Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Why is this so important now?

I have been overweight for years. I remember when I was young. I was not overweight. I was actually rather petite and small. My family moved from Pennyslvania to Florida when I was 12 years old. I wore a size 6...and I remember, I was so upset to go to that six. Suddenly; within the first year of moving, I gained weight. They said it was a combination of the 'culture shock' and me hitting those wonderful years that we all have to go through. However, my weight slowly crept up through high school. I went to college and it was probably one of the best times for my weight. I was always on the go.....for a while we exercised religiously at the "Y" (thanks Suzy and Rach....it was actually fun to go with ya'll) True, the Dairy Queen beckoned on the way back to the dorm...but I was so active that I was actually at one of my lowest weights in years. 214. I cringe when I see that......214 pounds was a good weight in my mind???

I left college and the weight started slowly creeping back on. I didn't work on it...I just let it happen. I had one time where I was close to my college weight...but it was due to a stressful job....NOT worth it. AND the downside.....when I left the job and the stress was alleviated....the weight returned with a vengence. When I say with a vengence, I not only returned me to my 'pre-stress job' weight...I added about 40 more pounds extra.

I turned thirty and panicked! I wanted to have a baby someday. I had always had one 'strike' against me. I was big...it would make a full term/healthy pregnancy/baby more difficult. BUt I always had 'youth' on my side. All of a sudden I had that "I'm in my thirties, I'm getting old" moment. I started working on my weight...and got myself back down to my 240. I plataued....and I have sat at 240-250 for the last 2-3 years.

During those last few years I've made half hearted attempts to kick start this process. However I just couldn't do it. Sadly enough, it is/was watching my mother struggle. She is a few years shy of 60 and she is struggling with her weight. It is terrible to see.....her health and her very life are contingent on her weight. I know that she has been lucky...it has only been in the last few years that these 'weight related' health issues have really surfaced. However, they are here and they are attacking! Typical mother, even as she struggles, she worries about my husband and I. She doesn't want us to go through what she is going through....and she knows it will most likely happen to us if we don't get this excess weight off.

Just recently it hit me. This weight is going to kill me. Not tomorrow...or the next day (hopefully). But eventually, it could very easily catch me in it's clutches. I can't let that happen. I have to fight!

For the last few years I have said..."well, if I get down to to 175 pounds I think that would be great". Just recently, I decided that was cutting myself short. Honestly, if I get there and just can't get it futher, I'm going to consider myself a sucess. However, I'm aiming more for what they "SAY" I should weigh....SO I am aiming for roughly 150... 100 pounds!


I found this story on the internet while reading Blogs...couldn't help but post it on mine to reread whenever I need that little umf to help me stay movitaved and keep my willpower strong!

FOund on http://journals.aol.com/mmclem1112/marks ...just reading his blog is an inspiration in itself.....so far 172 pounds gone!

Posted by Kat on March 1st, 2005
Charles Laurence
The Sunday Telegraph

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Big Pete” Loiselle is a shadow of his former self. At 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, he sits at his kitchen table and describes what it is like to be one of the most obese people in the United States.

The 40-year-old schoolteacher from Ellsworth, Me., told of being mocked at shopping centres, being unable to use public washrooms, suffering from severe body odour because of the sweat trapped in the folds of his skin and being scarcely able to lift himself from his living room chair to go to work. In the end, with his weight peaking at 763 pounds and a waist measuring 84 inches, his spine was being crushed by the pressure of his stomach whenever he stood up. It had come down to a decision between diet and death

“You get bigger a little bit at a time,” Mr. Loiselle says. “The bigger you get, the less activity you do. Even going to the bathroom is a problem.”

For 20 years, he could not go to a movie because he could no longer fit into the seats. He missed his sister’s wedding in Chicago because he could not afford to buy the two seats the airline was demanding before letting him on board. The mere act of staggering from his pick-up truck to his front door or into his classroom would leave him gasping for breath.

As he soared past the 700-pound mark in his early thirties, Mr. Loiselle worked out that he could get himself dressed more easily if he put his shoes on before hauling on his enormous, custom-made jeans. When he could no longer tie his shoelaces, he bought shoes with Velcro fasteners. “I could not go to my favourite restaurants because I could not fit into the chairs,” he says. “So I bought my own chair, tossed it into the back of the truck and hauled it into the restaurant.”

Mr. Loiselle did not, by his reckoning, “gorge constantly.” He did not eat breakfast and insists he was “never the kind of guy who ate all 12 eggs in the box” at one sitting. Rather, he regularly ate cheese crackers and peanut butter biscuits—“a packet or two at a time.”

There was plenty of food to be had, he discovered, if he volunteered for lunch duty at the Surry Elementary School, close to his home on the spectacular Bar Harbor coast of Maine. “The cooks always make too much for the kids, so I would eat all I liked from the leftovers. When I got home, I’d sit down and eat all that carbohydrate-sodium-sugar stuff that makes you feel good. Then I’d have an ordinary dinner—burgers, or something like that—only I’d have two or three portions. I ate all that I wanted and never counted the calories.”

If he had counted, according to the doctors who eventually helped save his life, the mathematics teacher would have arrived at a figure close to 10,000 for his daily calorie intake.

“I stopped going to the mall because of people pointing, staring and giggling,” he says.

Mr. Loiselle insists, however, that he was perfectly happy as one of the fattest men in the United States. At the age of 25, when he weighed about 650 lbs, he married Christine, now 45. “My love life? Well, I’ll say this: I’m still happy, and I’m still married. It’s another thing you learn to work your way around,” he says.

Christine laughs, and says: “There’s a lot less to love now, but a lot more loving. Pete was pretty big when I got to know him, and his weight was never an issue. He’s a really nice guy, and he has a wicked sense of humour. I always saw beyond what everyone else saw.”

At school, his pupils had never mocked him, even as he grew too big to get up from his chair below the blackboard. Mr. Loiselle had wanted to be a teacher since he was 13, and he has a knack for the job. He is known as a strict disciplinarian, but one whom the children love and respond to. When, in the end, he found himself in hospital, they made videotapes pleading for him to recover.

“The kids were my biggest defenders.”

By the time he was 36, however, Mr. Loiselle knew that his health was failing. He was developing cellulitis in his legs, an agonizing condition that causes inflammation of body tissue, which can lead to gangrene and amputation. While he was in hospital, he was told he would lose his legs within a year—and his life within three or four. It was considered remarkable that he had reached his mid-thirties at all.

Doctors called in surgeons and dietitians. They offered Mr. Loiselle a last chance plan: if he lost 100 lbs, they would offer gastric bypass surgery. After gastric bypass, however, a patient must stay on a strict diet for life.

Mr. Loiselle’s face still creases with horror at the thought. He decided he would forgo the gastric bypass and simply diet. “There was no big moment,” he says. “But I wanted to be with Christine, and I wanted to be big brother to my four siblings, all younger, and I wanted to see the 22 nephews and nieces they have grow up.”

With the dietitian, he worked out a daily regimen of 2,200 calories which enabled him to eat his favourite foods. He still enjoys peanut butter and burgers, drinks the odd beer and takeout from KFC. He just eats less.

For two-and-a-half years, he lost an average of 17 lbs a month—the total weight loss of almost 504 lbs is understood to be the largest achieved without surgery. After a year, he was able to exercise, and he now walks four miles a day and lifts weights daily. He has a body mass index of 30 and a body-fat ratio of 15.3%. “According to my doctor, I now officially have the body of an athlete,” he says, smiling.

Mr. Loiselle has, however, had one operation: his diet left him with folds of floppy skin. Surgeons removed eight pounds of skin from around his waist. “Yes, I’m happier like this,” he concedes. “I realized that my family had been keeping a little distance from me, because they were scared I was going to die.”

And not long ago, Mr. Loiselle was striding through Ellsworth when he encountered some pupils from his 700-pound days. “They were in shock,” he says. “And they were even in tears to see me like this because they were so pleased.”