My Turning Point

Nearing the end of July, 2014, I came across a situation.  A weird feeling in my chest.  It was a gnawing ache with left shoulder pain.  I had similar pains for a couple of years.  I’ve been tested by cardiologists, internists, etc.  I have GERD and a hiatal hernia, but each time the chest pains start, I panic.  Sometimes my body gets warm, numb and I feel like I’m outside myself, like I’m detached physically.  My anxiety takes over.  So I went to the doctor and had my routine EKG, which was fine.  Before that, while the doctor was taking my vitals, I over looked what he wrote.  My BMI was 53.  Blood pressure elevated.  I was 409 pounds.  While he’s speaking, my mind wandered.  I was in panic.  I began questioning myself.  I knew I was fat.  I was buying Big and Tall Ralph Lauren shirts.  My size went from L/XL to 4XB.  I was ashamed.  I stayed inside more.  I became very unsocial.  Over the years I felt my relationship slip away, which it formally did a couple of months previously (May).

A few days before the doctor’s visit, I woke up in the middle of the night, gasping for air in the living room.  My world was crumbling.  I was beyond depressed.  Nearly eight years with her, gone in a flash.  Shocked.  Was I suicidal?  I don’t know.  All I knew was that we worked together and I was pushing to find work.  There was no way I could afford our place on my own with the salary I had.  Continuously looking for finance work, but nothing.  The competition was crazy.  Also, I was scared of rejection during interviews because of my size.  People in New York are very judgmental and being obese isn’t really the norm professionally.  I kept pounding it in my head, “You can’t take of yourself, why would I let you handle my finances.”  Anyways, all of this was flashing in my head as the doctor was speaking to me.  As per usual, everything was okay.  I was not.

Seeing my BMI was the wake-up call.  I knew my size.  I knew my anxiety.  I’m a vain person, and as soon as the weight piled on, I vanished.  Other tragic events did happen, which contributed to the situation, but that’s for another day.  Everyone told me to lose weight, from concerned co-workers, friends, to professionals.  I bathed in my depression like some sick game.  Ate more Wendy’s.  Daily staycations with banquets of Seven Eleven.  Can’t beat Slim Jim’s and Monster energy drinks (which I became addicted to for years).  I tried to eat healthier at work; fell in love with a place.  However I cheated on myself up to that point.  My mathematical mind saw my BMI and I was changed.  So many things built up to that point.  That was my apex or rock bottom weight-wise.  Other mental rock bottoms were coming, but physically, that was it.  I was so sick of it.  I looked in the mirror of my dim, evening lit bathroom and cried.  Here I was, this former athlete, extremely competitive, health conscious person lost in the moment.  I was in Hell.

I decided I was going to eat better.  I demanded that I invest in myself.  I began to separate myself from everyone because I knew I was going to be relocating soon.  I had a month to figure it out. No employers were biting, so I accepted my fate and prepared for the journey.

A man who craves the light, stuck in the darkest catacomb.  Finally… I acted on what I already knew deep inside… I turned on the light.

February 17, 2015.  334 Pounds. BMI = 42.9

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