I’ve been in a hot debate with myself as of late about my health. I feel fine. Mostly. I have the occasional headache or tummy trouble or minor joint pain or whatever. But I wouldn’t say I feel bad. The thing is…I know I could feel better.
In May I went to the doctor for a yearly exam so that I could renew my migraine prescription. She wanted to do a full battery of blood work just for the fun of it. It had been a year since my last blood work so I thought it was probably a good idea. I was right. The results were in, and I needed to make some changes. I was a minor diabetic, had high cholesterol, high blood pressure, low vitamin D, and low vitamin B. I have always had fights with my blood pressure so that was nothing new. I knew that the last time I had blood work done I was borderline high for cholesterol, but she determined that neither thing needed to be treated with medication. When the results came in this time the whole diabetic thing threw everything else into a necessary to treat problem. I knew the last time I went to the doctor that I needed to pay attention to my diet because of the threat of diabetes, but I didn’t do it. I didn’t care.
I’m not sure what made me not care so much about my health. I had a lot of other things on my mind in the past year. I could list them all here, but they would only stand as a list of excuses. I don’t need to make excuses. I didn’t take care of myself, because I was too busy doing too much else.
Today I went back to the doctor. I stood on the scale and couldn’t believe where I was. Even after being diagnosed with all these things in May I still let myself eat what I wanted and live the way I wanted. All summer I still didn’t care.
I thought back to the fall of 1999. I had my last baby in the summer of that year. I was 5’2″, close to 200 pounds, and I didn’t really care. I was too busy being a mom to worry about my weight or health. In the spring of 2000 I decided I needed to do something about it. I wasn’t really doing it for health reasons as much as for pride reasons. Our family was planning to move overseas. The company we were going to be working for had a weight limit. They provided very good health insurance, but you had to be under a certain weight to be employed by them. While that might sound harsh I totally got why they needed the limit. Most places they sent people were going to require some sort of physical activity. I wasn’t about to be the reason we couldn’t go. I didn’t know what the limit was I just knew I had to lose a few pounds before we would be accepted. I started watching what I was eating and walking on my treadmill every day. I lost about 35 pounds. I was 163 pounds, and we were approved to go.
While living overseas the first couple of years I gained about 15 pounds back. I knew then that my weight limit was a generous 171 pounds and I was slightly over that. I started watching what I ate and walking everywhere and slowly but surely lost weight again. I got down to 134 pounds. I hadn’t weighted that little since the day I got married! My clothes fit, and I looked and felt better than I did in my 20s! About this time I decided that no matter how much weight I lost I was never going to lose the flap of skin the hung over the c-section scar from 4 kids. I decided that since I had worked so hard to lose the weight I would look into getting a tummy tuck to finish myself off. We came back to America in the summer of 2006 for a 7 month stay and within 2 months I had gained 9 pounds. America and it’s delicious fried foods was going to be the death of me! Despite the slight weight gain I decided to go ahead with the tummy tuck. Twelve pounds of skin and fat were removed. I had a flat tummy for the first time in my life! Even as a kid I never had those rock hard abs! It was great!
We went back overseas after our furlough, and my weight fluctuated a few pounds. Never much. I walked everywhere, ate food that was hormone free and healthy, and had honestly never felt better! In 2008 we left our assignment and came back to the states. My husband and I separated, divorced, and I came out. Through all of this I was gaining weight, losing a little, but gaining it back. I mostly contribute it to the difference in lifestyle. And by lifestyle I mean the fact that I didn’t walk anywhere, ate the way-too-generous portion sizes America loves, and sat around a lot! Slowly but surely I was gravitating toward old habits.
And here I am today. Today I look at where I’ve been and where I want to be. I see how the lifestyle I lived overseas isn’t exactly possible in my city. I can’t walk to the grocery store or to a friend’s house. I don’t live close to either. I am not eating all organic fresh foods, because I don’t want to pay the extra money for it. But there are things I can do. I can limit my portion sizes. I can limit my sweets and eat complex carbs. I can exercise for the sake of exercising. I can do something. So that’s what I’m going to do.
Pictures in the slideshow are various weights over the years. If you start with my heaviest picture that was October 1999, next is fall 2007 (black long sleeve shirt), me and Sweet Tea December 2011, November 2001 at a meeting before going overseas, lowest weight (pre tummy tuck) April 2006, October 2007.
I would love to see that April 2006 weight again. That’s my goal.