Please allow me to share my near death experience of being morbidly obese with you. And although I took control of my life and turned my obesity around, I still shortened my life expectancy considerably, due to an enlarged heart, caused by extremely high blood pressure.
I am writing this article with the hope of touching other obese people and maybe inspire them to also change their lifestyle.
To those, fortunate enough, not suffering from obesity, for better understanding of what obese people are going through. It is not all their fault as there is a number of factors leading to obesity.
My mother was a very lazy to cook, even though she was very accomplished in the kitchen. The result was that as far as I can remember there was always fast food, cookies, candy and sodas. The only proper healthy home cook food was once a month when we visited my grandparents.
Needless to say that from my days as a toddler I was always bigger than other children, this meant I was always receiving negative remarks from my peers. People made fun of me and I had to listen to a lot of snide remarks and ridicule.
My weight problems also meant that I could not excel in any type of sport and was always on the sideline, which meant I was not very popular with the opposite sex.
My unhealthy diet lead to acne which obviously made me very shy. This caused me to withdrawn from society and to spend most of my childhood in my room, with easy access to the wrong types of things to eat.
My solitary lifestyle caused me to withdraw and I started to suffer from depression. The only comfort, more food!
From my teens I contracted diabetes which forced me to a sentence of insulin injections.
My heart could not take the strain of having to work extra hard, resulting in me having a heart attack at the age of 22. At the time of my heart attack I weighed 275 pounds.
In hindsight this was a blessing in disguise as it really shocked me into seriously taking stock of my life, and forced me into making decisions to change my lifestyle, if I do not want to end in a grave at a very early age.
A big mistake was thinking I can fix the problem by myself, with a series of diets. These diets always seem to help initially, however I always regained the lost weight. I cannot even try to calculate how much money I spend on all types of pills, tables, diet shakes etc.
I also suffered from Osteoarthritis on my weight-bearing joints. I suffered from a lot of pain caused by inflammation, plus severe back pain due to bones and muscles of the back being constantly strained. This also meant decreased mobility.
I also suffered from sleep apnea and respiratory problems because of all the fat which accumulated around my neck, constricting my airways.
The constant depression and the yo-yo weight gain and loss made me decide to find help. I realized I just could not do it on my own.
Fortunately I found a fantastic bariatric surgeon; he recommended and patiently explained the various surgical options available. The more I consulted with him I started to trust him, and I realized the only way out was surgery.
The biggest change in my lifestyle came after the surgery. The most obvious change was my diet and the realization that this is a lifelong commitment. I decided to follow my surgeon’s instructions and guidelines to the letter, as this was my last chance.
Crucial was my commitment and dedication to also regular physical exercises. The easiest for me was swimming as this exercise placed the least strain on my limbs. I also got in the habit of walking at least thirty minutes three times a week.
For the first time in my life I started eating lots of fruit and vegetables and to my surprise I am enjoying it. To reduce my dependence on my prescribed medicines I also started taking advice from an experienced herbalist who is guiding me in the use of herbs for blood pressure stabilizers.
This is my story, I am very proud of having made the decision to have the surgery, to follow the guidelines from my surgeon and herbalist; I am feeling full of life and have much more energy. I am also much more mobile and sleep a lot better. I even found a new job, one where I do not have to sit behind a desk for long periods of time.
I hope I will have inspired even one person to also make a change.