I don't have a tragic event that started my road to obesity. I've been asked a lot lately, "what made you gain the weight?" My response isn't spectacular: I put on a few pounds then I put on some more. Between college and my 30s I spiraled out of control with my weight. One donut turned into two and half a pizza quickly became a full one. By the time I was 30 I was deep into the 300s.
It doesn't matter how you gained the weight. It doesn't even matter how much weight you've put on. It's a struggle. My weight gain affected all parts of my life. I silently suffered from weight based depression and the only cure was to drop the pounds that were hurting me. So much of my body hurt because of my weight. My back, my feet, my ability to be mobile. I never admitted how I felt to anyone so no one around me knew what I was truly going through. I trapped myself in a prison of weight gain.
I'm thankful that I found a way out. I'm better now and I feel great! I don't feel the shame I suffered through. For me it was through tracking my food with the app LoseIt that I was able to drop 180 pounds. I was able to see how much I was consuming and I didn't have to feel embarrassed by being accountable to another person. I was deeply ashamed by how I looked but I lived in constant fear that I'd be seen as obese. I knew people could see that about me, but I wanted to be invisible.
If you're suffering emotionally and physically due to your weight I encourage you to seek help. Even if it's an online community of strangers. There's so many people going through what you're going through. The LoseIt community on Facebook is very supportive.
I was lucky that I found a way out when I did. I was afraid I would die because of my obesity. I had a strong motivating factor in my life: my son. I wanted to be a fit father that could play with him in public. Ride a bike. Go swimming. Forge the woods on nature hikes.
To those loved ones around me…there's nothing you could have done differently. You loved me even at my heaviest, and I'm thankful you didn't give up on me. If you know someone going through this it's okay to talk to them about it in a supportive manner, but know that your words might not be readily acknowledged. It's hard to be in that prison. It's a struggle everyday knowing that you're not who you want to be. It's hard to wake up feeling defeated before your feet touch the ground.
Keep going. Keep trying. Find the support you need. If you want someone to talk to I can help as much as I can. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org