A Mom’s Road To Realization
I have always been “big,” and when I say big, it means heavy, overweight and yes, FAT. There, I said it. During middle school, my teachers would refer to me as “that adorable, chubby one with big, brown eyes.” In high school, I heard one of the guys say (he didn’t know I was listening in), “Good thing she has a beautiful face and a big butt.” (At least I knew what he was up to early on and rejected his advances. He wanted my butt!!!)
During college, one particular guy (an ex-boyfriend) loved the idea that I was plus size. I get to eat as much as him during buffet dinners. He said that he got his money’s worth. I felt as if I was there as his eating buddy and not his girlfriend. Anyway, I met the love of my life after I graduated and we started an adventure of forever together.
Ten years into our marriage and three kids later, I was still pretty, but my weight was appalling. I’m not that cute and chubby girl anymore. Big butt chick? No. It was enormous like the Titanic. I was still considered a “plus-size” girl, yeah, but 24 is not plus size. It’s DINOSAUR size. I was often out of breath, and I literally couldn’t keep up with my kids. One day, my body just gave up. My feet swelled like as if I was retaining water and that was not a good sign.
I went to my regular doctor, but she was on vacation, and so, her secretary referred me to her doctor friend, a cardiologist. Before I came in, she asked me to have my lab tests done. After all that blood work, I was thirsty. With an Oreo milkshake in tow, I entered the clinic, and the doctor had a surprised look on her face.
She was nowhere near subtle and started to talk to me about my weight. I told her that I was there for my swollen feet and not for my weight. She said to me in an icy tone that the reason why my feet were like that is due to my heaviness, and so, they’re connected. I was so embarrassed because she also told me that I had to cut down on my milkshakes. And there I was, sipping a venti Oreo milkshake in her clinic.
The doctor continued and told me that she didn’t mean to come on as too strong. She also apologized for her tactfulness, and she said that she didn’t intend to embarrass me. Her reaction, according to her, was based on my tests and medical history. I was 5 foot and 6 inches at 120 kilos. It is an alarming condition. She asked me how old my children were and I told her. She was a bit sad when she said that if I didn’t lose weight now, my young kids would be orphaned. I didn’t know that I was so sick.
My cholesterol levels were off the roof. Next, my blood pressure was still in the normal range, but high. Borderline. Looking at my blood sugar levels, it was also not a good number. I was retaining water because my body had too much sodium. Dang that salted egg fried chicken! It will be the death of me.
While I laugh nervously at the news, the doctor said it’s not too late. If I lose the excess weight, I can get healthy again. I asked her how to do it, and she prescribed to me a diet program called Lilly Diabetes Meal Plan. With that, I closed my big mouth and just submitted to her.
When I got home, I told my husband about the doctor’s visit, and we both decided that it was time for us to lead a healthy life. We tossed out our Camel’s, soda, and processed meat. He also enrolled us in a 24-hour gym so that we can exercise every single day. Hopefully, there will be progress in a month’s time.
Andrea dela Torre, 38 from Palo Alto, CA (a dear friend of Sara Sullivan)