Seeing the words in black and white in my medical report felt like a punch to the stomach. I was 25 and morbidly obese.
Of course, I knew I was overweight. This wasn’t something new. I was on Weight Watchers® in the sixth grade. Finding a flattering dress for a special occasion would invariably end with me crying in the dressing room of the plus-size store. Flying to visit my family was uncomfortable as my “seat” was wider than the plane seat.
And yet I did nothing about it. My family had tried to help me — my mom and I tried Weight Watchers, while one of my brothers took me out to play tennis and learn how to golf. I wasn’t motivated to change though. I was happy with myself and my life and when I wasn’t, I had learned how to fake it.
I had always hoped that there’d be some medical reason for my weight. Maybe I had a thyroid problem. Maybe I was just meant to be a larger person, as if it were part of my DNA. My aunts and uncles were big, so maybe obesity ran in my family.
My weight problem wasn’t genetic or the result of some hormonal imbalance. Bottom line, I was overweight because I didn’t exercise and ate too much bad food.
But seeing “morbidly obese” tied to my name at the age of 25 finally lit a fire in me. I was motivated to change my life, to stop being just the girl with the pretty face or the funny one of the group.
The first step I took was the scariest — I joined a gym. I started walking for an hour four days a week at the local YMCA. Then, I realized it wasn’t so scary. There were lots of people there of different shapes and sizes. I’ve never looked back. I kept going to the gym, increasing the number of days, distance, and intensity of my workouts. Now I’m running and taking classes at the gym almost every day of the week.
A 10-pound weight loss became 25 which became 50, and finally 130 pounds. That’s right, I lost an entire person over five years! Each time I lost another five or 10 pounds or had to buy new and smaller clothing, I felt so proud and even more committed to this new active life.
I now have the life I never knew I could have as an obese 25-year-old. All of this was possible because I saw the truth in my doctor’s report.
Have you ever faced a turning point where reality finally hit you in the stomach? What did you do about it?