My Story: “My Body Doesn’t Feel Like A Prison Anymore”

Utica Lewis 2015

Obesity is something that I have struggled with for as long as I can remember. There was never a time in my life that I can recall that I wasn’t aware that I was overweight, bigger than other kids that were my age.

Drinking Slim Fast at 9, being told that my blood pressure was elevated at 10. I’ve never had a break from it. During middle and high school I slowly crept up from a size 10 to a size 24 due to a lot of emotional eating and just not taking care of myself.

When you’re young you don’t really think about those kind of things and how they can affect you. When I was 18 and left home for school, I ended up meeting the guy that would later become my husband and I not only put on the Freshman 15, but that additional weight that comes on when you’re in love and comfortable.

I was around 285 at that point, but over the next few years between yo-yo dieting, using using every diet pill I saw a commercial for, and starving myself for days at a time just to end up binging on anything I could get my hands on, I was 340 pounds by the time I got married in 2006.

The year after I began having extremely long menstrual cycles where I would be on for weeks at a time and I knew that my weight wasn’t helping. I read that eliminating meat products might help balance my hormones, so I did that and lost about 45 pounds. But I ended up getting comfortable again and gained everything back plus more.

By 2010 I was 370 pounds and taking steps to get approved for gastric bypass when I found out I was pregnant. So I put those plans on hold, only to lose the pregnancy about two months later. About two months after that, I lost my job. So there I was, no insurance and still morbidly obese.

At my heaviest in 2010

At my heaviest in 2010