About me…

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2003, my sis Deb got married. We know I weighed 392, probably more in this picture. We don’t know exactly because the numbers on a household scale don’t go that high. No joke.
In 2003 I weighed 392 pounds. Full-blown, insulin-dependent type 2 (T2)  diabetic. Three shots a day and a fistful of prescription meds. Morbidly obese. Serious aversion to sweating. I wore a size 26/28 (4X). I had high blood pressure and super sketchy cholesterol numbers.  I had fatty tumors on my liver. Chronic open sores on my feet that would not heal for months on end. I needed an extender for the seat belt on the airplane and just forget about even trying to sit in a folding chair. I got asked often if I was pregnant. I was eating roughly 3,800 – 5,000 calories a day.  Not that anyone would really know — I was careful to make sure no single person in my life had a clear picture of how much I ate daily.

I had a job I loved, young niece and nephews that I adored, fantastic family and friends. Even at close to 400 pounds, my life was good. I convinced myself I could manage to live with a ‘few’ health problems.

I freely admit now that I was slowly and surely killing myself with my poor food choices and total lack of physical activity. My strategy back then was to try whatever current ‘easy/magic/secret diet’ was popular and when that failed after a short period of time, go back to ignoring being overweight and hope that it would all go away once the right diet finally came along.

I can not pinpoint exactly what combination of events finally pushed me over the edge. For whatever set of reasons, by June 2011 I made a significant mental shift.  I finally understood that my T2 diabetes was entirely a self-created lifestyle disease. I remember being horrified and shocked when the light bulb finally clicked on and I really, truly understood that I had done this to myself.  Shame. Fear. Anger. Embarrassment. I tackled and was flattened by all of those emotions. Often all at the same time.  I had created this horrible predicament all by myself. Being a grossly overweight, T2 diabetic was all on me. Damn.

Slowly hope began to surface.  I began to see the opportunity instead of simply the condemnation. I mean, if I had done this to myself… And I absolutely had… Then MAYBE there was a chance I could undo or reverse this disease? Maybe?

Was I willing and brave and stubborn enough to put in the work to try to beat it, or at least stop it from getting worse?

July 2011 I woke up, determined to push my life in a very different direction.  No mater what it took. My plan was simple; eat less and move more.  That was ALL I focused on.  Exclusively. Creating a new lifestyle. Not food quality or exercise intensity or special pills or surgeries or ‘magic bullets’. Put less food in my body and try to move more each and every day.  Simple.  By no means easy, but simple.

So I started.  Stubborn as all get out. I kept after it each day.  Many of the early days on this journey sucked. Tears, anger, sheer pissed-offedness as my old life and habits got shoved aside and unceremoniously ditched. Learning to embrace a healthy lifestyle is not for the faint of heart. Cementing radical lifestyle changes remains what I suspect will be some of the hardest work I will ever do.

The pay off has been life changing.

I have successfully reversed T2 diabetes. No more shots or prescription. I weigh 161 and wear a much smaller size. I have lost 230 pounds. I love to run. I walk, hike, bike, exercise willingly and often. I eat a mostly plant-based diet.  I recently got a ‘frame that lab report — you’re in perfect health!’ from my doc.  I am still incredibly happy, professionally successful and have fabulous family and some unbelievably supportive friends.

I feel healthy and alive and grateful for this second chance. I am not going to waste it.

Life is good.

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2014. Head shot by Hannah O’Leary. http://www.hannaholearyphoto.com

25 thoughts on “About me…

    1. You’ve literally walked by my side during some of the harder times. Love you dearly my friend. I wouldn’t have a story to share if it weren’t for the encouragement and support from people like you and Josh.

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  1. You inspire me daily!! I have always loved your energetic smile and charisma that shines about you (no matter what clothing size you wear). I’m so happy for your new healthy life that YOU made. What an inspiration to us all!! Love you 🙂 Keep running and being outside my friend!

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  2. So proud of you Betsy. Loved you as a young girl and love you even more now because of you have had the strength to stick to it and to keep climbing that hill. So proud to see you at the top of that hill. I know your Mom is proud of you also, and of course, your Dad. You are an example of good choices to many.

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    1. BillieBess! Thank you. My dad is proud of me. Always has been, but excited to see how much more fun my life is now that I am fit and able to participate and enjoy it. I was just looking at a picture of Deb and I the other day at a ballet recital… You are in the background. 🙂

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  3. Betsy, you are an amazing woman. I am so happy to have you in my life, even if it is currently only through fb after all these years. You inspire me to keep working toward my goals, whether it be weight loss, school whatever. May you continue being successful.

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    1. Dina! Thank you. Happy that we did reconnect on FB. I plan to keep working on my health. Keep aiming for your goals… We don’t have to get it right every single day, we just have to keep moving in that general direction. 🙂 Good luck and stay strong my friend!

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  4. I cried and laughed through every page of this blog. You are so wonderful and I admire you so much. Besides the content, you are a seriously good writer. You need to go save the world!

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      1. I have 100 more pounds to lose. I am T2 diabetic. I have kept 70 pounds off, lost a marriage along the way. Wow, I am encouraged. I started a new program. Really as in life its not about what I am eating it’s what’s eating me. I am going to do this. Thank you. Stacey

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  5. This truly is one of the most remarkable tales in the Western World. It blows me away. Not even the weight lost, that is mental yes, I’ll give you that, but the 1st time conviction and execution of the metamorphosis is just silly! Along with the time period of the sequence of events is nothing short of OUTRAGEOUS! Now Western States in 5 years. Long Live Sister, the story must reach the world. Forget Hilary, Betsy is IN!

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