Pain comes in many forms.
Anyone living with obesity is, or will eventually become, very familiar with Pain on many levels.
In many ways it was pain that started me on my weight loss journey.
In February, I started having pressure sores develop in my upper thigh and groin. A most embarrassing ordeal resulting in many days of missed work. The pressure sores were not caused by lying in bed. In fact, lying in bed was my only relief. The sores were caused by the fat stores of my body creating pressure. At times the pain was unbearable.
They would not heal.
I finally broke down and went to the doctor. He immediately ordered an A1C to test for diabetes. It came back positive for advanced type II diabetes.
I was devastated.
I was in a lot of pain.
In the past, pain was my motivation to eat more and exercise less.
This time, I was very motivated to do something completely different.
A simple life
Watching “Donny and Marie” on Sunday evenings, searching the heavens to see if I could catch God hopping from cloud to cloud, playing cup-ball in our back yard, going out on invisible routes to catch a ball thrown by my brother while he evaded invisible pass-rushers, these are some of my fondest childhood memories.
My fondest because I was with family.
My fondest because these were times when my world was not ruled by pain.
And yet, they are also elusive, burdensome memories because I am now physically unable to share in such activities with my daughters.
Co-parent: How’s Rhaylee?
Me: Well… her tooth hurts, her head hurts, her stomach hurts, she feels like throwing up, she’s dressed in a cape, running back and forth across the house, jumping on furniture and ignoring my instructions. So…average.
My body is riddled with arthritis. Some of the arthritis was caused by injury, such as the stingers in my neck from helmet to helmet hits in high school football, or the time someone knocked my quarterback into my right knee.
But the rest of my arthritis comes from genetics combined with good old fashion abuse of my body through poor nutrition and obesity.
Ankles, knees, shoulders, neck, hands, elbows…just about every joint has arthritis now.
I cannot keep up with my five-year-old daughter. The pain is too much. But by losing weight, I am able to spend much more time with her.
I was never small, on the outside.
I remember the horror of being chosen in junior high to play “skins” in the shirts versus skins scrimmage, that was nothing compared to later when the sight of me, shirtless, was described in detail to a group of young ladies in our class.
To this day it is difficult for me to discuss my body in social situations, even one-on-one, even when the comments are positive about my weight loss.
I strongly believe my obesity has played a major role in my lack of success in relationships with the opposite sex, mostly by the physical limitations placed on my by the burden of extra pounds.
The most pounds I put on in life came in situations where I experienced abuse. My parents never abused me. But I was on the receiving end in two physically abusive relationships. The pain and fear created by the abuse became unbearable.
I think part of me needed to be bigger then. I needed the extra weight, either for padding, or for some sick need to protect myself from further abuse.
That time has long gone. But memories remain and continue to haunt my current behavior.
Pain comes in many forms.
But victory is that much sweeter. Sweeter in weight loss. Sweeter in better relationships. Sweeter in better focus. And sweeter in Him.