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  • Writer's pictureDonnese Monique

The Shift (#J2FA50)

4/22/21 - 2 weeks from today, I will be 50 y'all. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this. I always thought 50 was old, old when I was growing up. I will admit that I was starting to "feel" old these past few years. But thankfully all that has changed. I feel 100 times better! No more foot pain. No more knee pain. And it's all a result of following an AWESOME Optimal Health & Wellness Program. I am so thankful!! My snacking and cravings have significantly reduced, but I will admit, I had a craving for some trail mix with chocolate and Cheezits this week. So I mixed up about 1/2c of these items and satisfied the craving. I was still able to lose 4oz though. Not ideal with what my goals are for these final two (2) weeks, but I'll take it!! I also had a busy weekend and got behind on my water intake a few times. So now in the home stretch, I think it's time to introduce some activity to step it up a notch. I didn't start the 30 day abs workout like I wanted to, but that's okay. I'm still losing nonetheless. I would be ecstatic if I were to lose 15 additional pounds, in the next 2 weeks. But in reality I would be happy with 8lbs and okay with 3lbs. Let's Go!!

I never really enjoyed working out or lifting weights at the gym, but I knew that since I wasn't staying in shape from dancing, I had to make the shift to working out. I would take a class like Cardio Boxing, Yoga, Spin or Zumba from time to time. I would always get in a consistent routine, but as soon as "life" happened. I'd miss a class or two and then I'd STOP going. I even had a personal trainer at one point, but of course it was the cost that became an issue because I wasn't seeing the results as fast as I had hoped.

I then started using the travel time as an excuse to not go to the gym, so I decided to start working out at home. I had great success with Tony Horton's P90X, Shaun T's T25 & Insanity. I committed to the programs and was successful working out every day for 90 Days straight. But I honestly couldn't wrap my head around having to work out to that degree, consistently for the rest of my life.

So I started focusing on the fact that 80% of weight loss, is what you eat and 20% is exercise and I decided to change my diet and eating habits. I had success with the Warrior Diet, Paleo and Keto, but these "diets" just weren't sustainable because of the time it took to prepare and cook the meals and I knew I would NOT be able to deprive myself of the restricted food items for the rest of my life, either. It worked while I did it, but as soon as I started eating the restricted food items again, the I would "find" the weight that I "lost".

A few days after my yearly routine physical, I received a call from my primary care physician with some upsetting news. Coincidentally, she called me on my 40th birthday, while I was at the airport waiting to board a flight to Vegas. She let me know that she felt nodules on my thyroid and she recommended that I schedule a biopsy. I informed her that it was my birthday and I was headed out of town. She apologized (for calling on my birthday) and informed me that it was not an emergency and I could wait and schedule when I returned. For those of you who know me, I'm a hypochondriac to the core, so you know I began to freak out! But my husband helped calm my nerves by telling me that if it were an emergency the doctor would have said that. He told me not to stress over it, so I could enjoy my birthday and our trip.

I decided to turn it into something sort of positive. I started to think, okay so maybe my thyroid isn't functioning properly and this is the cause for my fluctuating weight.

When we returned from my birthday celebration in Vegas I immediately called to schedule my biopsy. I was a nervous wreck, because as I mentioned earlier, I've always had a fear of surgery and bleeding out on the table because I had difficulty clotting after the birth of both of my sons. I had no idea what a biopsy would entail, but it wasn't as evasive as I had imagined. I also asked my doctor if my weight fluctuation was caused by my thyroid not working properly. She said, Nope! The thyroid is functioning properly, there are just nodules on it. Shoot! I thought I had a reason other than it being my fault i.e. eating too much and not exercising consistently.

Unfortunately the results of my biopsy were inconclusive and I had to get a second biopsy. And guess what, the results of the second biopsy were inconclusive, as well. The next step would be to have half of my thyroid removed and tested for cancerous tissues. Goodness! I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to be on thyroid medicine for the rest of my life because I only had half of a thyroid, but I also didn't want to keep cancer in my body if I had the opportunity to remove it sooner than later. My primary referred me to a surgeon for a consultation. My husband asked the doctor what she would do. And in not so many words, she said she would have half of the thyroid removed. I discussed things with my husband and my primary and I decided to monitor the nodules. I began getting ultrasounds of my thyroid every six (6) months to track the size of the nodules. I decided that if the nodules started getting bigger, I would schedule the surgery.

In the summer of 2014 my youngest son, who was eight (8) at the time, and I decided to participate in the Color Run at Nationals Park in DC. We trained every morning before school (6:30a - 7:30a) for eight (8) weeks following the Ease Into 5k mobile app. We were committed, determined and focused to be prepared for the 5k. I pushed him every day and some days he pushed and motivated me. During the 5k, we didn't run full speed the entire time, but we did NOT stop. We jogged the entire route which had some hills and ramps along the route and we finished our first 5k in 36 minutes.

I was so proud of him. Shoot! I was proud of myself too. We worked hard, finished the race and lost weight in the process.

We had a goal. Achieved that goal. And then life went back to the way it was and the weight came back.

In 2015 my thyroid ultrasound showed that the nodules were increasing in size, so I scheduled the surgery. Scared out of my mind, I had half of my thyroid removed.

Thankfully the nodules are benign. I immediately asked, So umm okay yeah, since there's no cancer, can we put it back in?!? NOPE!! But fortunately the left half of my thyroid stepped up and is handling business because I don't have to take any medication. And during this time, I designed and got a patent for something I call Scar Jewelry (more on this later).

I was asked to be a bridesmaid in my girlfriend's destination wedding the following year. Of course I agreed, but I definitely was not looking forward to having to find the perfect cover-up while on the beach, being hot and uncomfortable in the bridesmaids dress in the burning sun on the beach or ruining the wedding photos.

We decided on the style of bridesmaid dress in January/February 2016 and ordered them to ensure we had them in time for the wedding which was scheduled for July 2016. When my dress came, unfortunately it was both defective and the dress that I originally ordered was out of stock. They told me that I could select another style at no additional charge. It was at the moment that I made a decision. I decided to order a dress that was two (2) sizes down from my current size. That's right! Two (2) dress sizes smaller than the size I was wearing. I had 4 to 5 months to lose the weight. I decided to do Shaun T's Cize 4 - 5 days a week and watch what I was eating. Cize was perfect for me because it is learning choreography and then executing the combination over and over again. I really enjoyed it!! And guess what y'all! I DID IT!!

Check back next week to hear about how my body started breaking down on me.

Please Like, Follow, Subscribe and Share my journey with others. Until Next Week!

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