I had a kid at 18 and decided I wasn't doing that again. Now, I love my daughter. But being a single teen mom was a challenge. I didn't need to make it twice as hard. So, I got on depo provera, the fool (which I was) proof birth control. It is a once every three month shot, and it worked great.
I was a happy teen mom, but life was difficult. Making $4.25 an hour and trying to have school, work, and being a mom all fit into a 24 hour day. Add in one verbal and emotionally abusive baby daddy, and I began to gain weight. The first few pounds didn't bother me, and then it slid slowly out of control. I was a body builder in high school and know how to rock it out at the gym. I reluctantly joined, even though I really couldn't afford the extra $15.00 a month.
After several months of going at it -- I'm just going to be honest, maybe half at it and half a slice of cake. Hey-compromise ;) -- I couldn't get any of the weight off, and I had gained 70 debilitating pounds.
Trying to muster up the energy to go to the gym when that overweight is a killer. Tediously staring at a blank wall, sweating, lifting, and climbing to no immediately obvious goal. I went alone and what made it worse was the gym atmosphere. I take the back row (like in school) only to watch healthy people's non-jiggly butts. Amazing women with thighs that don't touch, in front of me. They seamlessly run, each step seems so light and fun for them. I was always looking around for other people my size. I would have given anything for one person, sweating to the oldies with me.
The gym is exhausting mentally and physically to me. Every time I go, I get on the treadmill and stare at nothing, going nowhere (I hate treadmills, can you tell?). This horrible method of "weight loss" gave me nothing to do but think, analyze my life. Every time the thoughts turned to how I had let myself go. I became hyper conscious on the stair master, watching and feeling every slow step I took in my oversized shoe. My sweatpants tearing in the center from the friction of thigh rubbing. Gah. Just gah.
Still no weight loss. On the contrary, continued weight gain. Now tipping the scale at 210 pounds, a total of a 90 pound gain. I hired a personal trainer. The devil himself. I worked out five times a week on Satan's "10-10-10" plan. 10 reps - 10 second break - repeat 10 times. BRUTAL I tell you. He thought wrapping cardio in light weight training was the way to go to have me shed pounds and tone up. He was worried with typical weight lifting that I would gain muscle and bulk up. I agreed to his sinister workout plan.
Around month three he was starting to notice my weight loss was less than satisfactory. We decided to ramp up the plan. Sometimes I couldn't lift my arms to brush my hair because my muscles were torn so severely. But I loved it because he cheered me on because I was working so hard.
Five months went by. I lost a total of five depressing pounds.
My trainer thought I was a closet cake and McDonald's eater, and actually shouted at me for lying to him about what I was eating. He was spending all this time helping me, but outside of the gym I couldn't help myself?
Working out this hard and only losing five pounds? What gives? After I told him that although I didn't have the best eating habits, I wasn't scarfing behind his back, he sent me to a nutrition specialist. They both really tore into my life, which was embarrassing. As a fat girl, my self esteem was already down the tubes. Now two skinny people were inspecting me with a microscope, which made me notice every workout, every calorie, every bite, every decision, every minute of every day. And still no weight loss.
Although they meant well, and were there to help, the combination of me being hyper aware, having them quiz me, and working so hard I was sore every day (and throw in a crappy ex who called me fat) sent me into depression.
My hired team could not figure out why I couldn't loose weight, so they advised I go to a doctor for a slew of tests. Thyroid was the obvious potential issue. The tests all came back fine. I was sobbing in my doctor's office, at the end of this humiliating experience. He says, "Aren't you on the birth control shot?" I say, "Yes?" and finally the truth comes out.
Doc advises me that the main side effect of depo provera is weight gain. The drug is effective in preventing pregnancy because it makes the human body think it is pregnant, and stops a woman's period altogether. Which means the body starts reserving fat for the non-existent baby.
Digest this. What a unbelievably unnatural way to mess with a woman's body. And the worst news? The drug stays active in my system for a year to year and a half after discontinued use.
Meaning- I was destined to a life stuck in this fat suit for an entire year, regardless of what I did.