Carrie Devorah was a vibrant woman with an enviable freelance career through the White House News Photographers Association. She was fit and led an active lifestyle. That was before an unfortunate accident took away her mobility, self-confidence and was ultimately the catalyst for a 50+ pound weight gain. After several surgeries, learning “how” to eat and what exercises she could do safely with a limited range of movement, Carrie has now gone from a size 18 to a size 10.
Her life-changing accident
Although Carrie admits she never had the perfect diet, she was always able to counter poor eating choices with hard work in the gym. Unfortunately, Carrie’s downward spiral occurred during a fluke accident when slipped in a rental apartment and hyperextended her knee. The knee never healed correctly and eventually, she had to undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus followed by a hip replacement, all in the same leg. During this time her mobility was greatly decreased and a deep depression settled over her. “I was a vibrant person dying inside an increasingly obese person,” she admitted. “I was struggling in pain while losing a career and my social identity.”
Due to the extent of her injuries, Carrie’s recovery lasted years and it was a painful process. First she became a recluse and then made “getting to the coffee shop” her daily mission. While that was good for exercise, it was a hindrance to her diet. “Coffee meant a pastry which meant I could delay struggling to walk back to my apartment,” she said. Early on she met a physical therapist who “got her.” She credits the PT with giving her the information she needed about counting calories but admitted it was tough to stick to noting, the worse the pain got, the less she moved and the more she ate.
Finding tools she could use
Carrie attributes some of her early diet challenges to being overwhelmed by information including daily calories, how much she could eat, how much she was burning, etc. Modern technology didn’t help. Though she was signed up for a commercial weight loss plan that she managed online, she often forgot to input her daily food choices and quickly lost track. The day her daughter-in-law installed the mobile app on her phone, she felt more in control. Now as she passed restaurants on her daily walks, she could easily find out how many free points she would need to eat there.
Facing her emotions and moving forward
Though she’s able to walk and swim, Carrie knows her activity level will never be what it was before, and it still causes a pang of sadness. “I most likely wont be that woman again with all my limitations,” she said. “That hurts deeply in that I didn’t eat myself to obesity. I had been a gym-rat my whole life then I got hurt and ended up there.”
Carrie’s future goals are to stick with her diet and inspire others to share their stories at the website she created called, The Center for Copyright Integrity. “I have gained an empathy for the disabled,” she explained. “For how the world treats them and those who have gained weight.”
Advice Carrie would give to others struggling with their weight? “Listen to your inner voice. Don’t lose that which sparks you forward,” she said. “When you start to lose weight, love the clothes that make you realize your loss and exercise how you are able to.
Finally, find something that makes you feel beautiful.”
January 18th, 2014