- Little Body Hidden Within
Being “fat” was not a choice. It was my life and it slowly happened over time. Being obese is a disease that I have struggled with my entire life. I am 36 years old, nearing 37.
I might not have eaten the right foods, but I didn’t overeat. I grew up eating typical American food and continued to cook that way into my adult life. I ate eggs and toast for breakfast, sandwiches, chips and a few cookies for lunch, or leftovers, and some kind of meat and potatoes or pasta for dinner, with a canned vegetable. I very seldom ate fresh vegetables, but I did like summer fruits. However, those are filled with natural sugar and are only in season for a few months out of the year. I didn’t eat out, other than having my daily Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino on the way to work five days a week. I didn’t load my plate up with food. I ate less than my brother, sister and parents who are smaller than me. I took exercise and fitness classes all through college and knew what I was supposed to do. I exercised over the years, only to quit because I never lost weight and got discouraged. I would feel [End Page 93] better physically; however, I just kept packing on the pounds, which took a toll emotionally.
By November 2012, I topped the scale at 291 pounds and could barely fit into my size 22 jeans and 3xl tops. I would sweat uncontrollably because of all the extra weight I was carrying around and could barely make it up the ramp at work or a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing. Because I would sweat profusely, my wardrobe consisted of white or black shirts. I had to hide the sweat stains. I had high blood pressure and cholesterol. I was on medication for both. My insulin levels were all over the boards. I knew that when I was shaky and my levels were high, it was time to eat. I would control my type II diabetes by eating a small piece of candy, which would instantly control my shakes. I would follow the candy up with a meal. My diet and exercise habits were causing me to have terrible headaches. In my early 20’s, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Besides having ovarian cysts and unbalanced hormones, the major issue with PSOC is unexplained weight gain and not being able to lose it. My health was spinning out of control and I secretly knew it. I just didn’t know how to fix it or what to do.
I had to do something and I needed help. I didn’t want to die by the time I was 40; and the path that I was on was leading me to an early grave. I could hear it in my mom’s voice every time I talked to her. She knew something was wrong; she would try to talk to me about it and tell me I was going to have a heart attack. She would tell me how worried my dad was. I wouldn’t listen. I began to sleep more and more every day after work and on weekends. I had to take naps almost daily because I was so exhausted and had no energy. I didn’t know what to do. I was depressed and felt like I was alone. Nobody in my family understood and my friends couldn’t relate to what I was going through. I was fat and they weren’t.
I heard about a special clinic that focused on women’s health issues from a co–worker. Under the close watch of the clinic’s doctor and her medical staff, I began a therapeutic lifestyle change on February 27, 2013. I had no expectations because I had always been obese. I had never lost weight, so why would this be any different? This lifestyle change includes committing to a healthy diet of high protein, vitamins and supplements, balancing hormones for PCOS and exercising. However, before I could begin changing my eating habits...