What moment or event started your weight loss journey?
I started after a Dr. appointment. I was fed up with the Dr. I had at the time. He wanted to prescribe me yet another pill to take care of symptoms I was having. A co-worker of mine told me about a Dr. that her cousin had gone to and spoke highly of. So I thought, I haven’t anything to loose. I was taking 6 pills a day and not feeling any better. The symptoms I was having were random severe stomach pain, irregular bowl concerns, sleeplessness, random dizzy spells, depression, anxiety, and leg & joint pain. I had a great experience with this Dr. He took the time and spent 2 hours with me on my first visit! After a full blood work up and long interview process to get my history we discovered I had a severely under active thyroid and food allergies. I changed my diet immediately which wasn’t easy, since my allergies were celiac (better known as gluten) and lactose (dairy!). He immediately put me on a thyroid medication to balance and help it work properly. Within 3 days, I was sleeping without pills, my stomach pain went away, I had energy, and my body didn’t hurt! I wanted to run a marathon!
What was your starting weight? What weight are you at now?
My starting weight was 258lbs! I am now at 185lbs and working to 165lbs as my healthy goal weight.
What was your thought process that made you decide to lose weight?
Health of course. I did not have a history of being over weight. Even with the weight gain I was not a lazy person. This caused a lot of frustration as to why I wasn’t loosing weight and I was only gaining. Once I realized it was my health that was affected, and the symptoms that were so painful subsided and allowed me to be more active, there was nothing to hold me back.
How did you stay motivated?
The diet change was a challenge. But I kept reminding myself that the foods I used to eat were hurting my body. I was feeling so good without it, I started to look at those foods as poison for me, so it was easy to stay away. I started a very easy 15 min exercise program 3 days a week in the morning.
What would you say is the most important factor in your weight loss?
The most important factor in my weight loss is definitely my health. I am off of the 6 pills that I was taking daily! I love to learn new recipes that include gluten free products and dairy free options. I view foods differently. Food was definitely an emotional thing for me. I had to learn to separate emotion from food, and see it more as a fuel and a means to live instead of something that will complete or fulfill me emotionally.
With my thyroid working properly my body was able to metabolize the food I was putting in it. This was a drastic change. More studies revealed a small mass in my Pituitary Gland which is found in your brain. This was scary. After research I found that this condition is common with women who have not had children by the age of 35. I am lucky that mine has not grown and is not considered a tumor at this time. This condition however, can cause to Stroke and Unexpected Brain Aneurysms. In a way it can be a silent killer if gone undetected. After more testing with a specialist, they discovered I have a condition called Hashimoto’s Thyroid-ism. This is a condition where your body attacks the hormones that the thyroid puts into the body. I am being treated with medication currently and am happy to report that my body is reacting positively to them. I have received excellent care through the Swedish Hospital Pituitary Center. I highly recommend that women get their thyroid tested with a simple blood test. They can also check your hormone levels that leads to your Pituitary Gland. With a simple MRI, they can detect any abnormalities.
Describe the diet or healthy eating plan you’re following. Do you allow cheat days?
Lifestyle Change! No Gluten and No Lactose. I pretty much eat a Vegan diet with white meats? Sounds contradictory but I lean towards Vegans products because I know there is no hidden dairy products. Vegetarian products tend to have a lot of wheat so I cant eat a lot of them. Everyday is a discovery, not a struggle. Its a state of mind.
My diet change was and still is emotional for me. I cried in the middle of a bakery that I hadn’t been to for a while when I realized, I couldn’t buy the carrot cake I always used to take to my grandmothers house. She has been gone for 12 years now, but it made me realize the emotion I attached to food.
I still keep away from baked goods. Even the Gluten/Lactose free ones!
What is you exercise plan like? What keeps you motivated?
Well being a Cabaret performer, I rehearse at least 1x a week with my troupe. Before a show, those rehearsals increase! I stick to my 3 days a week; I have found that it works for me. 5-7 days a week just burns me out and its not fun anymore so I wont stick with it. My workouts are what ever I am in the mood for. I have a bunch of different types of videos, so its like a candy basket to pick which one I want to do. I like videos that are fun, have more dancing, and aren’t too long. Most of my videos are 30-45 minutes. On days I wanna cheat, I have 4 different 15 min quick workout videos, so I make sure I at least do them if time or energy is short. I also just started a holistic Yoga class 1x a week, and I love it! It is much more meditative and not your regular “gym” workout. I feel recharged and relaxed when I am done, and I love it!
How do you feel about your curves now?
Honestly, I was in love with my curves when I was bigger. I had an adjustment period when I was loosing. I lost an average of 9lbs a month! It was drastic and coming off fast. I am working to get the tone I had before when I was more voluptuous. But everyday I tell myself a mantra…I start at the top of my head and I touch my body moving all the way to my toes. As I move down my body I tell myself, I love my hair – my beautiful hair, I love my face-my beautiful face…and so on. It helps with the mind body connection and helps to hear it. I learned it from my Yoga teacher and is a great start to my day.
How has your weight loss affected your pinup modeling and burlesque career?
Well, I had to buy new clothes! I did find that my weight loss was drastic enough that I wasn’t being recognized. My show clothes were too big and my once full DD breasts were merely a much less full C/D. Some of my fans were disappointed, as they were in love with the full figured Dessi, but when it all comes down to it I am on earth for me, and if I am not healthy then no one will have Dessi!