Getting my Life Back through Tragedy
Dedicated to Joe...1971-2009
I wasted a huge part of my life being overweight. At one time I gained 100 pounds and was a full 109 pounds over my ideal weight. Gastric bypass was done in 1996 in an attempt to help me lose the weight and become a more healthy person. It worked... for awhile. Losing 60 pounds I packed back on about 30 in the years that followed, and then lost about 30 and gained that back again in 2005.
Becoming a diabetic did not deter me from eating, I figured I was on meds and I would be “okay” as long as I took my medication. I wasn’t. In January 2009 I became insulin dependent and needed to give myself the needle twice a day. Did I mention I had no insurance? Nope. None. I had to get a third job to pay for the medications I needed to take. It cost me an average of $700 a month to pay for them, and still I ate whatever I wanted.
By September 2009, I weighed 202 pounds and felt absolutely horrible. I am 5'2 and was in a size 18-20. I hated to have my picture taken and my family was worried about me. And still I did not change my life. One September 9, 2009 my 38 year old nephew Joe died from complications of diabetes. He had been a diabetic for about 10 years and never took any medication. He ate whatever he wanted. He had lost his toes and had gone legally blind. And now, he was dead. Two years before his father had died at age 64. I immediately reassessed my life on that day and within two days joined weight watchers online community. Losing a full 41 pounds since September, I am almost halfway to my goal. It has been slow but it has been relatively painless. It is a lifestyle change, and my resulting health exams have shown my success is not just in my pants size.
In a visit to the Doctor in January, I was taken off all injected insulin. By March 2010 I had lowered my Blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides. My kidney function and liver have returned to manageable levels. I now walk 3-4 times a week, and when I lift my dog, who weighs 30 pounds, I cannot believe I carried that weight, plus 11 pounds more around all that time. Not only has my health returned to normal, but my outlook on life is cheerier, I am less tired and feel less achy in my joints and muscles. I do not complain as much as I used to and I look forward to getting outside and doing yard work and going to the beach in my swimsuit. In short, my life has transformed!
We read others stories of the ways their lives have changed from small and significant changes over time, and we do not believe it can happen to ourselves. Give yourself a gift and start today, even if you start small. What is the hurry anyway? You have your life ahead of you and each journey begins with a single step. I honor my nephews life and have listened to the lesson he left behind. It is too late for Joe, but he gave me a gift. He gave me my life back when he passed so unexpectedly young. God bless him always.