Fear of Heart Transplant Leads to Beth's 200 Pound Weight Loss*

By , SparkPeople Blogger
This blog is a featured "SparkStory", one of the classic posts from our members that provides support, encouragement and inspiration to the SparkPeople Community. 

SparkPeople Member: EMSSBEARS

I am the perfect example of the yo-yo dieter. Having been overweight for most of my life, I tried nearly every diet out there, some several times without success. Each time I’d diet, I’d lose the weight, but then as the attention and compliments became stressful, the insecurities and low self-esteem would kick back in and I would start overeating again. The end result was not only gaining back the pounds I’d lost, but adding an additional 20 or 30 pounds each time.

It took a long time for me to realize that I was using my weight as a defense mechanism to keep people away, a thought that came as the result of being physically attacked once when I was at my ideal weight.

When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) and found myself unable to walk or use my arms to exercise for seven months, I became quite depressed. Over the next two years, I was given chemotherapy treatments and eventually regained the ability to use a walker and limited movement. By that time, though, I was at my all-time highest weight and my heart muscle had been severely damaged. I was ready to give up.

I decided to give it one more chance when I was browsing another website where someone suggested SparkPeople. It saved my life. Even though I have struggled from time to time, I have never given up. I have had setbacks that have landed me in the hospital for months at a time, forcing me to press the restart button many times, but I’ve always kept trying.

The ultimate wakeup call came when I had a heart attack, and my doctor informed me that I would need a heart transplant. I was in shock, but that was just the beginning. When my doctor told me that I would have to lose 100 pounds before I could be considered for the transplant, I decided enough was enough. I challenged myself to 100 minutes of exercise for 100 days, and I lost the 100 pounds quickly, bringing my heart function up to the point that I was off the transplant list. I continued following the plan and have now lost over 200 pounds.

Every 100 days, I challenge myself to a new set of goals in areas in which I need to improve. I also finally realized that, while I am still uncomfortable getting them, it is okay to receive compliments. I will always be so grateful to all the wonderful people that have made it possible for me to still be here. Without you, I would never have lost the weight. The support here is awesome.

You may have to make this journey for yourself, but you don't have to make it by yourself. 

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*Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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-POOKIE- 11/1/2019
great story Report
RAJYABO 10/30/2019
What a wonderful testimony no matter where you are in your weight loss journey this share cane me so much encouragement Report
RO2BENT 6/16/2019
Scary and inspiring Report
MOMTOLJ 5/8/2019
I have some of your illnsesses and some you don't You have given me hope Thank you so much for sharing! Report
CHERYLHURT 4/16/2019
Great Report
CECELW 1/17/2019
I went to her Spark page a long time ago. She is truly an amazing woman. I can't imagine the stamina that had to have taken Report
Well done...You are inspiring to me...You give me hope that I will loss this weight. Get off rest of my Meds Report
Well done...You are inspiring to me...You give me hope that I will loss this weight. Get off rest of my Meds Report
Inspirational blog. Like you it took a heart attack to get me to finally lose all the weight and keep it off. Exercise is now a non negotiable part of every day.
Live healthy! Report
Beth you are inspiring. It gives me the ambition to keep on working at losing. Thank you Report
Thanks form sharing! Report
I think I am subconsciously using my excess weight as a defense mechanism as well due to 4 separate assault instances when I was thin. I will have to reflect on that. Report
well done Report
so inspiring Report
Thank you for sharing your story and part of the thinking/feeling behind your weight gain. You have also motivated me to set a goal of so many minutes in so my days! Report
Amazing accomplishment!!! Report
great job Report
WOW, super good for you. Very good example, for the rest of us. Report
Very Inspirational! Report
Our life is worth saving - congratulations Report
EXCELLENT job !!! Keep up the fantastic work !! You HIT the hammer on the nail with "I was uncomfortable with the compliments" so you regained. I did the SAME thing 3 yrs ago. I had been on Sparks for about 3 yrs in which I had gone from 288 down to 174 (WOW !) but, i had some so called "friends" who kept telling me things about MY body they did NOT like (Your butt is still to big, your boobs didn't lose any weight, you are to skinny now) you get the pic. I also was a victim of violence (out of state when it happened) and that threw me so badly I kept thinking "If I had been fat (I weighed 115 lbs) he NEVER would of done that !!" I have since learned size does NOT matter. It has to do with control over someone (men also can be rape victims) not about sex.

As of January when I finally had ENOUGH of the rapid gaining (medical issue) I rethought things, thanks to the AWESOME people on Sparks, I have now gone from 246 to 198 and hoping for 196 this Saturday and by the end of the year 192 !! YEAH !!

TY for sharing with us ! U are a COURAGEOUS Woman ! SO HAPPY your heart is doing much better. You have a LOT to teach others ! Report
I also have medical issues that cause challenges for weight loss on days I feel like giving up. I will think of you and hopefully keep going. Very inspirational. Thank you Report
That was an awesome and inspiring story. I have to start at the beginning again but I'll get there. Report
I loved reading your story! Thanks for sharing. Report
What an amazing story, gives me great hope. Report
Congradulations Beth Keep up the great work. Report
It's so nice to read a story about someone who has lost the weight WITHOUT the help of gastric bypass (sorry, but I am against gastric bypass). Seriously, congratulations! :)
Very inspiring story for me to keep going even with the set backs. Thank you Report
Your story jolted every bone and muscle in my body! You are an inspiration to all of us! Report
Wow, Beth! What an amazing story. Very inspiring! :) Report
I love your success and how you overcame your health issues. Thank you for sharing your journey. How did you exercise?
You are a great role model. Report
Great job, you're so lucky to have caught and controlled your health issue! Well done!
Beth Report
WOW! You look amazing!! Fantastic job! I know you worked hard to look as good as you do! Congratulations!!! Report
You are an inspiration for all of us. I wish you much luck in your journey and know that you will do well. You have given me the motivation to keep Sparking. I am a little over 1/2 way to my goal and after reading your story I know I can make it. Report
Isn't it amazing how compliments lead to insecurities? I am 44 and still find compliments embarrassing. Great job, and I hope you are as proud of yourself as we are of you!! Report
Beth, you are a true inspiration, and I am proud to have you as a friend! Report
You are inspiring. Thank you for sharing. Report
I liked your strategy to challenge yourself for 100 days! That somehow seems better than "two weeks" or "21 days" or even 30 days. Not too long range but not too short range either!! And I liked how you said just 100 minutes of exercise but evidently it wasn't just something exhausting!! Thanks for sharing your story!! Report
Thank you for sharing your story. It is truly inspirational. I just completed my annual physical exam, a stress test, a colonoscopy and a mammogram. I am happy to say that they call came back pretty good. I am on low doses of blood pressure medicine, and I take a cholesterol medication. I feel blessed about my health but know it could be better. That is my motivation, restarting spark people where I lost 50 pounds a few years ago but regained it all. I am now ready for the lifelong commitment to a program of exercise and healthier eating. It is hard. But reading your story is so encouraging. Congratulations again. Report
WOW - I am totally in awe of your success and transformation.
THANK YOU for sharing. You have given me HOPE that at 60 and only 50 pound overweight, if YOU could lose 200, I can lose 50.
Peace, Love and Blessings! Report
Wow, thanks for taking the time to write your miracle story! I love it and I have such health problems too. Not my heart, by joint erosion from Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was diagnosed in 2008 and had so much pain especially in my feet and hands before that time, that I know that's why I have so much erosion. The RA meds. have made me feel better and has slowed down the disease alot, but the erosion is so bad in my feet to walk, that my Rheumatologist advised to not walk on my feet any more than 10 min. at a time. Especially with exercise, so with hearing that, I felt depressed too and have put more weight on. I need to write you a SP message so you can help me with the exercise part. You would know about disability too. I tried swimming and loved it, but couldn't take the pain in my hands, etc. to get the wet suit off and on, etc. Ouch! So I'll write you for advice. I hope that you don't mind. I admire you so very much! Karen Report
Wow. You are awesome. What a journey! Congratulations on your weight loss. You look fabulous!!

Nola Report
Beth this is an amazing story. You can be proud of taking contol. Report
Beth, my friend I never cease to be amazed at what you have achieved, in spite of all your health issues. You are a true inspiration to us all. Report
Wow! Thanks for sharing. I love how you said that you had setbacks and had to push the reset button a few times - but that you never gave up. And look at the health miracle you have achieved in the end. A true inspiration to us all. Report
Congratulations for your Success and sharing your story with all of us. You have reopened my eyes and to challenge myself. Thank You and God Bless you. Report
Congratulations and thank you for sharing your story! Report
What an incredibly achievement! Thank you Beth for sharing your story. It has inspired me! :) Report
I am so happy for you. I know the struggles. I have been there. I am there. But like you, I will not give up, I will not let set backs cause me to fail. For every one step back, I have two steps forward. Congratulations. Report