I was a toothpick when I was young. I mean, skin and bones. You could count all my ribs if I had my shirt off. It wasn’t, unlike Baby C, due to being a picky eater. I ate all the time. I was active. I was outside a lot.
My body started to change between 3rd and 4th grade. My belly began to expand. My cheeks got a bit puffy. I didn’t think anything of it because I was a child. Nothing else had changed, though. I was still an active kid. I played soccer in the spring and fall. I played basketball, baseball, and football at home. I rode my bike around the neighborhood and to my friends’ houses. We played kickball at recess every day.
As I got older I continued growing outward as well as upward. I was still active all that time. I continued playing soccer. We eventually had a pool in our backyard and unless it was winter or storming, I could normally be found out back in the pool. My brothers and I would continue playing sports in our yard. My father would pitch us the baseball and we’d all take turns hitting. We played touch football, or sometimes tackle.
After high school I got a job with a retail giant that I’d hold for nearly 13 years. During that time I remained extremely active simply because my job demanded it. I stocked freight. I unloaded trucks. I pushed shopping carts. I was on my feet for 8 hours or more every day. Despite that, my weight continued to balloon and by 2004 I topped out at almost 270 pounds. That may not seem too awfully bad, but for a short dude like me it’s definitely eye-opening.
My then-wife and I went on a diet. I can’t remember for the life of me the name of the diet, but it was effective. within a year I had dropped from 267 pounds down to 208 pounds. I plateaued at around 210 for quite a long time before I just quit following the diet. My weight fluctuated between 210 and 220 for the next few years.
During my second marriage I finally got fed up with working in retail (people are assholes) and went to a technical school to get some Microsoft certifications. Within months I was out of retail and into the complex world of IT.
With that career change came a life-style change. My job no longer required 8+ hours of physical labor. I sat in a chair all day taking phone calls and helping end users remotely. The only time I needed to leave my chair was to eat lunch or use the restroom. I was still careful of what I was eating, but because physical activity was almost completely absent from my life I slowly started putting weight back on. I began walking before and after work. I joined a gym for a short while (while I could afford it). Even still, my weight got up to about 240 before my second marriage ended.
After my wife left me I went through about a month of what my doctor told me was withdrawal. I didn’t know one could be addicted to another person, but that was what he told me. I lost almost 25 pounds in a month because I simply couldn’t eat. Food made me nauseous. The only things I could keep down were coffee and alcohol.
With the help of medication that all slowly went away and I was able to eat again. Although I had been devastated by my divorce I was happy about the weight I’d lost and worked to keep it off. I did my best to control my portions and eat somewhat healthy food. I walked after work and during my breaks at work.
My weight stayed right there until about 2014 when my life just about completely fell apart. Relationships (both intimate and friend) began to fall apart for reasons I still don’t completely understand. I was continually devastated by every new scar on my heart. Instead of seeking professional help or talking to my doctor about how all these things had amped up my depression I sought refuge in a bottle. Multiple bottles. Several times a week. Basically any night I didn’t have my children I was drinking away all the feels overwhelming me. It didn’t make them go away, but it at least made me forget about them until I passed out. When I was at work or with my kids I had something to occupy my mind and my time, but when I was alone there was nothing to keep my demons at bay. I was tired of fighting. I was tired of everything. I gave up on everything but my kids. I drank. And I drank. And I drank.
Weight I’d lost began finding me again. Between all the empty calories in the alcohol I was consuming and all the food I was eating because, hey, being drunk makes me ravenous, I was gaining weight quickly. I began to dislike the reflection in my mirror, but was too apathetic to do anything about it.
About three weeks ago I finally reached my breaking point. I looked in the mirror and had had enough. My head looked like a balloon someone had just drawn a face on. I was disgusted with myself. I booked an appointment with a weight loss clinic and two weeks ago had my first appointment. I weighed in at 261, which is just short of where I was in 2004 when I first decided to attack my weight problem.
Along with teaching me what things I should and shouldn’t eat (and how often) they prescribed me a medication that would reduce my hunger and speed up my metabolism. It’s amazing how much energy this medication gives me. It’s also a bit disconcerting how quickly I feel full when I eat now. It’s a good thing, but definitely not what I’m used to. I’ve started walking everywhere when possible instead of driving. It’s a small start, but it’s a start.
I know this is not a long-term fix and that it’s up to me to take care of myself and my body, but I feel like I need this to jump-start my journey. I plan on doing this for about a year and then taking care of it myself from there. I just hope I don’t lose my motivation again. Motivation is a hard thing for me to hang on to.