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