Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Beginning

Hi Y'all,

Yes, it is me again, in case anyone is actually reading this.  I'm going to start my story waaay back in my youth.  I have been struggling with my weight ever since my late twenties.  My weight has gone up & down for years since then, but in my younger days, I never thought I would be, "one of those people who let themselves go" for whatever reason.  Don't get me wrong, everyone's body size is their own business, but, since I had always been in great physical shape all during my High School years, mostly due to my constant exercising for Drill Team & Cheer Leading.  I never thought that I would become "one of those people".

My serious weight gain began when I was about 27.  I had never been heavier than 140 lbs until then, & I escalated quickly up to 180 lbs!  My god, how did it happen?  It seemed to happen overnight (but as we all know, it didn't).  So my true weight loss/gain problems began from this time period.  Let me back track a bit & tell you a bit about my history.  I just turned 54 yrs old last month & I am 5'3" tall.  So 180 lbs was a lot!  Once I lost the excess weight, I swore that I would never allow myself to be this large again!  Ha Ha, if only that were the case.

So like so many other people in the world, I began my long journey of battling my weight.  Part of my problem is that I have had several accidents throughout my life that has effected me in many ways.  When I was 8 or 9, I fell from the top of a swing set flat onto my Back, causing me to have Low Back & Leg pain from that day forward. 

Then, when I was about 25, my friends (about 10-12 of us) & I were at the beach in So Cal, roller skating outdoors one night (remember them?  4 wheels & a huge toe stop?).  My friends & I were all good skaters & we were moving along the side walk at a pretty good clip.  We came upon a small group of 3 skaters, skating towards us & to make a very long story short, I was unable to miss the man in the group.  I Had To Hit Him Head On!  You might say, why did I feel that I had to hit him instead of throwing myself to the side?  Well, I was skating in the back of the group talking to other girls & when it became evident that a collision was imminent, I realized that I either had to take out one of my friends on either side of me (which I would never do), or hit the stranger in front of me.  So I chose to hit the stranger.  But!  There is a good part of this story!  My second choice, is what probably kept me from breaking my Neck!  I chose instinctively to hit him, HEAD ON, FACE FIRST, NOSE FIRST, instead of protecting my Nose.  Which would have snapped my Head back at an angle.  So ever since then, I have had severe Neck/Shoulder & Upper Back pain added to the Low Back/Leg pain (I had Spinal Fusion of the C4-5 Vertebrate about 10 yrs ago).

As if this wasn't enough, about 10-11 yrs ago, I fell down our stairs flat on my Ass!  All the way down!  Yes, my daughter Christa was a witness to it & laughed her head off, even though she could see I was in a Lot Of Pain, the girl just couldn't help herself!  Of course, I broke my Tailbone.  But most importantly, it caused a pinched Nerve in my Lower Spine, causing me even greater pain in the Lower Back as well as my left Thigh, which is now always numb.  So, whenever I stand for more than a few minutes, or walk very far, my Pinched Nerve starts sending shooting pains into my Lower Back & down my Leg (it feels like what I imagine an attack with a Tazer Gun would feel like)!  

So, even though this is not a good enough excuse to not get exercise, it doesn't help either.  I also found out about 3 yrs ago that I have Fibromyalgia (probably due to the many accidents I have had).  So, with my husbands blessing (bless him), I took an early retirement as the pain was becoming too great to be able to work & the stress only made my pain worse (at one point, I wanted to commit suicide, before my Neurologist found this out & gave me stronger pain meds & put me on an Anti Depressant).  Unfortunately, although I was at a high weight for me when I retired of about 185 lbs, I have since retiring, gained another 43.6 lbs!! 

So, I began looking into the option of Bariatric Surgery.  I would research it at night periodically, when my husband was in bed (I am a late niter.  I rarely go to bed before 2 am, he is an early to bed, early to rise kind of guy).  He was always against the surgery route for weight loss.  His philosophy was to just go on a diet, cut the calories, etc.  He used to nag me about losing weight all the time, which only made me want to fight it more.  Even though I knew it was the right thing to do.  Eventually, he stopped pushing so much, realizing that I had to do it for myself, not for him.  At this point, I did realize that I had to stop fighting the need to diet.

I began a diet using the Nutra System plan.  It was going great!  I had lost about 19-20 lbs in a couple of months!  I thought that my Doctor would be thrilled as he was always telling me that if I didn't lose weight, I would either die or have a Heart Attack/Stroke & end up bad off (my families medical history is not good.  My grand mother & great grand mother died of Heart problems, my Mom has Heart problems.  Two of my cousins died from Diabetes (both were blind, one lost both legs & was on a Transplant list for Kidney/Pancreas before she died).  My mom & brother has Diabetes, etc, etc, etc).

So imagine my surprise when he just about flipped at how much weight I had lost in such a short time!  He said that I was losing it too fast.  He wanted me to lose about 1-2 lbs a week at most.  I  told him that at least 8-10 lbs of the loss was water.  He didn't care.  But I thought, who cares!  I am losing weight, I felt great!  It was the first time in a long time that I could bend easily, etc.  So my plan was to continue the diet.  Then, all hell broke lose. 

We were in the middle of remodel hell (we had been remodeling the interior of our house).  When, at this time, our renovations made it to our Bedroom Suite.  We moved our entire set of bedroom furniture into our Family Room/Kitchen area.  We lived in the Family Room for 4 months!  The problem was, my fantastic husband always went to bed between 8-9 pm as he would rise between 4-5 am (without an alarm clock I might add).  I am a late niter & my (dinner) was about 10 pm, not to mention my after dinner snack about 12-1.  So I didn't have the heart to make noise in the kitchen & so I went off my diet!  Ever since then, I have not had the will power to restart.

ALERT! ALERT!  If you do not want to read about some of my VERY PRIVATE PROBLEMS, DON'T READ THIS NEXT PARAGRAPH!!

Of course, I regained all 20lbs & added another 28 lbs in the last 2 years!  I am now barely able to bend over.  If I drop something, I want to cry because it hurts to bend that far.  My Lower Back has stiffened up so much that I can barely twist.  Dressing/bathing myself has become almost impossible.  What made my husband change his mind about more drastic measures of dieting, was; he saw me try to wipe myself after I went to the bathroom one morning!  Of course, this was after I had just awakened & hadn't loosened up, but it doesn't get much better even later in the day, believe me.  So, here I am, frantically trying to twist enough to be able to wipe!  I looked like a pretzel or at least felt like one.  I can't twist enough to fully wipe, so I have to use baby wipes at times, & or change my underwear often.  Anyway, after watching me, he said, "you really need to lose weight, even if it means starving yourself"!

I knew he was right, but I also knew that starvation dieting wasn't the answer either.  I knew that if I didn't get my weight & eating under control, I would end up with severe problems, & soon.  I figured that it was just a miracle that I didn't already have Diabetes or Heart problems.  I was however, recently diagnosed with both Obstructive Sleep Apnea, & Central Sleep Apnea.  The weight loss should take care of the Obstructive Sleep Apnea, but, unfortunately, I will always have the Central Sleep Apnea!  Central Sleep Apnea is a Neurological condition where the Brain doesn't send out the signal to breath.  So I will have to sleep with a Bi Pap Machine for the rest of my life.  Oh joy & rapture!

So, I went back on the website for the Realize Band (this is the one being touted right now pretty heavily) & found that it wasn't just a quick fix (which my husband had feared), but a life change where I would be given the tools & knowledge to be able to keep off the weight for life & that they would give me as much continuing support as I felt I needed.  So I got up the courage to bring it up to my husband again, reminding him that he said I could lose weight any way I needed to.  At first he still wasn't thrilled, but agreed that he did say that.  Once I told him the information I had found out about the Bands, he said that it wasn't what he wanted for me, but if I felt it was what I needed to do, he would support me.  So...our journey began on August 17th, my 54th birthday!  I will continue this story later....

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