Since I recently started digging around for old photos and have given a lot of thought to how things used to be when I was a lot heavier, I find myself wondering why some of the scary moments I had in my past weren't enough to get me off my duff and do something about it.
Although my weight admittedly fluctuated a bit, it mostly stayed in the 250-280 range most of my adult life. But I did gain a lot when I moved in with my ex-boyfriend in my mid-twenties. I was at my highest back in 2004, when I had gone all the way up to the 360 range. And it really didn't help that I was a smoker and turning into an alcoholic . . .
It's easy to avoid the doctor when you weigh well over 300 pounds, as it seems all you ever hear is how you need to lose weight. And you know you do; I guess you just don't want to have it pounded into your head and be nagged and judged? My mother was obese and very sickly; only in her fifties when she died. Far too young. I was only 19 when that happened . . . did I want that to happen to me too?
I had a rather weak bladder even when I was a kid, but when I had gotten to my highest weight? I got a really bad case of overactive bladder. When I had to go, I had to go now.
Not only was I too embarrassed to go to the doctor about it, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to afford any treatment for it regardless. It's a really bad position to be in and made working difficult.
There was a day where I was driving to the store after work. I remember feeling a little light-headed during the day but thought little of it until I felt myself beginning to pass out behind the wheel! I came to as I started to pull over, rested my head for a moment, but then seemed fine and continued driving.
Was I crazy to not get checked after that or what?
I thought I'd outgrown my childhood asthma, but it came back with a vengeance at the time. Crazy how I didn't make a connection between that and the weight I'd gained. I ended up in the emergency room over it a few times.
So which of the above made me decide that I really
needed to lose weight? None actually . . . sadly enough, it was a day when I went shopping with my best friend at the time. We'd hit Fashion Bug. As we walked around the store, I made the realization that none of the jeans there would fit me. I ran off to another store and hid in the bathroom, unable to stop crying. Just . . . how on earth did I let myself get in that position? And I still wonder why that moment, of all moments, was the one that woke me up.
I knew I'd been severely depressed. I was trying so hard to make a bad relationship work, and had recently moved out of my dad's house, whom I soon found out was dying of pancreatic cancer. So much of that era is a blur now, but I recall we ordered a lot of deep-fried take-out that we really couldn't afford, and I often treated myself to all sorts of treats and snacks. Heh, and I knew better. I knew all about eating right and exercising, but I felt out of control for whatever reason.
So I put my foot down and got rid of the junk in the house. I picked up fresh fruits and veggies, said no to the soda and other simple carbs, took advantage of the free YMCA membership I had at the time, and got into the groove. Which caused a lot of arguing between my ex and I. I didn't try to force anything on him, but he got awfully defensive over the way he ate, to the point he tried to force his way of eating on me! I'd be in the middle of fixing up a nice salad when he'd make a Burger King run and shove a greasy sandwich in my face, then get angry at me for turning it down. I really don't know why I put up with that for so long . . . and I don't remember how or why I finally caved in and gave up on myself again.
Luckily when I stopped dieting that time I was able to lose a bit more and at least maintain the loss, unlike the other two times in my life I lost a significant amount and gained every bit back (and then some). And luckily it was enough to put the health problems I'd developed into submission. No more bladder issues, no more random light-headedness or blacking out, and no more asthma. Oh and eventually . . . no more ex-boyfriend either.
I also quit smoking and stopped drinking at that point.
It took me a long time to reach this point of wanting to be healthier again. At least, wanting it badly enough to do something about it. The past couple of years were rough for me. Not really an excuse, mind you . . . I knew better all along, but think I had a mental break-down after living in poverty and struggling to turn everything around, and even after things got better I really wasn't ready to start living again. Luckily I managed to wake up again in the past few months.
I'm not really sure what the point of my post is here, I guess I needed to ramble and vent a bit. Life's a lot better these days, and it's amazing the difference the weight loss has made as well as a more positive attitude.
I know there will always be scary moments, but I also know that making my health a priority will take care of a lot of worries. Just how much better can my health and state of mind get as I keep losing? I can't wait to find out.