A step in the right direction

At my heaviest I was almost 240lbs (109Kg, or 17 stone), that’s not something anyone wants to brag about. I am 5’4” (1.6m) and I am morbidly obese. I wasn’t always so. Up until I was 16 or 17 years old, I was 135 to 140lbs with a 30” waist. I never started putting on weight until after I was 17, and even then, it was a gradual occurrence.

I started off as an emotional eater. I ate whenever I was depressed and I suffered from depression from my late teens to early 20s. It’s weird, but eating made me feel better. I never really started noticing my weight until I was in my late 20s.

I reasoned to myself that my weight gain was part of getting older. In my 30s, I stopped caring. It was until the end of my 30s that I started to care about my weight. But by that time, I could no longer deny that I was overweight. The problem with being a short person with excess weight is that other people notice too.

I think I started my first of many “on again, off again” diets. Throughout my 40s, I would go on diets lose the weight (or some weight); then stop, only to gain the weight back. This went on until 3 years ago, when my leg joints started to ache and I started to fall a lot.

I was pretty resilient at living with cerebral palsy as a kid. I lived my life like any other kid I knew. Sure, I did somethings differently, but I was able to join and keep up with the other kids in my neighbourhood. I even had to deal with multiple surgeries while doing so. Life wasn’t easy and I probably worked harder than most, but life was good.

Clearly, life wasn’t always perfect. I suffered from (and still do sometimes) bouts of depression in my late teens and early twenties, but I got through that period for the most part. I got my confidence back (Somewhere in my teens, I had lost the confidence which got me through a lot of difficult times).

In mid-March of this year, I got a really nasty chest cold and was off work for two weeks. Then on April 1st, I started to work from home #WFH. As I was no longer commuting to work for two hours every morning and every evening, I found I had more time to eat better. I started cooking proper meals. I started eating more fruits and vegetables with smaller portions of meat.

Since April, I have increased my consumption of fruits and vegetables that they are now the major source of nourishment in my diet. My husband and I decided that this was great. We stopped buying treats and we drink more water than we ever had before. Then in May, my work group decided to do an exercise contest. I agreed to participate at home. It was nothing big just a few squats, sit-ups and pushups each day with an option half hour continuous exercise routine (any route as long as it was a half hour duration) for points. This contest was the kickstart of an unintentional health re-start on my part. I lost almost 20lbs, since I started eating better and then starting exercise.

The weight loss wasn’t planned, but I will continue to eat better and to exercise. I want to get down to where I am at least not over weight according to the BMI scale (I really detest this index for weight loss as I find it unrealistic. Especially as one ages, which is why I am going for just “not overweight”).

It may take me a year to get to the weight I desire, but at least I am taking a step in the right direction.
—Robert Confiant 27 June 2020

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