Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Weight Until Now: Part 2 of 2

To Read Part One: Click Here

As you have read, by college I was 285, which is a good amount of money but not weight. My freshmen year, I was on a meal plan, so it was easy for me to start portion control. I would eat until I was satisfied and then if I got hungry, bad luck, because I couldn’t afford anything in my room. Also, that year I learned the awesome sport of racquetball. I played so much that year, and the years to come in college. My only problem was, if there was no one to play with, I simply would not go workout, or even go and play a bit by myself. To me it still was not exercise or work, but a game for fun. By my sophomore year, I had lost some weight, and was probably down to 250. However, the problem was that my sophomore year, I liked this female (a lot, more about this in another blog) and when I got rejected, it really hurt. I was depressed of course, so I stopped playing racquetball, hid myself in my room, and ate (cause now I had some money to buy food). By the end of the year, I had gained back all my weight.

During graduate school and the two year after that working retail, I mostly maintained my weight. I did start trying to eat healthier things, which is good, but I was still far from exercising. I was just too busy or too tired, but really I wasn’t too anything, I just wanted excuses not to work out because it is hard, difficult, and inconvenient. In addition, because of bladder infections and a small kidney infection, I decided to start drinking less sodas and more water. This is when I cut down to one soda a day and most of the time, even to this day, will be walking around with a water bottle.

However, between graduate school and my current residency, I was pretty depressed about not having a good job, paying student loans, and working the two jobs I did have... and so, yes I enjoyed food. Bad food is cheap and it is easy to use food as a reward system or to partake merely because it tastes good. It can be something good when you feel like crap. The problem is that temporary good keeps adding up, turning into more pounds, and more weight... not just physical weight but also mental and emotional weight, because then you get depressed because you are big... and to feel better you eat to feel better, and so forth and so on... I think you get the cycle.

When I first started my residency, I had no money; I had used almost everything to move, so for the first few months, all I ate was sandwiches and spaghetti (Sandwiches are cheap and I got a box of spaghetti from a friend). It lasted me about 4-6 months. Of course, now looking back, all I can think is: I was eating so many carbs and so much starch! Anyway this brings me to what I think of as: The Change.

The Change happens to people for different reasons. Mine happened because of a patient I saw at the hospital. I was meeting with this guy who was really obese, so obese he was in one of the large beds and also had a variety of medical issues. This man was about my age and married. The problem was that he was so overweight that he could not have the gastric bypass surgery that could help him to save his life. The doctor said he had to lose weight, not just to get the surgery but to prove it wasn’t going to be a waste if it was done with him. I was glad to hear the man had a plan and would hopefully be back soon for the surgery; however, it made me really think about my own weight. Do I really want to be this big? Do I want to be this unhealthy? Do I want to be that man in the bed in 10-20 years going through the same thing?

My answer was a resounding no, so I started being even more intentional about eating better, getting advice from people and looking up better things to eat online. This was not going to be some diet but a life change. I was going to eat better and keep learning and changing to eat better. I also needed to start exercising immediately, so I started with a goal of working out twice a week for thirty minutes. The sad thing is it was so hard, not the time but the actually work. I just hadn’t forced my body to move like that. Over the next few months I kept increasing the days I worked out and the amount of time. I am proud to say now I am working out four times a week for one hour each. Yes, mostly I play racquetball... still my first love for exercise, but when I cannot play I do strength training and/or workout at my apartment. There are no excuses anymore, but the work is starting to pay off.

When I started working out and eating better in February of 2012 I was 325 pounds, then got down to 305, then 295, and last time (before Christmas) I was at 291. So, I have lost about 30 pounds, which has been a lot of work for me, not just physically but also emotionally and mentally (and it still is work, hard but beneficial work). My next goal is to get to 275, then 250. I just hope and pray I can keep this up, because it is so easy to just eat badly or not to work out. However, while I may be bad sometimes, I have stayed with my conviction enough that I have not once just stopped completely. I have persevered and hope to continue, I will continue.

If I am being honest, the next couple of months are going to be tough. I start looking for jobs in February to hopefully have a job before my residency ends in September. I am most fearful of getting depressed, anxious, and/or nervous and eating poorly; in addition to, not working out like I need to during this time. However, I am on the right track now and I don’t really think giving up is an option anymore. I am fighting for my future self, for me, for whoever may be my future wife and for any future kids. I want me to be happy and have more energy. I want to be around for a long while.

So, that is my journey thus far.

What has your journey been like?
Have you had The Change? If so, what happened?
What has been your relationship with food?
What has been your relationship with exercising?
What has been your relationship with a healthy self-image?

I am so very interested in YOUR story too, please comment or message me.

God Bless you in your own journey, whatever it may be!

~ Daniel

Saturday, December 29, 2012

My Weight Until Now: Part 1 of 2

I have been pondering writing about my weight for a while now. Alongside dating, it is something very personal to me, not only how much and how far I have to go, but also some of the reasons why it has taken so long and is so hard to start anew.

I began my journey of being overweight (which turned into morbid obesity in college; however, let’s start with being overweight). My journey began in middle school. To look at any pictures of me now from middle school, one wouldn’t really know I was very much overweight, or at least beginning to be overweight. I remember at one point in middle school looking at the scale and it reading about 135 pounds. That means by the age of 12-14, I was already getting close to the actual weight I should be at today for a male with a height of 5-6".

I remember looking at the scale, thinking: What the hek? How did I get that big? What am I doing to myself? Of course, being so young, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t really have a lot of conviction at that age. I really really did not like being up in front of people... and I knew from TV shows that if I became the big guy I would have to (1) Stay under the radar, (2) I would get made fun of, or (3) I would have to become the funny guy. I mostly tried to stay under the radar from bullies (not that they were like the ones on TV), but sometimes the other two options popped up. Also, at that age, I was also dealing a lot with other changes, so that is the first time I let my weight slide. Instead of dealing with my weight and/or talking to my parents about my concerns, I just pushed back those thoughts, ate whatever I wanted, and didn’t exercise. This is all before highschool.

In highschool, at least for lunch, I remember eating very horrible every day. I almost never ate from the regular lunch line. I would eat pizza, burritos, or some other fried foods. I would also try to get Twix or some soda if I had the money. It isn’t that these things are bad, but things like these should not be eaten every day, five times a week, for nine months. In highschool, I really "blossomed". I think highschool is when I gained the most amount of weight; my guess is I went from about 150 or 160 to about 285 by the time of graduation. I already said I didn’t eat well, but I also stopped playing outside, so besides not exercising intentionally, I was also not playing outside with friends anymore. Of course, this wasn’t intentional, they were just in ROTC or sports and I was, well... in choir. Don’t get me wrong, I loved choir, but if I could go back, I would tell myself to get in order.

Did you have weight issued early in life? If so, explain.
Did you have self-image issues? What were they?

I am so very interested in YOUR story, please comment or message me.

God Bless you in your own journey, whatever it may be!

~ Daniel

To Read Part Two: Click Here