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Getting my Life Back through Tragedy

Updated on June 29, 2010
Myself (left) before losing weight!
Myself (left) before losing weight!
Me today (far left) feeling groovy!
Me today (far left) feeling groovy!

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.


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    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 6 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Thank you for your honesty and dedication to your battle with diabetes. They're many of us who struggle with it to some degree. It is wonderful to share!

    • Adela Rasta profile image

      Adela Rasta 7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      A very touching and honest hub. This hub is inspiring and very encouraging. God bless you. Well done for making the changes in your life. Best wishes.

    • Aley Martin profile image

      Alice Lee Martin 7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      thanks to you Doc and for your service to this community

    • D.Virtual.Doctor profile image

      Funom Theophilus Makama 7 years ago from Europe

      wooow! What a testimony..

      This is informing and educating as well. I am very happy for you...

    • Aley Martin profile image

      Alice Lee Martin 7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      Oh dear...hope your son-in-law can have a epiphany before it is too late! Thanks Pamela and Denise!!!


    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Good for you. It is a tragedy. Sadly, I see my own son in law in this 'Joe' equation. He has already suffered one heart attack, along with and from his diabetes, and yet he still refuses to comply. You look great, by the way.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Aley, You go girl! That is a fantastic victory and I wish you the best of luck for renewed health and a renewed life.

    • Aley Martin profile image

      Alice Lee Martin 7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      thanks to you all for your kind words. I know this tragedy may not appear to be one that is difficult, given that so many others have much more painful experiences, but I wrote this to show that change CAN happen even to the most resistant of us. Blessings to all.

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 7 years ago

      It is at these times of reflection on what action we should take to turn our lives around. I say Bravo to you for listening and taking action as you have. Many are fighting similar battles and I commend everyone fight back for their lives and turn it around. This hub will be an inspiration to people. Peace and hugs

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      Really well done. It's wonderful to see someone succeed so :D

    • suny51 profile image

      suny51 7 years ago

      Hello Professor Aley-I am really happy to see you slimmer , fit and enjoying.It must have been lots of efforts and will power behind all this.Nice photographs.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS

      Congratulations on your marvelous resolve and steadfastness to follow through. It is the best gift you can give yourself. I have people close to me who struggle with weight issues and it's a big concern. Like you, though, it's a personal decision which only those involved can make for themselves. I'm so glad you did!

    • Aley Martin profile image

      Alice Lee Martin 7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      Thanks Feline P. Yup, it took being knocked on the head for this one! LOL

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 7 years ago

      More power to you! We tend to take things for granted till something happens to open our eyes. All the best. :)