I gained a lot of weight with my first two pregnancies and I made the effort to return to my previous size after each one. But I was 39 when I had my third child, and this time it was different. I felt too tired to do anything about it. All of my attempts to change my lifestyle failed and, as the pre-testing problems of just living life day-to-day ensued, I used food as an escape, a comfort, a drug and a weapon.
When I found out I was HD positive, I had a lot of negative reactions and eating and inactivity were among them.
I spent years wondering if I was punishing myself with food, or if what I was doing was giving myself one last hurrah every night because who knew if that tomorrow would be the day I descended further into hell. Now I realize it doesn’t matter why. What matters is what I do next.
For a long time I avoided being photographed, but realized that an important part of shouldering HD, for me, is the obligation to leave behind ways for my kids to remember me when I was a participant in their world. Being fat does not disqualify me from leaving behind a record, so I have pictures of my (fat) self all over the place. When I look at them I am stunned.
My kick-ass therapist got really basic with me a not long ago about my weight. Intervention basic.
She knows that doctors don’t mind if HD patients start out a little heavy, but I was stuck on a seemingly unstoppable conveyor belt of gaining weight. I couldn’t wear the fat clothes I had bought to replace the fat clothes I had bought to replace my real clothes.
She told me she was sure that I didn’t want to be someone who could not get out of bed due to excess weight.
I immediately thought of myself as the mother in the film, “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?” and suddenly the fact that I ate ice cream every day was not a joking matter.
That was about a month ago and I am making some changes. I have found an alternative way of eating that binds me to a routine, which has been very helpful. I have one Facebook friend who lost a lot of weight and, while we’ve never met face-to-face, she has been inspirational by sharing her journey and through offering unconditional encouragement.
So far I have lost about 12 pounds! That is about the size of 2 toy poodles, and I still need to lose a German Shepherd dog’s worth of weight.
My cholesterol and triglycerides had been sky high even with a high dose of statins, but now they are low normal, so my doctor has cut that dosage in half!
Activity has been harder, so I have lowered my initial goals for myself to engaging in exercise at least twice a week and actually walking my toy poodle around when he must relieve himself instead of standing on the porch holding the leash.
I realized that, even though the fat might have protected me and helped me hide, I don’t need it anymore. I have been fat all of Mark’s life. That’s eleven years that I didn’t chase him around and Randy had to take up the slack.
This isn’t the last time I’ll write about my weight loss journey.
I am sure I will do a lot of naval gazing, especially when I can see my naval again.