Due to a series of health complications, Katie Bolden’s dream of becoming a mother were threatened.
Newly married, the fear of not being able to conceive led the now 31-year-old on a transformation journey that would change her life.
She struggled with her weight for most of her life, and always had a toxic relationship with food. By the time Katie married her high-school sweetheart in November 2012, she weighed 280 pounds and was at her heaviest.
“I ate like crap 100% of the time, so it was no surprise that I felt like crap 100% of the time, she said.
When enough is enough
On what was supposed to be the biggest day of her life, Katie began experiencing painful muscles spasms, blurry vision and fatigue. On top of it, she didn’t feel comfortable in her wedding dress.
“It was a happy day,” she said, “but I didn’t feel completely happy with myself or my appearance.”
She was no stranger to mental illness either, having to cope with depression and anxiety for years before deciding to prioritize health.
“I had absolutely no self-confidence, drive, or ambitions,” she said.
In 2010, Katie was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Fast-forward two years later, she received a pre diagnosis for multiple sclerosis after she’d experienced numerous neurological symptoms, which included losing sight temporarily in one eye.
Around the same time, she was officially diagnosed with glaucoma, manic depression and two anxiety disorders.
“The possibility of losing my abilities to walk, run, see, regardless if any of it was temporary or permanent, said Katie. “It shook me to my core.”
Looking for her purpose in life
This new reality drove her to seriously question her purpose in life and the kind of role model she would be for her children.
“It left a huge void in my heart to know that I haven’t been living this one and only precious life that I have been given,” she said.
“I was wasting it away. I was simply existing and not living.”
It took of hard work, but after all of the hardship, Katie was determined to unlearn a lifetime of unhealthy habits and take her life back.
She began exercising and making small changes to her diet in 2013. A year and a half later, she’d lost 75 pounds and was rewarded for her efforts with the greatest gift of all: a baby girl, Harlie Jade.
“My outlook on life has completely changed to the opposite of what it once was,” she said. “I have more patience these days because I know that everything happens for a reason.”
Today, she’s lost a total of 150 pounds and is expecting another child in December 2018.
“Because of my journey, I am a more positive person,” said Katie.
“I am full of love, life and passion. I have learned that nobody can save you but you.”