At seventeen years old I thought I had the world in my hands.
I’d recently signed a record deal, was a model and cheerleader, and was dating my high school sweetheart, Jack (who would later become my husband). We were preparing to move to New York City to launch my debut, and I thought I was well on my way to finally becoming the pop diva I’d always dreamed of. Even more exciting – what my eternally chubby-girl-at-heart was ecstatic about – I was at my lowest weight ever: a lean, mean 135 pounds.
Then it all came crashing down in one screechingly loud moment. Jack and I were driving home from the studio after a long recording session completing the last demo I’d written for my album. We crested a hill and saw the impending doom ahead; a car was stalled across our lane, the driver seemingly passed out. We swerved to avoid her and were involved in a serious five-car pileup. They airlifted us to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Jack had broken the steering wheel in half with his chest, and my legs had gone through the dashboard, rendering me basically bedridden.
I thought my life was over. The impact of the crash hit me hard, but the months thereafter hit me much harder. A toxic combination of depression, pain, inactivity and ineffective medications caused me to balloon up to over five hundred and fifteen pounds within two years! I lost my record deal, most of my friends, my active lifestyle and everything I’d been working for since the tender age of two when I’d made up my first musical tune on my toy xylophone.
I fell, and fell hard.
Doctors advised me to accept I may never walk again, and my psychiatrist kept prescribing muscle relaxants, sleeping and depression medications that made me feel worse than ever. They told me my only hope to live past forty or so (best-case scenario) was to get my weight down immediately through stomach stapling surgery. Specialists continually monitored me for a possible heart attack and didn’t give me much hope.
The trauma of the accident triggered severe anxiety and PTSD. I comforted myself with food- lots and lots of greasy, salty, artery-clogging food. My binge eating disorder was spiraling out of control. I tried everything the doctors offered me and even more. I was willing to try almost anything when traditional interventions failed, especially starvation, support groups, and crackpot solutions offered by “experts” on the internet and mail order DVDs. If it exists, I’ve tried it, believe me. My weight became unmanageable and eventually I became so hopeless and ashamed of my size and physical limitations, I stopped leaving the house.
Jack went on the road to support us financially, as we were destitute, unable to work for months while recuperating. I stayed behind and tried to cope, managing his career from a computer as best I could.
I was a prisoner in my body. The happy, determined high schooler of a few years past was gone, my faith in the world obliterated. Alone in a bleak, snow-covered farmhouse in the middle of nowhere in remote Minnesota, I reached a breaking point. My pain – inner and outer – had become unbearable, and no one, even the Mayo Clinic specialists, had any solutions that worked.
I decided suicide was the only option to free myself from this nightmare.
Until I looked in the mirror and something clicked.
That something, and all of the somethings thereafter, have culminated in this daily blog, books (check ’em out here) and a growing health and wellness business. I was a woman determined to take back my life and DO something about it!
I was fed up with the fat and, more importantly, the voices in my head and my surroundings telling me I didn’t have to power to change my life.
Since then, I’ve lost 345 pounds without surgeries, fad diets or pills, and have ventured back out into the land of the living. If you want to know a bit more about my professional ventures in music, film and writing read my bio page.
My husband Jack (who had stood by me through very thick and thin, literally) and I have a website, TheOnlyConstantIsChaos.com, chronicling our joint creative projects, and he has a solo music career as well. If you’re curious about my quirky and uber supportive other half, you can read all about him at JackNortonMusic.com.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and get to know me a bit. I’m excited to make a connection with you, homie! If you ever wanna chat about fitness, yoga or wellness-related topics drop me a line. I’d love to hear your story as well!
Love, Kitty =^.^=