I have struggled with being overweight all of my life. My mom said I was even born with a little cellulite. I grew up in south Louisiana where everything is deep fried...hell you can even get a order of deep fried batter at some restaurants. I was always surrounded by food as that is a main part of our Cajun culture. Anything is a reason to eat. Make the honor roll, we eat. Win a football game, we eat. Get married, we eat . Someone dies, we eat. Hurricane comes, we eat. You get the idea...
In school, I was always the “funny girl with the pretty face” but never the “girlfriend’ type... and I was fine with that. Why would I even try to pursue a guy just to get rejected? So instead, I was friends with everyone. I was pretty popular, but never felt like I really fit in. Of course, I had no dates and didn't go to prom...so I made good grades and got a full paid scholarship to Nicholls State University.
While in college I met my first boyfriend. He ended up being a complete loser. High school dropout, unemployed, no car, lived with grandma... what was I thinking!!!! He also became extremely abusive, both physically and verbally. Of course I thought...I am fat girl, this is the only guy I can get. I hoped he would change...NOT. Then as the relationship got worse, so did my self esteem, and I got fatter...becoming obese. Eventually, I was strong enough to leave the abusive relationship. Shortly after, I moved to the Atlanta area for a fresh start in 2001.
Moving was the best thing I ever did as it was in Atlanta that I met my soul mate about a decade ago. He loves me unconditionally. He wants me to be happy AND healthy no matter what I weigh. Our love grows more every day and we do plan to eventually get married. He is truly my best friend.
Over the years, I have healed my mind and self esteem but the weight has stayed. In the past 10 years, I have been diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety as well as other co-morbid conditions. I have severe sleep apnea and hypothyroidism. My thyroid became grossly enlarged to the size of approximately 2.5 x 6 inches. It was wrapping around my windpipe and was literally smothering me. I had to have it completely removed. Since then, my battle with weight has gotten worse. No thyroid means no metabolism and I have gained an additional 150 lbs. over the 2 years it took to get my medicine to the right levels. I am now in the super morbid obese category (YAY!) and very concerned about developing diabetes or heart conditions as both run in my family.
Don't get me wrong, I have TRIED to lose weight many times. I have taken Redux. I have taken Meridia. I have taken herbal diet supplements. I joined Weight Watchers for a year. I tried Richard Simmons. I tried body cleanses. I tried acupuncture. I have TRIED EVERYTHING! The most I could ever lose was around 50 lbs., but I would always gain it back plus more. I am overwhelmed and TIRED of my weight controlling my life! The embarrassment from not being physically able to go on a walk, or on a date with my boyfriend, or go out with friends, or go to a movie in a theater is all encompassing. I use to enjoy shopping, but loathe it now. I could never walk into the mall from the parking lot without needing a break much less walk thru the mall. I hate needing a cart to lean on just so I can make it thru the store. I often just sit in the car while my boyfriend runs inside places. Even my office had to special order a chair to accommodate me. Everyday I have constant pain in my knees, back and ankles.
As much as this affects me, I know my weight affects those I love too...even if they won’t admit it. They’re worried I will die young. They also feel my embarrassments. I want to lift those burdens from them. I want to be able to live life to the fullest. I want to be able to do normal things without pain or losing breath. I want to be able to travel and fit in the plane seat. I want to be able to see my nieces and nephews grow up. I want to be able to ride a roller coaster. I want to enjoy riding a bike again. I want to be able to stand throughout my entire wedding ceremony. I want to be a true partner to my future husband. I want to experience life with him not watch him live it. I don’t want knee replacements. I don’t want diabetes. I don’t want a heart-attack. I need to regain control over my life and I am ready to change NOW!