• Kristi Campanella

Interview with Lizette

Updated: Feb 5, 2019


Today's post is the interview questions with my friend Lizette. I met Lizette when she tore her ACL and had to have surgery and then rehab. She was my patient and along the way we became friends. As I got to know Lizette, not only was I oh-so-impressed by her love for Harry Potter (on the same level as my own) but also how inspiring she was to me.

Lizette took action in her life to make it better, to make it what she wanted it to be. She had the determination and courage to change her life circumstances for the better and that is inspiring to me.

This interview is about how Lizette finally overcame her struggle with her weight and began doing the things in life she wanted to do. I know that it is easy to be impressed by someone who can run a super-fast marathon but I am equally, well really, more impressed and motivated by people like Lizette who took a look at their circumstances and said, "enough, this is not how I want to live." I am so motivated by all that Lizette is doing in her life. She is brave and fearless (probably why she tore that ACL!) and a hero of mine.

Here are her answers to my questions:

1. Can you recall the moment you decided you had to do something about your weight no matter the cost? If so, do you mind sharing what went through your head?

2. Were you overweight as a child or only after getting a little older?

This answers 1 & 2: I have been overweight the majority of my life. You could say I was “big-boned” or the family would say its all baby weight. Well, it's not baby weight at 36. I spent a lot of time trying to lose weight, all the diets, all the lifestyle changes, all the different work out programs. I could lose the first 40 lbs but after that nothing budged. I have PCOS, and getting anywhere near under 200 was a feat that I only saw glimpses of in my life. The summer of 2015, I visited my family and had a sit down conversation (a come to Jesus) with my aunt. Her daughter was almost a year out of the gastric sleeve and she did amazing. I was already showing signs of pre-diabetes (metabolic syndrome).

I was the highest weight I ever was at 245. At 5’1 it was difficult to breathe, and even at my heaviest weight I was always somewhat active but I was struggling. I couldn’t do what made life worth living for me, which was to go play outside. My hormones were out of whack. So at this point I was ready to make changes, surgically if need be. I did a lot of research on PCOS and gastric sleeve which showed a correlation of the hormones stabilizing (which made sense to me; estrogen is stored in fat and when you lose weight the estrogen is released). It also showed an impact on the metabolic syndrome and overall health.

So after several consultations, I decided that it was time to force the lifestyle change. With the sleeve, there was no turning back, and I haven’t looked back.

3. What was the worst thing for you about being overweight?

I was 36 and I wanted to climb a mountain, I wanted to run, I wanted to do obstacle courses--all things that I would start doing and then never quite get to the goal. It was disappointing. Now I can finish, I can climb that 14er and run that 10k and get a medal for a Spartan race.

4. What kinds of things had you tried before the surgery?

I did Weight Watchers, Adkins, did portion, had personal trainers… Pretty much I was Oprah, when she gained weight so did I.

5. Why don’t you think they were successful?

It was a constant yo yo. I would get into some of the more restrictive diets and then want to binge afterwards. Call me an extremist, but when I would get in with the trainers, the pendulum would swing too far, and to even it out, it seemed to have to swing the other way. Moderation was never quite my forte. With the surgery, that is what I was taught, I learned that quick too. The only time I ever filled up too much, I felt a rush of heat all over my body and then cold sweats and my stomach cramped. It was awful. I now listen very closely to what my body says.

6. Has having the surgery and losing the weight changed your life in any drastic way? (Besides being healthier.) 😊

It really changed the way I think. I was always intimidated to do something that I wouldn’t be able to do. I used to think in the terms of “I can do that,” and when I tried and couldn’t, I felt like a failure. Now I think ‘I will do that' which to me means, that if I can’t do it the first time, its ok…I can keep trying. That little switch has shifted me into doing and trying so many new and different things that it has enriched my life.

7. What kinds of things do you do now that you were unable to do before you lost the weight?

I created 4 goals for me, that I was determined to complete in 2016: run a 10k, climb a mountain, run a half marathon, run an obstacle race. I did them all. They were such great accomplishments. All things that I could never do before, were all done. I never thought in my life that I would be a rock climber.

8. What is your favorite thing about losing the weight? For instance, wearing cute clothes, looking great working out, feeling better, etc.

Probably my favorite thing about losing the weight is the feeling of empowerment, there is a confidence in my body now that I never had before. I am always amazed the more it is able to do, the way it is able to modify and change to be able to grow into an activity. If I would have told my 2015 self that in 2016 I will want to jump on a wall and climb it every chance I get, I would have totally laughed at the idea. I couldn’t even begin to conceptualize being able to move my body up a wall.

9. What tips do you have for others trying to either lose or maintain their weight? What things have helped you?

I use little plates, little plates are smaller portions. I also still try to eat my proteins first, my veggies and then carbs, if there are carbs on my plate. Since my stomach is mini, I tend to fill up fast, it's beneficial to fill up on protein. Getting all my water in is a struggle but necessary. Tracking, while it can be pain, puts on paper and makes you quantify what you eat. I however am not overly hard on myself if I am over my calories, especially depending on the macros. If the majority of the overage is due to protein and not carbs, I am a little more forgiving.

Also If I am getting above my acceptable weight, (this is my upper-bound), I start back with only using the smaller bowls and plates. It really helps with portions.

10. What are some things you really want to do in your life now, that you didn’t think possible when you were overweight?

I want to do a via ferretta, I want to complete the Spartan Trifecta. A trifecta would be awesome.

I want to thank Lizette for sharing her answers with all of us and also for sharing the photo below. Look how far she has come! It took a lot of courage to come to the decisions in her life to change it for the better. She is my hero, not because she had the gastric surgery, but for deciding that she had to do something and taking action regardless of how scary that decision was! She is now living her life on her terms and doing things she never thought possible. She faces challenges head on and doesn't give up. This is what I love!

Even when she was heavy she was still out there giving it her all. This is one thing I really admire about Lizette, how she goes for it and doesn't give up! (And of course, her love of Harry Potter!)

Thank you Lizette!


Here are a couple of pictures of me and Lizette and me, my husband and Lizette doing our virtual Platform 9 3/4k one morning. (Please do not tell me if you do not know where Platform 9 3/4 comes from!)

I hope your Monday is starting off great! Here's to a great week and hopefully a little inspiration and motivation from Lizette!!

Happy Running!

Kristi


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Disclaimer: All information on this website is of the author's opinion and experience and is not intended as medical advice. All material is for informational and entertainment purposes only.

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