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    MAGGIEROSEBOWL   27,840
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I never realized how unhappy I was....

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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

...until I lost 180 lbs. I never thought of myself as an unhappy person when I was morbidly obese. I was a master at ignoring my weight problem, pretending it didn't matter, that it didn't exist. I had a happy marriage, raised three sons, held down a full-time job and maintained a household all while being way too fat. Things were okay on the surface. And yet, as much as I tried to deny it or ignore it, I KNEW in my heart that being fat was literally ruining my life. It was the controlling factor in everything I did, especially as I got older, and the weight started to really effect my joints. Movement became really difficult, so I just sat in front of the TV, day after day. When I wanted to go somewhere, I had to consider, how far away would I have to park, what kinds of chairs would there be to sit in, would I be able to get through aisles or halls or around people easily or would my obesity prevent me from enjoying the activity I wanted very badly to participate in? These were the questions I asked myself before I went anywhere. I did not attend the high school graduations of several of my nieces and nephews, simply because I didn't want to walk too far from the car, I didn't think I could manage stairs in a gym, or handle walking on bleachers. I never fit in ONE chair when they would put a bunch of folding chairs close together as they like to do for those events, my bloated body always spilled over into the chairs on either side of me, and what if one of those metal chairs broke when I sat down? Too humiliating to even think about. There were so many things about my obesity that held me back from living a full life. The clothes I wore were HUGE, probably a size or two too big, just because I didn't want anything tight. I thought I was disguising my obesity by wearing FULL, flowing clothes, plus they were just more comfortable. Shoes didn't fit anymore. I wore Birkenstock sandals all year around because they were the only shoe that would go over my swollen feet. My ankles would swell every evening, and I would wake up in the night with my heart pounding, sure I was about to have a massive heart attack as my mother did, and suddenly die. I worried, I was scared, I was limited in what I could do and I felt powerless to change. It was overwhelming. I had so much weight to lose. How could I give up that fattening food I stuffed myself with and loved so much? I would tell myself that eating was my ONE joy in life. I never let myself get hungry, I constantly ate. I wasn't a person who could eat a huge amount at one time, but I ate ALL THE TIME! It's interesting how food really doesn't taste as good when you're not hungry. Food actually tastes better to me now, the fruits and vegetables and lean meat that make up my diet are delicious. I never ate those kinds of food before, concentrating on potato chips, candy, cookies, fattening meats, potatoes, gravy, butter, bread. And yet I never realized how sad I was. I thought this was my life, this is how I would live and die (probably young), as an obese woman.

But that day the doctor said to me, "The EKG seems to show you've already had a heart attack," really opened my eyes. Going to the doctor was always such an ordeal. He made me come in every six months for a blood pressure check-up and I dreaded it. The gowns didn't fit, the blood pressure cuff was too small, it was hard for the technicians to find a vein in my arm through all the fat when the doctor ordered lab tests, I argued with the nurse when she wanted to "get my weight." I didn't want to know how much I weighed. I didn't want them to know. Because then the lectures started. Oh my doctor was kind, but I felt his disapproval, his worry and concern, because my blood pressure was not being controlled by the 5 meds I was on, he knew I was headed for diabetes, high cholesterol, and quite possibly a stroke or heart attack. I'm sure that's why he misread the EKG, he just assumed I was already in trouble.

That day he spoke those words to me--Dec. 14, 2009--was the day my life changed forever. No longer would I eat mindlessly and consume thousands of calories beyond what my body needed every day of my life. No longer could I ignore what I had done to my body, to my health, to my life. I was almost 59 years old and that day I decided I would get healthier. I never thought I could be healthy, I just wanted to be healthier than I currently was.

Today--I AM HEALTHY! Oh, sure there are minor problems anybody has when they're 61 years old. Sometimes I am jealous when I see people who are crouched down, talking to their kids at eye-level, because my knees are so bad I could not begin to get in a crouched position. Not only would it KILL me to do so, I would never be able to straighten back up. But I know arthritis is my draw in life. It might just be in my genes, or it might be that the years of obesity did their damage, or a combination. Whatever--I can live with it--and there are surgeries that can help you feel better. I am having a hysterectomy on May 22, to take care of some other problems. When I scheduled the surgery, the nurse/scheduler told me, 'You're thin, you shouldn't have any complications with surgery." What a joy to hear that four-letter word: THIN!

I'm just back from a vacation where WALKING was the number one thing we did. We walked for miles, just touring the different sites, and there was never any question about whether or not I could do it. I knew I could. I had the energy and the ability, and besides I've been training for this very thing, with all my walking down the road in front of my house for the last two years.

And I feel so happy. Living life in a normal sized body is more wonderful than I ever imagined. It's so much easier than being fat. Sure sometimes I want to indulge in some food I know I don't need, or eat a bigger portion of something I really love. But I know this new life is all dependent upon me making the right choices and I think it's getting a little easier.

I saw the scale doing a slow upward climb in the last few months. I was being careful, but not careful enough evidently. So when we got back into town after vacation, I started once again making the really good choices that allowed me to lose all the weight in the first place and the scale is going back down! I want to lose 5 more pounds before my surgery which is 2 weeks from today. I feel good that I have gotten back into this more disciplined way of eating after eating too much for a while. I was afraid once I started that UPward climb on the scale I would not be able to reverse it. But now I have proved to myself that I can. It's a new life, a joyful life, a NORMAL life, and it's a life that I can feel blessed to be given the chance to lead.

I wore a new frilly, feminine, lacy blouse to work yesterday and made hubby take a picture. I LIKE feeling like a girl again, even at the ripe old age of 61!


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1GROVES2 2/11/2013 9:31AM

    Awesome!
I also lost weight by walking, but now I have foot problems and have to find something else to do......
Thanks for a wonderful blog!

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PSHOWS 2/3/2013 6:57PM

    Wow! You are such an inspiration to me. I am 61... Almost 62!

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JOANNHUNT 2/3/2013 3:23PM

    emoticon LADY emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon LOVE THAT SHIRT

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VBA2009 1/29/2013 12:39PM

    emoticon

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BRADIA 12/30/2012 10:19AM

    I am updating my reading at SP because I did not have a computer (a good excuse) and I had put away all my caring steps to weight loss. I started again one week ago, lost over three pounds and then came to your post and it just filled my heart of hope and expectations that I could also be able to throw away all the extra pounds I will have to get rid off (more than 60 if I am honest with myself).
Your story is awesome. Thanks for sharing it with us I am sure you have inspired a lot of people.

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ROJAKHAN 7/14/2012 11:46AM

    emoticon

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YAIYEE 6/15/2012 2:37AM

    What an inspiration you are.

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GINIEMIE 6/4/2012 10:15AM

    You look great, and thanks for the reminder. Just because I lost ground doesn't mean I should give up.
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FLYINGCRANE 5/21/2012 2:26AM

    Congrats! Thanks for sharing.

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SHERMOR13 5/18/2012 7:46PM

    Thanks so much for this post - it's so encouraging to know that you STUCK with it to get to where you are today.

I only have about 45 more pounds to lose, so I know I can do it!!!


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NEWCHINELO 5/17/2012 7:16PM

    oh such an encouragement

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BOXERSOFTIE 5/16/2012 6:22PM

  I REALLY needed to read this today. Thanks so much for writing it and sharing. I won't give up after reading your inspirational story. emoticon

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WOLFKITTY 5/16/2012 1:26AM

    Congrats! :)
Jocelyn

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NEED-TO-BREATHE 5/16/2012 12:44AM

    emoticon wow! Inspirational!

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DAWNFIRE72 5/15/2012 9:24PM

    I hope that your surgery goes smoothly. Enjoy your new "girlhood".

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CRZYMOM04 5/15/2012 2:39PM

    Your story is so amazing, you look great.

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RMHALES 5/15/2012 11:16AM

    Awe....happy tears welled up in my eyes!! I'm happy for you to feel good and healthy and even young and girlie!! Keep it up young lady!!

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ALMONDFACE 5/14/2012 9:54PM

    You look good

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REGILIEH 5/14/2012 8:49PM

    WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!!

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FINDHEALTHIERME 5/14/2012 11:44AM

    You inspire me so much. I feel that my goals are possible when I read your post.
Thank you.

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FITSMALLCLOTHES 5/14/2012 11:39AM

    Yes, beautiful blouse on a beautiful lady.
Thank you for sharing.

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MARYM1962 5/14/2012 11:19AM

  Beautiful top - so feminine. Fortunately I don't have to worry about chairs fitting and the like, but I have many health concerns to worry about and for some reason it just is not working for me. I am going to have to get one of those print-outs where it tells you WHAT to eat, HOW much EXACTLY and at WHAT TIME to eat it. I have tried the tracker and do well on paper, but my blood sugar does NOT go down. My doctor and I are both frustrated and if the next regime does not work I am not really sure where to turn next. Hopefully in a few months I will be able to blog about success as well. In the meantime, I am happy to read about yours and to draw encouragement from you. Good luck with the surgery and Thank You.

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JACKSON1224 5/14/2012 10:45AM

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. You are such an inspiration. It really tugged at my heart strings for I share many of your "before" issues such as worrying what kinds of seats some place will have. You are truly a success story and give hope to those of us that are just beginning our journey to a new life.

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MSNOMOREFLUFFY 5/13/2012 10:28PM

    So inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

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CAROLFAITHWALKR 5/13/2012 5:40PM

    Thank you for a lovely blog!

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HHOUSE8 5/13/2012 4:44PM

    Thanks for the inspiration today! I want my sister to read this too. She lost 165 lbs, but has started that up upward climb again. So thrilled for you that you caught yourself and have turned it back. Best wishes for your surgery!
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HOPN2SUMMER 5/13/2012 4:29PM

    emoticon You're amazing!

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SUNFLOWERGRRL 5/13/2012 1:17PM

    Oh my gosh, it feels like you are speaking directly to me! Exactly what I needed to hear today. And you look BEAUTIFUL in your frilly blouse! Thanks for sharing today!

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MSSILKE 5/13/2012 10:37AM

  Thanks for the inspiring post and sharing your story! The shirt IS lovely to!

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MARYJEANSL 5/12/2012 6:00PM

  Very uplifting to read, thanks!

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JMMACKIE 5/12/2012 2:54PM

    Thank you for your encouragement. I love to read about how your hopelessness turned into hope and a new life!

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BARBARAJ73 5/12/2012 8:51AM

    Thank you for sharing. You are truly inspiring. Good for you - emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/12/2012 8:53:44 AM

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CJF2012 5/12/2012 6:34AM

    YOU rock!!!! emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 5/12/2012 5:37AM

    Well done! emoticon

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CHICKEE7 5/12/2012 3:56AM

    I really enjoyed and appreciated your post. You have proved that a person our age can do it. Thanks and good luck on the surgery.
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JULESJ1OK 5/12/2012 3:02AM

    Keeping you in prayers. Hope all goes well with your surgery. You look terrific! Love the blouse. I can't wait to get into some of my smaller "cute" clothes. Take care, Jules

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AHMARROSE 5/12/2012 12:26AM

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MISSLISA1973 5/11/2012 11:53PM

    Thank you for this great post. I was just thinking about you earlier this week when I was feeling defeated and wondering if it is all really worth it. I mean seriously, I've been this big for several years now and can I really ever actually be thin? Maybe I should just focus on staying here and not getting bigger? But then I thought about you and all you have accomplished. You are THIN! You did it! Maybe, I thought, if you can do, there might be a possibility I can do it! This blog is a reminder that it IS worth it and I CAN do it! Patience and good choices and I can do it! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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BIBS4664 5/11/2012 9:27PM

    TY for your encouraging story. Good luck with your surgery.

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LOSE4GOOD87 5/11/2012 7:47PM

    What an inspirational story. I actually did experience the scale going upwards until I ended up gaining the 70 lbs I had lost (and then some) back. You have inspired me to stick with it. When I feel like like I can't resist those "yummy" foods that are calling my name I will think about your post. Thank you.
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LYNDALIFE 5/11/2012 6:11PM

    Great post, thanks for sharing with us.

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NANACHARLOTTE51 5/11/2012 3:53PM

  emoticon

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FIREFLYGIRL12 5/11/2012 3:36PM

  Thank you so much for sharing. You are an inspiration, and have helped me renew my commitment to getting healthy. emoticon

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4REDPEPPERS 5/11/2012 12:10PM

    What an encouragement! Thanks for sharing!


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AMURDOCK68 5/11/2012 10:52AM

    The blouse looks beautiful on you. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

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NIZZZY 5/11/2012 10:29AM

    what a incredibly inspiring story, you have defiantly worked hard to get to where you are now and totally deserve to be in love with how you look and fell

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MAWMAWTAMERA 5/11/2012 10:22AM

  Your story is so inspirational and just what I needed to hear at just the time I needed to hear it. Thank you for being honest about where you were - as that is where I am. It is so uplifting to read how it can be. Thank you, thank you. I hope and pray your surgery and recovery go very well.

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LESLEEANITA 5/11/2012 9:27AM

  Your Story is great! I especially understand the part about how you could eat continuously and never eat a lot at one time!! That is me! I am on a good path now myself and your story is very inspiring. Plus, you have very good taste in blouses!! Love the white flowing top!! Have a great day!! emoticon

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DEBRASUELYNN 5/11/2012 7:57AM

    You look amazing! If I met you on the street it would never occur to me you ever had a weight problem. YOU did it! I am looking forward to when I can be excited about tomorrow instead of dreading there are only booths available and will I fit. Thank you for showing it is possible. emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/11/2012 7:58:17 AM

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REGINAMAYE 5/11/2012 7:21AM

    Reading your inspiring blog was exactly what I needed this morning! Thank you for sharing of yourself, your struggles and success and motivating me to get moving!

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