Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A History of Weight Gain

I have always had a weight problem.  I grew up in a time when your parents told you to eat everything on your plate, even if you didn't like it.

As a child I sought my parents approval, and always did what I was told.  I remember plenty of times, when my sister would have to sit at that kitchen table for hours because she didn't like what was being served and therefore refused to eat it.  I also remember our family dog, sitting right under her at the table.  Im sure our dog got her fill of my sisters dinner often!  In return, my sister didn't have the same problems that I did with weight.

I was a pudgy kid and grew into a pudgy adolescent, than just a fat teenager.  I went to lean line, weight watchers, a diet doctor, I would lose weight, sometimes substantial weight and then regain it as soon as I stopped going.  It wasn't like I was sedentary, I would go outside, we owned a pool and played running bases in the summer time.  I walked to school and back. It wasn't like I was not getting any exercise at all.  But the weight just piled on.

As I entered my late teens, early twenties, I would gain and lose yearly, other wise known as yo-yo dieting.   I was about 180 to 200 lbs when Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem came around, and of course, I had to try and again I lost about 80lbs and picked up some good habits that I still have today but,  I drank too much alcohol and other things (I'll just leave it at that) By the time I was 30 I was about 220 - 230 lbs.

Atkins was big back in those days, so I tried that, and I lost about 60lbs.  but within a couple of years I gained it all back plus some.  But I believe by this time in my life the damage was already done.  Decades of Yo-Yo dieting began to take its toll.  It was getting harder and harder to lose weight and the more I tried and failed, the more I would eat.

By the time I hit 40, I had uncontrolled diabetes II, multiple issues with my metabolism and overall health and I was about 260 lbs.  It was getting harder to do every day activities, just walking was a strain.  I quit smoking when I was 42, and as much as I am very happy I did that, I gained more weight.  I was taking about 5 different medications a day plus and enormous amount of insulin, which never really controlled my blood sugar levels.  The diabetes did not help with losing any weight, I just kept packing it on.  It was becoming a vicious circle.

I was about 45 when Bariatric Surgery was becoming the way to go to lose weight.  There were lots of great success stories, there were also some pretty messed up horror stories.  Since the insurance that I had through my work did not cover the bariatric surgery, even if it was medically necessary, I could only wait and pray that one day it would.

In the mean time, someone in my office did have the surgery.  I watched him shrink almost daily.  I was so happy for him but in the same respect, I was sad for myself.  My weight and health problems were spiraling out of control, I was probably close to 300lbs in my mid 40's.  My health was deteriorating rapidly and I was spending a fortune on meds and doctors every year.

Then, my work changed insurance companies, I was 47 at the time and about 320lbs.  In April of 2014, I made my first appointment with the surgeon.  I spent a small fortune on copays and testing through that summer, and my surgery was put off once by the stupid pulmonologist, but on 9/2/2014. I did what I never thought I would do.  I had my stomach removed.  And now, I have an 8 oz tube inside me.   The day I went in for the surgery, I was 353lbs.

Over the first year after my surgery, I lost a total of 130.  But since I stopped losing weight by way of the surgery.  It has been so incredibly hard to lose anymore weight and to keep off what I did lose.  But I believe that now a lot of the problems I am having are because of my age.  Which will bring me to my next post in this series about losing weight over 50.

It's been a hell of a ride, but I would say it was well worth every single step of it. Even with the problems that I experience now, I'm ok with that.  I can walk 5 miles and not be winded after 50 feet, I am off of almost all of the medications I was taking.  I have to still take the thyroid and cholesterol meds, and my medical bills are almost non existent, which is great but kinda sucks because I used to be able to write them off my taxes...

I am very happy with the decision I made. If anyone were to ask me if I would do it again.