LAKE MOSES – Cathy Kenny worked to lose weight, but – like many other people – it didn’t stop.
âI was one of those people who went up and down (in weight), up and down, all my life. I’ve tried every diet in the world, but nothing ever stuck,â he said. she declared.
What has changed is her doctor’s diagnosis.
âIn 2019, I was diagnosed with lipedema,â she said. “It’s an abnormal deposit of fat on the lower half of the body.”
Most people who get lipedema are women. Its cause is unknown.
âIt’s a progressive disease. And it’s painful, âKenny said. “It affects your joints – it affects everything in your body.”
She struggled with joint and knee pain before her diagnosis, she said, and it was difficult. Even the routine tasks were difficult.
“I couldn’t walk from my house across the street to my mailbox without stopping at least four times and resting from the pain in my legs,” said she declared.
Getting the diagnosis meant she had to make a difference.
âWhen I was diagnosed with this, that’s when I got serious,â she said.
Weight loss has become an important part of the treatment of the disease.
âYou cannot lose abnormal fat other than through liposuction,â she said. âSo you have to lose the normal fat and build muscle. ”
Kenny was, and is, a member of a Moses Lake chapter of TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensably). She used the links with her chapter and the support it provided to lose weight. She lost 58.8 pounds in 2020 and won a state TOPS award as a result.
“For any long term weight loss, whether you have an illness or want to look better, feel better, it has to be a lifestyle change, not a diet.”
For Kenny, that meant evaluating what she was eating and making a lot of changes, sometimes difficult changes.
Some foods that she liked, such as onions and peppers, had to be eliminated. Many dairy products, such as whole milk and ice cream, also had to go.
âI had dessert every day. I don’t do that anymore, âshe said.
âI was mostly, I would say, 95% vegetable. And I had chicken and fish, âshe added.
She evaluated how the foods she ate affected her physical well-being, and that became the guideline.
âIn a nutshell, it’s ‘pay attention to your body and adjust your diet’,â she said. “And that’s for any weight loss.”
It wasn’t easy – he missed onions, eggplants and bread. Thanksgiving is approaching, and she’s going to skip the stuffing and the buns, stick to the veggies and turkey. But there will be dessert.
âI’m going to have a slice of pumpkin pie,â she said.
She found alternatives and made some changes in the way she ate. She found a recipe that combines oatmeal and pinto beans and makes a good substitute for bread. She used to skip breakfast every now and then, and now it’s her biggest meal of the day.
They were tough changes, she said, but in the end, they were worth it.
âIt was a very difficult transition. But after a while you see the results, and it’s worth it, âshe said.
The TOPS group provided support and education, providing information on nutrition, exercise and ways to sustain change.
âThe most important thing for me was the support,â she said. “Nutrition, exercise, emotional support, self-esteem.”
Her TOPS group is quite small, but she has seen the same support in larger groups.
âYou see the camaraderie within groups, whether large or small. Because of the support system.
As a devout Christian, she also recognized that her faith had helped her make the changes she needed.
âI firmly believe in the power of prayer,â she said.
While it has been – and sometimes still is – a struggle, it is worth it, she said.
âI can walk past my mailbox now,â she said.
Cheryl Schweizer can be contacted by email at [email protected]