Trials, Failures, Death and Victory: the Path of Obesity

It was not only the physical challenge, it was also the psycho-social challenge of being seen in public, limping down the aisles, knowing you are three times bigger than anyone else around.

Last week my daughter Rhaylee sat in my lap. My lap! Five months ago my lap was covered with belly fat sticking out to my knees when I sat down. There was no lap. Later she asked me why I did not go lay down in bed like I used to. She used to love jumping up and down on my bed while I lay down. She was used to me being sick all the time.

You may be wondering why I chose to address morbid obesity rather than the whole spectrum of dieting.  The answer is simple, I am morbidly obese and have been most of my life.  Every time I go to the emergency room for anything from an allergic reaction to a bad cold they want to hook me up to an EKG machine and make sure I did not have a heart attack.  Their protocols are there for a reason. Based on weight, heart problems are much more likely for the morbidly obese.

There is a reason it is called “morbid.”  We are much more prone to having disease as a result of the obesity.

For the last three decades I have been measured as class III extremely obese.  According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, my risk of disease is extremely high. Until I achieve my goal weight of 178 pounds, I will continue to be at high risk of disease.

There is victory down this path.

Those are not the only reasons I chose my topic of morbid obesity.  Another reason is this.  It is so difficult to live morbidly obese.  Everything becomes a challenge from walking to going to the bathroom to being available for friends and family to your job.

At my peak in weight, I could not go to WalMart.  I simply could not do it. It was not only the physical challenge, it was also the psycho-social challenge of being seen in public, limping down the aisles, knowing you are three times bigger than anyone else around. I would have panic attacks and be forced to leave the store before normal breathing could be restored.

This is where the self-talk became the most powerful.  “You do not deserve to be like them. You did this to yourself and you will be judged. You will never be able to shop at a regular store again.  Just give up now.”

My greatest hero said, “I have come that you might have life and that more abundantly.”  My pursuit is simple, to show the morbidly obese there is a way through this challenge.  I have tried and tried and tried and failed so many times, over and over again.  Statistically speaking, I am likely to fail again. But I have hope.  I have faith.  There is victory down this path.

Finally, many of the philosophies listed on this blog come from what my mother taught me. She battled morbid obesity all her adult life.  She died of complications to several diseases, all of which could be attributed to her obesity or were compounded by it.

I miss her.

Photo: My mother, Glenda, on her wedding day.

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