but you don't have to make it by yourself. 

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*Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.