The Book Hipster

The ramblings of things that make me…um, well…me.

A journey I’d never expected…

I’ve had this post just sitting here for close to 2 weeks now. Just trying to think of what to say and how to word it…and if I really wanted to post it at all.

I’m fat.

Whew, ok, got that part out of the way, that was the hard part, I think. Admitting it is the first step, right?

I’ve been a big girl my whole life. Yeah, I know I’m only 32, so that isn’t a long time, but to me…it is my whole life. This post isn’t supposed to be a downer, because this entire blog is supposed to be about the things that make me happy, so that is why I’m posting it…because what has happened in my life the last 6-ish months has made me happy and I feel like I should share it with all of you. 🙂


My story actually starts about 2 years ago (I know, I said 6-ish months, but you have to get a little backstory for this to work itself out…stick with me, I’ll try to fast forward through some important points that you’ll want to know about me and how I got through to today.

July 2010 – The Book Hipster family is visiting family in Michigan for about a week. As I’m washing my face one morning, I get this shock of pain in my right cheek/nose area, which I can only describe as what I think it would feel like to be given a mild dose of electro-shock therapy. It was painful, fast and totally unexpected. And it only happened once. I shake it off and don’t say a word to anyone as I think it was just some weird randomness that my mind may have created in my sleepless haze.

A couple months down the road, it happens again…except this time, it isn’t just a one time incident. This sharp electric-like shock happens on and off for one to two weeks. Sometimes when I’m washing my face. Sometimes when I’m eating. Sometimes when I’m brushing my teeth or blowing my nose. Same area. Same horrible pain. And then it is gone.

Now, this happens almost on a regular basis for about 9 months. And quite honestly, most of that time I didn’t have health/dental insurance so there wasn’t much I could do about it because going to the doctor is hella expensive when you don’t have insurance and the pain wasn’t that bad (Ok, it really was, but I just would tell myself it wasn’t in order to keep myself from giving us an added bill to pay off). But at about the 9 month mark of this happening at random a strange thing happened. It came back…about a million times worse than it had ever been…and it wasn’t going away. The pain wasn’t completely constant, but it was always in the background waiting to strike. Itching my nose would make me gasp. I had to start chewing food (and softer stuff at that!) on the left side of my mouth because if I chewed on the right side I’d be in tears from the pain. Brushing my teeth…holy mother of all that is evil…I’d be whimpering the whole time! And this was all in one, yes ONE, week.

About 2 months before (so, January) we had put me back on the insurance with the enrollment period, so when my week of torture began I could actually do something about it. Thinking maybe it was a cavity (as it seemed to involve my mouth/teeth area more than anything else) I make a dentist appointment. Dentist takes x-rays and does a thorough exam…he cannot find any reason for me to be having this pain. No cavities, so issues that he can see. He refers me to an Endodontist…oh yay…a specialist! The Endodontist not only looks at the x-rays I brought from the Dentist, he takes his own and does a thorough exam of my chompers. Yeah, he couldn’t find anything wrong either. Crud. Now what? The Endodontist says that he CAN do a root canal, but quite honestly feels it would be unnecessary as it might not fix the pain issue. He thinks a better option to start is for me to see a Neurologist (um…wait…what?????) because there are all sorts of nerves in the face and it is a possibility that it could be nerve related. Oooooh, boy!

I spend the next day calling local Neurologists trying to get the earliest appointment I can. I have to wait a whole week to get in to see one. A WEEK!!!! One more week of pain before seeing someone. I want to just die the pain is so much some days. One good thing (or bad depending on if you’ve ever done it) is I decided to go online and start looking up face pain. Yeah…if you’ve ever heard the phrase “Never look up health issues up online”…it is totally true and you should never do it. It is scary as all get out! I was getting all sorts of things. But I did find one thing that was me right down to the crossed ‘t’s and dotted lowercase ‘j’s. Trigeminal Neuralgia. Whatever site I was on was what I had been experiencing for the last 9 months…it was almost like someone had been following me around and writing a blog about it. It was quite scary! Even worse…I started searching for that disorder specifically and reading all sorts of treatment options…one involves drilling a hole in the skull behind the ear (Yes…the EAR!!!!) and inserting some cushioning “pads” or something into the area for the nerves. OMG…I was freaking out! I’d never been so freaked out in my life. Even when I was pregnant and the doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat at 12 weeks (and then after rushing to the ultrasound room we found it!). After finding that, the computer went off and I waited until until my Neurologist appointment to happen. And I wasn’t going to tell him what I had found online either. I wanted him to hear my story of what I was feeling and have his decide what he thought it was. Yeah…he agreed with my thoughts. I had Trigeminal Neuralgia. Yay.

That was March 2011. I immediately started taking an anti-seizure medication for pain management and while at times I have an “off” day where I’ll have some pain or I’ll feel like my face is “twitchy” or “off”…I don’t have any issues. Now, if I miss too many doses of the medication in a row, the pain starts to show up. Also, I’ve noticed if I’m having allergy/sinus issues with the weather changes, that will cause some mild discomfort and pain too. But nothing like it could be, so I live with it.

Ok, so that is the backstory…now for the real reason for this post…

This past March (2012), I had a check up with my Neurologist as I do every 3-4 months. Just to make sure the medication is still working and that all my other functions are still working (he goes through this series of “checks” where he’ll make me use my arms and legs to push and pull so he knows I’m not having any issues elsewhere). This check up also involves us sitting and talking…yay…talking. *eye roll* He’s never commented on my weight status before, so this totally caught me off guard, but he flat out told me that I’m young and need to lose weight and start exercising. He said that it wouldn’t really help with the nerve disorder, but that it would be better for me because diabetes and high blood pressure run like wildfire in my family (I did have Gestational Diabetes when I was pregnant…even had to take shots! So, I’m more prone to Diabetes even without the family background). And that I was young enough that if I started any exercising routine, it would be easier for me now than say when I was his age (60+).

I left the appointment defeated. Let’s be honest here, I don’t do exercise. I’m the least athletic person you will ever meet. I was in Marching Band in high school and college. That is the extent of my abilities…ha! And dieting…forget it! Food is my Achilles heel…and leg…and hips…and arms…and…well, you get the idea. I like to eat. And it is usually stuff that is bad for me. So, if I needed to start exercising where do I begin???? I contacted the one person that I thought could steer me in the right direction…a FB/Twitter friend who always seems to be working out (and you can tell based on some of his pictures…I’d tell you his name because let’s be honest, he probably won’t read this anyway and wouldn’t know if I did tell you, but I’d rather keep you from stalking his pictures. Ha!). Any exercise had to meet 4 requirements: 1.Easy, 2.Free, 3.Had to be done in the 3 alone hours I had in the AM and 3. Had to be able to do it from home because I didn’t have a car in the mornings. His answer…walking. Just 30 minutes 4-5 days a week (to start at least). And I could always add more time or other exercises later as I felt comfortable.

The next morning…I started walking.

It became my morning routine. Throw the Kidlet on the school bus…go walk for 30. I even got myself a pedometer to use. Between that morning walking and all the extra hours I was working at the store during the time, people said I was losing weight. I didn’t believe them. Until I decided to step on the scale. Yeah, I was losing weight. Eeeek!

I was enjoying my morning walks so much. I had a Spotify playlist and new pair of TARDIS blue earbuds…I was having a good time! Then, Jillian brought home an interesting piece of paper from school. It was regarding an upcoming 5K through the district. And you didn’t have to run it…you could WALK it! My brain went crazy and instantly decided I could do it. Yes, me, the most non-athletic girl in the world was going to walk a 5K. INSANITY!

I started upping my morning walk 1/2 mile at a time and eventually was able to get to 3.5 miles every morning (a 5K is 3.1 miles if you didn’t know…I didn’t!). I was doing this 5 days a week.

Ok, so it wasn’t 3.5 miles at first, but this was the first time I hit over 3 miles…I was crying so much I was so happy!

Come May (yes, I had only been walking for MAYBE 2 months…2 !?!?!?!) I was ready for my 5K!

Well, obviously, I didn’t die doing the 5K cause I’m writing this post. It was hard, I’ll be honest…I was so scared I was going to be last across the finish line, but I wasn’t! I did walk the whole thing even though we did have the option to run if we wanted. There is no way I was going to run it. I don’t run. I told a friend, “When the Zombie Apocalypse happens, I’ll probably be one of the first ones they’ll eat because I just don’t run”.

Me before heading out to the 5K. I know…bathroom mirror self portrait. *shakes head in shame*

Mr. Book Hipster took this as I was nearing the finish line. Look…I was waving…and SMILING!!!

5K Complete! I’m a hot, sweaty mess (and red faced to boot!), but I did it!!!

Here is my main reason for this post…if you’ve made it this far…I love you so much! This got a lot longer than I had planned and I’m sorry for that. Guess I had more to say than I thought. I have a goal…it may not seem like much, but to me it is HUGE! I’m still walking…and trying to watch what I eat. Well…I have 8 months before the 1 year anniversary of the 5K…8 months. And by this coming May I want to do the same 5K I did last year except I want to run/jog it. Just saying that out loud freaks me out and scares me. I already feel that it will not happen, but that is my inner voice saying that. Run…run…run… *shudder* I’m posting it here to hold myself accountable to all of you (well, those of you who actually care) that I want to do this. If you follow me on Twitter or FB and I seem kind of down about my walking/weight/running, throw me a note of encouragement or something. That is one of the things that really helped me when I first started walking. I’d get text from Mr. Book Hipster or from a few friends who knew I was walking. It made my walks easier and boosted my confidence to keep at it. 😉

In regards to my weight loss I don’t share numbers. Ever. Mr. Book Hipster doesn’t even know how much I weigh. That is between me and the scale and God and a regular Doctor (when I decide to start seeing one again…don’t yell at me!). If I ever post a number here for the whole Blogoshpere to see, it will be an “I lost this amount of weight” number. Maybe if I ever get down to an insane number I wouldn’t be utterly humiliated to post, I’ll post it. However, I do not ever see that happening, so I’ll at least share the good numbers. Ok?

So…how much weight have I lost? Lots of it. To date, I’ve lost a total of 35 lbs!!! Now, that Disney vacation we went on didn’t help me even with all the walking as I gained 5 lbs back…ha ha ha! I’m at 30 lbs down though, so that is awesome! I’ve gone down 2 pant sizes and 1 shirt size!!! AND I had to take my wedding ring set to the jeweler to get it resized because it was falling off my finger! This is a HUGE ego boost for me! I look and feel so different! And this is the smallest I’ve been in my adult life. I’m about 10 lbs lighter than when I first met Mr. Book Hipster when I was 18. Crazy, huh? I’m hoping that by continuing in my walking and maybe eventually running, I’ll keep losing and will be able to look even better! Notice a difference in the pictures below??? Yeah…

Yes, a picture of a picture…sorry! Me…18 years old. Yikes!

Ignore the devil eyes, this was me in October 2008 (28 years old)

Kidlet and I…January 2011 (31 years old)

Me…April 2012 (before the 5K!)

Me…July 2012

Me just last week

Me…another one from last week.

And I’ll I’ve done is walk my butt off (literally, I’ve lost weight in my butt)!! Now, I tell people, if I can get off my butt and do it…really anyone can! Now I need to go walk…


24 comments on “A journey I’d never expected…

  1. JesseJamesFreeman
    September 3, 2012


  2. h. l. nelson
    September 3, 2012

    I love this! I can relate to a number of things in this post. The walking after Cael is on the bus is ON, as of tomorrow morning! Let’s do this together! 🙂

  3. stevenluna
    September 3, 2012

    You already know what I’m gonna say…BOOM, dammit – BOOM!

    • The Book Hipster
      September 3, 2012

      Ha! Thank you, Luna! I sat on this post a long time…empty. Wrote it all out this morning.

  4. Yay Stephanie! This is a beautiful post! Your honesty is wonderful and I will definitely drop you a note of encouragement if walking starts to drag you down. Exercise is a tough one to keep going at, and it’s so wonderful to see your journey’s progress already!

    • The Book Hipster
      September 3, 2012

      Thank you, Elise! I do love getting messages (encouraging or just for fun) while I’m out walking. It makes it go faster! 🙂

  5. lovelifecooking
    September 3, 2012

    I am so proud of you! You are fantastic and such an inspiration!

    • The Book Hipster
      September 3, 2012

      Hi, K!!! I almost wasn’t sure who was posting this until I saw your email addy. 🙂 I miss you, girlie! Send me a FB note sometime about how you and the Mr. are doing. ❤

  6. alexkimmell
    September 3, 2012

    Wow. Beautiful.

  7. Dusty Craine (@DustyCraine)
    September 4, 2012

    Great job! I lost my Dad last year to complications of heart disease due to him being morbidly obese. One day he looked at me and asked how much I weighed. I told him 265. He told me that he bet I didn’t weight a pound less than 300. He was wrong then but he was right a couple months after he died. I stepped on a scale and was shocked to see 307.

    I decided then and there to change things. My wife was on-board and we’ve been at it since December. I’ve lost 68 pounds. In January I ran the first mile of my life. I was stoked. I was overweight even in high school. The furthest I’ve run in my post 12-year-old life was 1/16th of a mile. My wife took up running and started pushing me.

    First she signed us up for a 5K in the spring. I “ran” it. Ran meaning slowly jogged. Then another. Then another. Then a 10K. Then a 10 mile. And we have a half-marathon scheduled for the end of the month. You can do this. If I can do it, anyone can.

    I actually wrote about it over on Did you see it?

    The point is that we really can do most anything we set our minds to. We’ll never fly by flapping our arms but weight-loss is doable. Walking is a fantastic start. It’s how I started. Next step is jogging. It’s slower and easier than you think. Take your time. Go for distance NOT speed. When I started I jogged about as fast as I walked but that’s alright. You got this.

    • The Book Hipster
      September 4, 2012

      Dusty, you and I have had this talk before on Twitter and I still love hearing what you’ve been able to accomplish! Thank you for posting this so I could be reminded of other inspirational people in my life. Can’t remember if I saw the post on Ben’s site, I’ll have to go check it out. 😉 *hug*

  8. Angee
    December 2, 2012

    Didn’t the weather affect your neuralgia? The wind/cold aggrevate mine. I’m newly diagnosed & still figuring out the right meds.

    • The Book Hipster
      December 2, 2012

      Angee, Yes. Last winter when it was windy and cold, it was not fun. There would be times just walking to the car from my apartment would bring me to tears from pain. However, I didn’t have the meds under control at that point. This winter, my neurologist and I feel I have the right amount of medication going through my system as I haven’t had any issues recently, so we’ll see what happens this winter. I hope that you and your doctor can figure out the right amount of meds for you. If you ever need to talk, feel free to drop me a line, okay?

  9. George Hilbert
    December 2, 2012

    Outstanding!!!!…..Although I DO exercise, I don’t get out as much as I would like. You have inspired me to go for a walk today and perhaps make it a regular addition to my weights and cardio…….Keep it up. You are my favorite new-found friend…

    • The Book Hipster
      December 2, 2012

      George, sad to say since writing this blog post, I was promoted to full time at the store, which means a lot of opening shifts. I haven’t done the morning walks in a while. 😦 I’m maintaining the weight loss though because I’m on my feet and walking at work for 8 hour shifts, so at least there is that. Just haven’t lost any more. At the apartment where we live, they are building a small exercise area that I hope will be done soon so I can start using the treadmill and such after working at night. Fingers crossed. I’m honored to be one of your favorite new-found friends. You are one of mine too!

      • tradergeorge1
        December 2, 2012

        As long as the will is there, you will find ways to make it happen. The hardest thing for me was always to stick with it when I hit “plateaus”, where despite hard workouts, I would see little change for weeks at a time. I later found out that this is your body exchanging fat for muscle, which weighs more. So, even though it was not visible, my body was still changing and getting healthier. I am available (almost) 24/7 if you find yourself in a rut, and need a sympathetic (email/text/msg/whatever)….

      • The Book Hipster
        December 2, 2012

        Thank you, George. You know the same always goes for you. xoxo

  10. Dawn Dobbins Hazlett
    April 4, 2013

    I have just been diagnosed with TN and need to walk too to lose weight. The battle of TN symptoms over the past 2 weeks have taken at least 10 pounds. I like docs scale better as it’s 15 pounds lighter than my home scale. I am looking forward to following you and your book reviews and weight loss journey.

    • The Book Hipster
      April 4, 2013

      Dawn, Welcome! I never lost weight because of my symptoms. It sounds like you might be in a lot of pain. I’m so sorry for that. 😦 TN is nasty and it can be overwhelming, I know. To be honest, I haven’t really lost much more weight since the post. I went from working part time to full time and don’t have a lot of extra exercise time. I need to get back to it, I miss it. Feel free to drop a comment anytime! And I see you found the FB page too, if you ever need to talk, just let me know, okay? Also, I belong to a FB Group specifically for TN, if you want, I can give you the address. *hugs*

  11. Brandi
    April 27, 2013

    I just “met” you and I’m very proud of you! Hope that you are able to make you’re goals and when is that next 5k?? I volunteer to cheer you on. :).

    • The Book Hipster
      April 27, 2013

      Hi, Brandi! I’m so happy you want to cheer me on. 🙂 I’m actually not doing the 5K this year after all. Other things have happened and I wasn’t able to train properly. Maybe next year…

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This entry was posted on September 3, 2012 by in My Life..., Uncategorized and tagged , , , .


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