Sunday, December 13, 2009
I could say that I've struggled with my weight all of my adult life, but that wouldn't be true. There wasn't much struggle there.
I was a skinny child and an average sized adolescent. I gained weight in college, but lost it in my senior year after a nasty two-week bout of flu. I was quite slim when I married at age 23. Over the next 10 years, and two children, my weight crept up to what was to become my adult poundage. I knew intellectually that I was overweight. I even joked about shopping at the fat lady shops for clothes, but I never really felt fat. I just accepted my weight and got on with my life. We lived in Bermuda for 5 and 1/2 years and kept pretty active with swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. After we returned to the states and eventually settled in Virginia, I joined the local county recreation center and swam or did the treadmill for 30 to 45 minutes a day, six days a week for about 10 years. I even did the weight machines 2 or 3 times a week. My husband and I went out to eat a lot and my weight didn't vary much. I lost some weight after developing gluten intolerance, but after my digestive problems were diagnosed and solved by a gluten free diet, the weight came back.
After Bermuda I had returned to the interesting, challenging job that I'd left before my daughter was born. I bought nice clothes so I would look professional at work. I shopped for plus size clothes, but I shopped at Victoria's Secret, too.
As I aged, the excess weight began to take it's toll on my health. I took medication to control my high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I developed diabetes and took more medication to control my blood sugar. Unfortunately, one diabetic drug I took, Avandaryl, caused me to gain 30 pounds. I switched medication to Metformin and 10 pounds came off immediately, but the rest of the weight I'd gained seemed to want to hang around.
I couldn't really worry about my own health at that time because my husband's kidneys failed and he had to go on dialysis and finally get a kidney transplant. Since the transplant his health has been wonderful and things have settled down a little.
Then this past year my right leg began to swell and I had several episodes of cellulitis. I saw a specialist who prescribed compression stockings for me. I asked how long I would have to wear them and he said, "Until you lose 50 pounds." My first reaction was, "Well I guess I'll be buried in those suckers, then." But when I thought about it I decided I would give dieting a chance. I knew my sister had lost a lot of weight and kept it off with the help of Spark People, but I decided to go it alone, and I lost 12 pounds in 6 weeks.
Then life intervened again. I slipped on a wet deck and broke my left ankle in three places. I used 2 months of my accumulated sick leave to recover from the surgery and found myself with no ability to be active, and a lot of time on my hands. So I joined Spark People and starting tracking my calories. I really enjoyed that and found it helped me to eat rationally. I lost another 8 pounds and hope to lose 30 more.
I love poetry. I don't write poetry, but I collect poems and like to share them. Here is a poem by Robert Browning that I've always liked:
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be;
The last of life, for which the first was made;
Our times are in his hand
Who saith, “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: See all, nor be afraid!”
I'm living a good life, but I still believe "the best is yet to be."