I have always been overweight.
I was a skinny kid, a chubby pre-teen, an overweight high schooler, and an obese adult.
I think I went on my first diet when I was a pre-teen – Low-carb, Atkins, the one with grapefruit, one with apple cider vinegar. There was one where you ate very limited meals at very specific times, there were a few where your meals were delivered directly to your home. There were online communities, countless articles read, countless calories counted. There was the dietitian led diet, which was done in conjunction with my doctor.
Obviously, I didn’t expect diet alone to be enough. There have been SO many gym memberships. So many. There have been 5 a.m. boot camps before work. There have been different work out classes, personal trainers. Months of regular workouts, followed by months of doing nothing. The thing about working out is that it can be really hard to do so when you feel like crap about yourself!
I have lost weight, only to put it back on… but even at my lowest weight (from about the time I was 13) I have always been in what would be the Overweight or Obese category. I would lose some weight, sometimes I even managed to keep it off for a small period of time, then I would inevitably put it back on – usually those pounds would bring some friends along.
I saw myself go from a size 12 to a size 14, a size 18 by my freshman year of college, to an incredibly snug size 22 now… I cannot bring myself to even try size 24 pants on, so I bought a crap ton of leggings! There are more X’s in my T-shirt size than I would like to admit… I suddenly find myself with less than 1/4 of my closet fitting me at the moment.
I had heard of weight loss surgery. I even knew a couple people who had it done, but it was never for me. I knew I was overweight… but for some reason, I never really saw myself as being that overweight. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) when I was 18, but nothing was ever really done about it. My back gave out on my at the age of 27, but aside from that, I have always been in good health.
The idea of weight loss surgery has been on my radar as something I should seriously consider for the last few months. However, that came along with some feelings of guilt and a true emotional struggle for me. I talked it over with my partner, who has always been incredibly supportive and never ceases to reassure me that I am beautiful and attractive.. we went back and forth over the pros and cons and we decided that we would talk it over with my doctors.
I recently went for my yearly physical. Talk about a wake-up call!
According to my doctors office, I am 5’9.25″ (I am still upset about this, as I have always believed myself to be a solid 5’10”) and weigh 278lbs. (writing this number out and putting it on the interwebs is terrifying, btw) This is the heaviest I have EVER been. I knew I was heavy – but after checking my BMI, I was told that I am officially in the morbidly obese category!
Working out and eating right is a great way to stave off obesity, but working out and dieting only work long term for 5% of people who are already obese. Basically, 95% of obese individuals will re-gain most weight they manage to lose through a lifestyle change.
That was the push I needed.
There are so many diseases that run on one or both sides of my family – diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc. – and I am incredibly lucky that at 32 years old, I am in relatively good health. Here is the thing, I do not plan on waiting until I am sick to pursue my weight loss options. I do not want to die from a heart attack when I am 40. I want to learn to live a healthy lifestyle. I don’t want to feel guilty for the space I take up. I don’t want to short change my partner – who is planning on a long life together.
That is the gist of how I got to where I am right now. I am not super proud of it, but it is what it is. This is where I am, so where can I go from here? I am choosing to look to the future and take advantage of the help and support being offered to me.
This blog will be my journey through the entire process and then some – the good, the bad, and the ugly (I’m cringing already at how open I have pledged to be about the entire process).