Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I Literally Saved My Life

Been having a bad day.

Have been thinking a lot lately. I have been incredibly frustrated with my weight loss recently, but . . . putting things in perspective both helps and opens my eyes up to how bad I truly was when I started my journey.

I knew I had to lose weight when I started, but I don't think I truly comprehended how badly I needed to. Maybe that has been a blessing and a curse.

I started on June 2nd, 2007, just a month after my father died from a heart attack. He was 5'11", was a bit over 350 pounds, and had a BMI of a bit over 50. He was 52 years old, had been an alcoholic for almost ten years, threatened to end his life several times in front of me, my mother, and my sister, and he had many conditions as a result of his obesity - diabetes, sleep apnea, reflux, the works.

When I started my journey, I was 256.4 pounds. I'm not sure if I'm 5'0" or 5'1", but if I'm 5'0" then my starting BMI was 50, exactly. A BMI of 50 classified me as SUPER MORBIDLY OBESE. I'll write that again. SUPER MORBIDLY OBESE. That's right, I was almost as bad as those people you see on TV and shake your head at thinking "how did they let it get to THAT level?"

I'll tell you how - I had no idea I was that bad.

I was just about the same BMI as my father and I didn't think I was anywhere near as bad as he was. Part of it was, I guess, youth. Even at my heaviest weight I did not have diabetes. Sure I had been warned for years and years that I could very well get it any time, but I never developed it.

What I did have were the beginnings of sleep apnea. I had poor sleeping habits. I loved to sleep but it was often very difficult to sleep well. I never felt rested or refreshed. My snoring was an issue with every single college roommate I had. In fact, I drove roommates away with just my snoring.

But I never thought I was as bad as my father. Even when my feet swelled and it was hard to walk, I never thought I was as bad as I was.

If I had known a year ago how bad a shape I was in I don't think I would have gone on this journey. I don't know if I would have tried to go the weight loss surgery route, either. I think I would have just continued to gain weight until I finally got the diabetes I deserved and I think I would have gotten a heart attack and died just like my father.

I may have never reached 300 pounds, but I am short. A person who is 5'0" or 5'1" carrying around 256 pounds is the same as a 5'6" person carrying 300.

I may bemoan the fact that I have ONLY lost 7o pounds, but I lost this weight by myself without surgery when I was so so far into a ditch I had dug for myself.

According to the at-home scale, an 8 year old Tanita Body Fat scale mind you, I am 40% body fat. 40%. That had me crying for an hour thinking "holy crap, I think that's ACCURATE". I NEVER took that as being even REMOTELY accurate. I exercise a lot, I think I have muscles under all this fat, how could I be nearly half made of fat? It didn't seem possible to me. But now that I am accepting that it is true, I'm wondering what my body fat percentage was in the beginning, because I don't remember.

I want to do a test in one of those fancy bod pods at school, but it costs $50 and I am told Tanita scales are pretty accurate, even if this one is 8 years old.

So my point is . . . I was at death's door practically and I have turned myself around. I still have a long way to go, but I REALLY need to give myself credit for what I've done.

As much as I loved (and still love) my father, he gave up on life and died as a result. He died many years before his body finally gave up. I didn't want to be death walking. I didn't want to give up. So here I am, fighting my way out of the grave I dug myself. It seems impossible, but it's a reality.

The cold hard truth is--even though I have lost 70 pounds, I have a long way to go, but you know what? Where I am now compared to where I was really means something.


jinxxxygirl said...

Its so good to see you give yourself credit Sarsy.I think you realize what you've done. You've given yourself a new lease on life.You've opened up so many new doors for yourself.Nothing is impossible now. I don't even know you but i'am incredibly proud of you. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you'll get there. Jinx

Nat said...

You are in a much better place now that you were at the beginning of your journey, absolutely. I think what you've done and what you're doing is pretty damn incredible, you've made a complete 180 turn, and things are only going to get better as a result of your hard work. You inspire me, we both started at similar places. A lot of people give up on plateau times because it's so frustrating, but I know you want it more and that's why you're going to succeed.

kris_tea said...

It is hard for me to look back on old pics or even my first video & see how bad I had gotten (I remember when I first started watching YT videos, Chad made a vid about how he had a hard time looking a pics of himself before & I just thought that was bizarre but now I understand). I had no idea. Or was I just in denial? I know what you mean by if you had realized how bad off you had gotten that you may have never embarked on this journey. It would have looked hopeless to have a realistic view of where we were & where we needed to get & what we would need to do to get there. In fact, I was looking into WLS. I didn't think I had the discipline to do it naturally but decided to give myself 2 yrs to do something about it & if not by my 30th birthday then I would start the process. I never expected to be successful. I totaly expected to start the process in about 6 months knowing I would probably end up gaining 10+ lbs & just give up. I'm so glad I've been able to actually do this for the first time without diet pills. I'm also glad to save my money for all the lifting & tucking that I'm sure I will need by the end of all of this. :)

Sparky said...

Hi Sars,

What a great post. You are doing awesome and thinking about the emotions behind your weight loss and original problem are so important.

I too have a Tanita Body Fat scale as does Josh (QQQ). Josh has the exact same model as me. I had always hoped that that body fat number was horribly inaccurate until I watched Josh's video where his scale and the professional dunk tank gave him virtually the same reading. That blew that theory. If his was right mine probably was right too.

My body fat is pretty much the same as yours (hovers in the 39.5 - 39.9% range). My ultimate goal would be to get that percentage down near 25%. For now, it is 40% and that is yucky for sure but you know what? We are doing something about it. Go Sars!!!

Shanti M said...

What a post. I feel like you poured your heart out all over my screen here, and I am loving it. Thank you for sharing, and making me cry, and making everything in my life seem really easy for a little while :)

You are so strong. I didn't start watching you at the beginning (I wasn't around) and I've gone back and watched some of your first videos - you were a totally different person.

I know I've only lost like HALF of what you've lost, and I certainly didn't get to be huge before doing something about it, but still I have similar feelings about the old me. When I look at my old videos - weight-diaries days 3 and 5 and 7-9... I don't know who this person is. And that was someone who had already lost 15 Lbs! But she isn't me. She's unsure and distracted and I know that I was miserable inside.

Thanks for making me reflect. <3