My story is a rather common one. I’m sure we all have similar life experiences. Many of you have had a much more difficult time then I have but we can all relate to the trials and tribulations that go along with being obese.
A big part of my own personal story has to do with my mom, God rest her soul. My entire life, as far back as I can remember, my mother was very obese. I mean she weighed between 300 and 400 lbs. most of her adult life and was barely 5 ft. tall. In her words “I’ve always been “fat”. I know over her lifetime she took a lot of abuse because of her weight.
I can vividly remember as a very young girl, maybe 6 or 7 , walking down the street with her and a car driving by with a boy sticking his head out the window, yelling ‘Hey look at that fat lady.” I remember her face turning red with embarrassment and her eyes just starting to tear up. But not a word was spoken. Just a look at me to say “ I’m alright. Lets keep going.” What impressed me the most about this situation was the fact that the car pulled over to the curb a little ways ahead of us and you could see the mother turn around and scold the boy in the back seat. When we reached the car the boy apologized to my mom. Mom simply said ‘It’s alright” and softly thanked the mother. I will never forget that. There should be more mothers like that in the world today. And being my mother’s daughter you had better believe my children were raised to never make fun of overweight people.
But that’s just one of many stories I know about and one of countless ones that I don’t know much about , that my mom lived with throughout her life. I’m sure many of you have your own terror stories , embarrassing and hurtful situations you’ve had to deal with. Being overweight is hard . We carry all those pounds with us everywhere we go. Along with heartfelt scars enough to last a lifetime. We don’t need someone pointing the extra weight out to us or making fun of us. My story leading to my gastric bypass surgery began clear back when I was a small child.
I hope if any of those “rude people” who enjoy making fun of other people just happen to be reading this, realize how hurtful they are and decide to make a change in their own behavior. I always say what goes around comes around. I’ve been fortunate enough in my lifetime to see a couple of those “rude people” who made “fat” remarks about my mother and others put on A LOT of weight themselves ! I don’t hear them telling those “fat” jokes anymore.
As I write my story and look back at my mother's life and how much she suffered both physically and emotionally because of her obesity. It makes me love and respect her even more. I want to DEDICATE this site to her memory in hopes of offering some help or comfort to others like her.
As for myself I first started gaining weight in junior high. school. Being only a little over 5 Ft. tall every pound I gained seemed to show up magnified. Being what I called myself, pleasantly plump, back at age 14 just added to the frightening experience of going through adolescence. Fortunately I didn’t get real big so the wise cracks about being “fat” were minimal.
For most of my younger years I remained pleasantly plump, about 20 to 30 pounds overweight. I was on and off of different diets most of the time. It wasn’t until I got into my 40’s, after having a complete hysterectomy ,that I really started putting on a lot of weight. I gradually added another 40 pounds or so over the next several years. During this time I got very serious about dieting and tried one diet after another. My doctor became concerned as I started developing heath problems. At one point he prescribed meridia., a weight loss drug that has since been taken off the market. As I recall I did not have much success with this drug.
As I continue my story and as time time went on so did the weight. By the time I was in my 50’s I had added another 40 lbs or so and at my all time highest weight I weighed over 220 lbs. At 5ft 1 in. that’s a BMI of over 40, Morbidly Obese! I was developing all kinds of health problems as well. I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, sleep apnea, and my biggest fear, diabetes. My story is really getting "heavy".
By this time I had tried every kind of diet I could find. I bought exercise videos and even a treadmill. But it just seemed like for every pound I lost I put on two more. Sometimes I wanted to give up and just accept being overweight . Sometimes that’s just what I did for awhile but that’s when I would gain the most. I never felt good anymore. I was always tired and depressed. The weight was taking it’s toll on my knees and feet as well. And all the other health issues, like diabetes and high blood pressure and high cholesterol were just getting worse.
It was also during this time in my life that I watched my mom go through two agonizing years of health problems before passing away . I was already developing a lot of the same health issues and I knew the time had come for me to make a decision about my own obesity. To write the next chapter in my story.