When Breaking Up With Food Is Life Or Death
I have to break up with food before it kills me.
I clearly remember some 2 1/2 years ago when I wrote that on my weight loss blog. At 359 lbs, I weighed more than Shaquille O’Neal. I was wearing a 26/28, the very last size in Lane Bryant. I was suffering from borderline diabetes mellitus, sleep apnea, mild asthma, joint pain, and high blood pressure. I was only 28, but at the rate I was going, it wasn’t certain I would see 38.
I had to break up with food before it killed me.
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t overweight. I was a chubby kid and have some memories of my mother sometimes having a hard time finding clothes for me for special occasions. She tried to help me – there were doctor’s visits, specialized weight loss programs, gym memberships and dance classes. I would have initial success and then return to my same old habits. It got to the point that I was taking money from my her purse to buy extra food. I was am an addict.
By the time I got to high school, I tipped the scales at 250lbs. I don’t ever remember weighing anything less. I joke that I went from diapers to size 3x overnight. Looking back, I can clearly identify the reasons I started gaining weight. My overdeveloped frame drew unwanted attention and thus began a sense of unease around men that still persists today. Essentially, I put on a fat suit to shield me. The fatter I got, the less attention I would draw. By the time I went off to college, I was well over 300lbs.
Even at 359lbs, I still embraced life. I started traveling internationally right after I graduated. I had romantic relationships. I dressed better than most people I knew, overweight or normal. I was always aware that I was often the largest thing in the room, but it wasn’t something that constantly bothered me. I wasn’t miserable. My personality and style was such that people didn’t treat me differently because of my weight – at least not to my face. I just went about my life as a morbidly obese woman, assuming that’s how it would always be. I didn’t even own a scale and often didn’t know my weight until my yearly physical. Like so many things in my life, if I ignored it, it wasn’t an issue.
As I entered my late twenties, I started noticing more joint pain, particularly in my knees. I was getting more winded. I was tired of carrying around the weight of two people. I discovered that I was borderline diabetic, something I had always feared. I was tired of taking up more than my share of the train seat ; tired of dreading the whispered request for a seat belt extension. I didn’t want to end up a statistic – losing my life to something preventable. I had too much to live for.
I had to do something.
I had to break up with food before I killed me.
I am Vivrant Thang, a new guest blogger here at Sweet Potato Pie. I feel I have an important story to tell -how I lost 140lbs and seven dress sizes and added years to my life. It’s not a conventional story, but one I hope that some of you will relate to and learn from.