03 May 2011
So, today I am going to talk about something that has been dear to my heart. This what my students call "real talk." I've struggled with obesity since my teen years. After having two children and going through a really emotional and messy divorce in my mid 20's, I had gained approximately 40 pounds. Consequently, having a third child did nothing but make the weight gain more profound and I gained another 40 pounds. This compounded with a family history of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and diabetes was just a recipe for disaster.
For some time in October I was experiencing headaches, sluggishness, heart palpitations and dizziness. The urgi-care doctor recommended I have a complete physical since I was also receiving care for kidney stones. I was a HOT mess! I waited until January to see my doctor.
Once my vitals were taken by the nurse, my doctor entered the exam room and looked over my chart (which is now online, I have some issues about confidentiality and security but will save that for another post). Dr. K. looked me in the eye and said, "You are going to kill yourself. You're only 37 and morbidly obese. You have borderline high blood pressure. This is just the beginning. You will have heart disease, diabetes and who knows what else by the time you're 50."
My first thought was, "What the flagnog? Who the hell does she think she is?" But despite my immediate anger, a lightbulb went off and I realized she was right. I had to do something differently because I was on a path to destruction. So, I stopped eating the bad stuff. I had withdrawals like you wouldn't believe. I keep a food log everyday on my iPhone using the Lose It! app. I exercise by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking on the treadmill three times per week and lifting small cans (not strong enough for regular weights yet). I also don't eat late night snacks anymore; 7 pm is the cutoff. All in all, I began at 258 lbs and am now down to 235. I lost 23 pounds in eight months. I probably could have lost more but am proud that I got even this far.
I will not lie. There are times when I crave a cookie or want to have a bagel with cream cheese but so far I have been able to keep these cravings to a minimum. I would love to hear your struggles, successes and strategies on living a healthy lifestyle. It's nice to know that perhaps, I'm not so alone in this never ending battle against obesity.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons: