Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Breaking Up With Food

I have to break up with food before it kills me.

I clearly remember some 2 1/2 years ago when I wrote that on my weight loss blog. At 359 lbs, I weighed more than Shaquille O'Neal. I was wearing a 26/28, the very last size in Lane Bryant. I was suffering from borderline diabetes mellitus, sleep apnea, mild asthma, joint pain, and high blood pressure. I was only 28, but at the rate I was going, it wasn't certain I would see 38.

I had to break up with food before it killed me.

I don't remember a time when I wasn't overweight. I was a chubby kid and have some memories of my mother sometimes having a hard time finding clothes for me for special occasions. She tried to help me - there were doctor's visits, specialized weight loss programs, gym memberships and dance classes. I would have initial success and then return to my same old habits. It got to the point that I was taking money from my her purse to buy extra food. I was am an addict.

By the time I got to high school, I tipped the scales at 250lbs. I don't ever remember weighing anything less. I joke that I went from diapers to size 3x overnight. Looking back, I can clearly identify the reasons I started gaining weight. My overdeveloped frame drew unwanted attention and thus began a sense of unease around men that still persists today. Essentially, I put on a fat suit to shield me. The fatter I got, the less attention I would draw. By the time I went off to college, I was well over 300lbs.

Even at 359lbs, I still embraced life. I started traveling internationally right after I graduated. I had romantic relationships. I dressed better than most people I knew, overweight or normal. I was always aware that I was often the largest thing in the room, but it wasn't something that constantly bothered me. I wasn't miserable. My personality and style was such that people didn't treat me differently because of my weight - at least not to my face. I just went about my life as a morbidly obese woman, assuming that's how it would always be. I didn't even own a scale and often didn't know my weight until my yearly physical. Like so many things in my life, if I ignored it, it wasn't an issue.

As I entered my late twenties, I started noticing more joint pain, particularly in my knees. I was getting more winded. I was tired of carrying around the weight of two people. I discovered that I was borderline diabetic, something I had always feared. I was tired of taking up more than my share of the train seat ; tired of dreading the whispered request for a seat belt extension. I didn't want to end up a statistic - losing my life to something preventable. I had too much to live for.

I had to do something.

I had to break up with food before I killed me.

I am Vivrant Thang, a new guest blogger here at Sweet Potato Pie. I feel I have an important story to tell -how I lost 140lbs and seven dress sizes and added years to my life. It's not a conventional story, but one I hope that some of you will relate to and learn from.

4 comments:

Nona said...

WOW!!! How incredible to have lost 140lbs. I look forward to reading your next post.

VOD said...

Good to see you here. I subscribed to this blog when you mentioned that you'd be contributing over here. Congratulations on your major weight loss and good luck on your future weight loss.

ph2072

ChelB said...

That's wonderful!! You're doing great! :) I also wanted to tell you that I love the name of your blog.

Vivrant Thang said...

@ nona - stay tuned! next post coming soon.

@ ph - good to see you here too!

@ chelb - still a work in progress but thank you! and thanks for compliments re: blog name. that's my baby!