It is important when embarking on a weight-loss journey to remember that while numbers on a scale are a sign of weight loss, they are only one of many signs of real improvement. As such, I want to take a few moments to discuss my current state of wellness, fitness, and being so that, over time, I can measure the real successes I hope to achieve.
In November (two months ago yesterday, to be precise) I broke my ankle, and at the same time I wrenched my knee. While I do not know to what extent my weight caused the actual injury, I am certain that the healing time – especially of my knee – has taken much longer than it might have had I been slimmer. The injury also prevented me from walking (even walking my dog) for six weeks, and so whatever momentum I might have had was lost. In short, I feel like a lump. More on that in a bit.
I do not remember how it was before my injury, but right now it is hard to stand up. I don’t mean that once I am up I have issues, but getting up – whether it be from bed or from a chair – is quite difficult. Sometimes it is painful on my knee, sometimes it is just that I feel like I am lifting a weight that is too heavy. How appropriate, right? I am indeed too heavy.
I feel sluggish all the time. I never have enough energy to get through the day. I am always tired, but at the same time I never sleep well. I find I am taking more naps during the day than I ever did before.
My clothes are disgusting. I don’t mean they are not stylish or torn or anything… they are just too big, and at that, even some of my fattest clothes do not fit properly.
When I relocated from California back to Canada, I had friends pack up and ship everything from my apartment. Fortunately, they did not use the discretion I gave them to throw out the huge bag of ‘fat clothes’ that I had put aside to donate but never had. They literally shipped all of the clothes that I had gone through ranging from my fattest to my slimmest – at the time a range of 105lbs. That means that, with regard to pants (as an example), I have pants ranging in size from 44 to 36. That is a huge range! I also have Size 44 pants that I cannot wear – different pants are cut differently of course, and the pants with either a slightly slimmer cut, or those that do not have any give/stretch in the waist do not currently fit me.
When I was my heaviest before, I was usually wearing shirts that were a size 3XL. As I lost most of the weight the last time, I was so excited that I was wearing XL shirts. None of those XL shirts come close to fitting right now… and I even have some 3XL shirts that do not fit. I refuse to order anything larger. The result is that a lot of the time my belly is hanging out of my shirt – the number one sign that someone is fat and has probably given up. I have in fact not given up… I just refuse to buy larger clothes for fear that if I get comfortable in them, I won’t start to diet.
Yes, every day that I get dressed I am not only uncomfortable with my clothes, I am outright disgusted by them. I suppose I was hoping that having to wear shirts that made my belly hang out would help force me to diet. It took a couple of months, but that was certainly a big contributing factor to it.
As the weather in Canada got cooler as winter approached, I was more than a little distraught to realize that my 3XL winter jacket was too tight to zip up. I had to order a new 4XL jacket. And yes, when I say ‘had to order’ I mean that I went to the Columbia outlet shop in Niagara to try on jackets, only to discover that the largest size they carried was a 3XL… which did not fit me. Let’s put aside for the moment that I had to buy a 4XL anything, it also cost me over $300… and if you have never endured a Canadian winter let me assure you that it was not a luxury.
I am out of breath nearly constantly. I don’t mean that I am sitting at my desk wheezing… but if I get up to go do something, I am breathing hard, and would need a few minutes at rest for my breathing (and I suppose my heart rate) to return to normal. I would assume that my heartrate is higher, even at rest.
I do not remember it being this difficult before my ankle and knee injury, but it is difficult to put my shoes and socks on. Additionally, it is much more difficult to pick up after Princess Sophie – I suppose before my injury I wouldn’t have had as much of a problem, but now that I am favouring a knee that is in nearly constant pain, I know that bending down (around an overly large belly, and on one bad and two stiff knees) is difficult. Yes, I am still picking up after her… I’m just saying that it is much harder than it used to be.
It is hard to get comfortable to go to sleep. That is a combination of the extremely obese upper body, and a knee that is painful (and for some reason in more pain when lying down than when sitting or standing up… or even than walking).
I wrote a whole section on this, but have decided that I will not share it with the world. While I am sure some of you are saddened that you are not getting the juicy details, let me reassure you that the 450 words cut from here are none of your business!
As I go through the next few days, I have no doubt that I will think of other things that I should add to this list, and I will do so. Really, it is not much more complicated than this: I feel neither healthy nor good being morbidly obese. I am embarrassed, I am uncomfortable. I have trouble walking as I used to, I have trouble lifting my legs to get in and out of the shower. I hate that my clothes do not fit and am more than mildly embarrassed to have huge tubs filled with clothes that will not fit at all until I have lost weight. Carrying the weight around – even in a sitting position – tires me out.
It is time to lose the weight – all of it. Let’s go.