And don’t let anyone tell you differently when it comes to your personal struggle for losing weight (or anything for that matter). I know (as this recent article shows) I’m doing really very well in my pursuit to lose weight but it wasn’t always this easy; scratch that it’s not this easy in fact. The struggle is real y’all.
I recently had a conversation with someone who has never been overweight their entire life. Unlike me they were genetically blessed with a metabolism that didn’t run at a snails pace (I have a hypo-thyroid if you recall) and while I won’t sit here and say none of my weight issues were my fault I thought what I would do is try and articulate as best I possibly can as to why exactly I got where I was when this journey to lose weight started back in 2012.
I’m going to start with the simple truth that this isn’t my first go around the weight loss merry-go-round. In fact I have tried (semi-successfully) to lose a significant amount of weight on two previous occasions before I was diagnosed with my hypo-thyroid. The first time was back in late 2003 (December) and at the time I had ballooned up to a, for the time, staggering 415 pounds.
I, and my roommate at the time decided to read Dr. Atkins book and go on his diet program. He had previous experience with the diet and for the 8 months we we’re both doing the diet supporting each other I lost around 100 pounds and for the first time in years at that point my weight was about to start with a 2 and not a 3 or a 4.
But as happens with life sometimes in July of 2004 my support system failed me in the form of changing jobs and cities and he and I both back slid horribly and I rather quickly gained all my weight back. As I approached that 400 pound mark again (around mid 2006) I decided I really needed to make an effort and for a short time I had some mild success using the Nutrisystem program, but that too failed because in the end the food was terrible and more importantly I had not implemented the much needed support system around me.
So flash forward to 2012 where my journey started again and for what I know is the last time. You met me here at a debilitating 555 pounds and by this point I had completely just passed over the fact I was so large in my mind. I suffered from several physical aliments but the one non-physical one I’ve really not talked about until now is the one that partly caused me to not notice my sometimes slow but mostly fact paced decent into my own demise. And that particular aliment is depression. Something I didn’t even know I really suffered from (most don’t) for years but once I was diagnosed and medicated I slowly began to see myself, for the first time in my life, as who I actually was in a physical sense. My depression didn’t alter too much of my self worth, or so I thought… truth is it did that every single day and still does some days.
Even today for example when I grab a pair of jeans that are size 40 I look at them and still can’t believe I’ll even be able to get one leg in there let alone both plus my butt, let alone need to use a belt. Some days when I look at myself in the mirror I still see that 555 pound guy who can’t walk 100 feet, that guy who needs 90mg of Morphine just to manage my pain, that guy who has little or actually no self worth, that guy who had all but given up on life. And the truth is that struggle I expect may never go away, but I’m okay with that. Because now I know that even when I feel down I have a support system, and not just the amazing folks at Vanderbilt Surgical Weight Loss, but the people in the support group there, the support groups elsewhere, my facebook page, my friends, both locally and abroad who constantly remind me how proud they are and my family who every day knows all well the struggle I’ve faced.
So the struggle is real friends, and you need a support system to get through it. And you have one, we all have one; sometimes we need to find it and sometimes it needs to find us, but it’s there. Don’t let haters who don’t understand your pain tell you that you’re not worthy, and don’t let yourself be dulled by the what is a seemingly insurmountable amount of weight to lose because trust me, it isn’t. It isn’t ever too much until it’s too late. In 2012 I was given a year to live by my doctor and between that comment, and my best friend in the world not accepting my excuses to get treatment sparked my journey to where I am today.
So my struggle was to not even notice my world crumbling down around me, my struggle was to ignore in some cases and honestly just not even see the very fact I was killing myself, and not that slowly either. My struggle was to not put my life in my own hands and chose to live, chose to breathe, chose to lose weight.
Well “life is a choice” and with the help of my friends, my family and sometimes perfect strangers I chose to live it. The struggle may remain, but my will to overcome it is strengthened each and every day. I won’t lie and say it’s easy, nor will I say it’s always hard; my journey is my own, and your journey is your own, but we all share in the struggle. So if you’re reading this and are thinking about a weight loss program that does or does not involve surgery and have a question or want to share your journey with me please comment below or send me a message on my facebook page.
Don’t let anyone, including yourself, tell you it’s not possible, don’t let anyone discourage you form sharing your journey, your success or your struggle. Relish in the victories and learn from the defeats.
~rev (275 pounds)