Diet or lifestyle change?

this is the question I’ve asked myself too many times! Should losing weight be a quick fix to get to where you want to be, or should it be a permanent lifestyle change?

Since Morgan (my transplanted kidney) came into my life nearly 2 years ago I’ve gained 5 stone in weight!! (that’s 32kgs!!) To be honest, at the beginning, I was doing really well with my weight. I lost a lot of weight in hospital (let’s not blame the food huh?) and was determined to keep it off.

6 weeks after transplant with my crazy donor husband. This is now my weight goal!!

At one of my check ups I was advised to gain weight to help with my recovery. My plan was just to increase a little, but I started eating more and more and never actually stopped!! After all, I was on a restricted diet for many years, and now I have very few restrictions, so why not?……… Well I certainly regret it now!

My weight gain has affected me in so many ways. I have lost so much confidence. I find myself cancelling nights out at the last minute because of the way I feel. I wonder if it’s because the weight went on so quickly for me? I went from feeling fantastic about myself to really disliking my body. Please don’t get me wrong, I love my new lease of life and I love Morgan and my wonderful husband who gave him to me, it’s just not as easy as I thought it would be. I didn’t take steroids into account and boy do they make you feel hungry!!

So what has changed? Well, loads of things; I seem to have more than two armpits these days. I’m not sure when that happened but one day when I was putting my deodorant on I wasn’t sure which area to cover and I remember being really disgusted with myself for allowing that to happen. I seemed to have expanded overnight!! I can’t even see certain parts of my body anymore without mirrors! I take up a lot more room in the bath! No more bath sharing with hubby that’s for sure! I struggle to paint my toenails as my stomach causes too much pressure and I get breathless. When my Grandchildren ask me to play on their trampoline I have to say no because I’m not sure it can take my weight. These are worries I’ve not had to face before. Weight gain has definitely made me feel so much different.

me now with my wonderful Dad

Now I’m lucky to have friends that I can tell anything to. I’ve never been one to wallow in self pity, so when I have a problem they know to take me seriously. I was chatting to one of my friends about how I was feeling and she turned to me and said “you can either embrace the new you or you can change this but you can’t continue to feel how you do about yourself”. I knew this really but when you hear it out loud it makes a huge impact because it makes you stop and think and to realise that only you have the power to change the way you are or the way you think about yourself. I cannot go through my life hating my body without putting in the effort to change it! (or accept it). Up to that point I had people telling me I should be grateful for my gift of life and how much better I looked in myself and I shouldn’t worry about such a small thing as weight (although I don’t consider 5 stone a small thing!!). I am so grateful for my new kidney and my new lease of life. you cannot believe how much my life has changed unless you have been through it yourself, but this is not connected to how I feel about my transplant at all. I have been so blessed and I know that.

I saw my consultant recently and discussed my weight with him. He has advised me to take the low carb diet route. I am very lucky to have a dietician on hand every time I visit the renal unit but on this occasion I decided not to go. To be honest, as brilliant as they are, I didn’t want to discuss my current diet!! Maybe I will change my mind next time but for now I am using the internet to gain free menus and diet plans. I am not weighing myself at all as I don’t feel this is about numbers for me, it’s more about how I feel and I will know when I feel right about myself again. I have a check up in March and that is when I will get numbers. I will share my weight loss then!

Please follow my journey and please let me know what has helped you on this journey x

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