Thursday, February 25, 2010

High School, College and Diabetes

Today's weight: 272.8 lbs, 111 lbs. lost total, 32.8 to go!

If overeating and imbalance were the downfall of my health as a younger kid, just about every other bad eating habit I picked up in my high school and college years.  If I had to give a chronology, I'd say high school was where I started eating poorly and snacking between meals, and when I got to college, that's when I started eating at all the wrong times and overeating bad foods all at the same time.

Eating on my own the majority of the time, alongside other adolescents who similarly knew little about nutrition but perhaps had a cooperating metabolism, pizza and fries were my lunch nearly every day in my high school's cafeteria, sporadically supplementing my pizza with a salad covered in Ranch dressing.

I've never been really drawn to sweets or soda, but that's the only area which didn't give me trouble.  In addition to essentially devoting that one meal per day to empty carbohydrates almost exclusively, I developed a pretty terrible habit of between-meal snacking, mostly things like saturated fats and simple carbs---breads, cheeses, salt-filled foods.

By my junior year of high school, I had reached 6'5" tall, but I had also grown to a full 328 lbs.  I often felt fatigued and hungry, and though I was not what you might call a "couch potato," and in fact was relatively active (though not exercising consistently), I felt lethargic and weak.  In subsequent doctor visits, I was diagnosed with symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes.  With the help of my family, I was able to slow down the symptoms, and actually slow down the weight gain by changing my diet.

However, while the changes I made were certainly helpful, maintaining my weight for several years before getting to college, what I still lacked was a concrete understanding of how food affected my body, so in a sense I was still flying blind.

After a year and a half of college, eating what my classmates were eating, late-night pizza often and overeating in the cafeteria, I reached my low point, weighing in at 383 lbs. during my sophomore year.  I had gotten to a point where it was clear to me that continuing to live this way would mean my life was getting shorter and shorter every day.

Next post:  The Breaking Point

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A little background...

Weight loss updates - Whenever I post, I'll begin each one by giving that day's weight, my total weight loss from my peak weight, and how far I have left to my goal weight (which is 240 lbs, for reference, I am 6'6" tall)

Today's weight: 273.4 lbs, 110 lbs. lost total, 33.4 to go!

I thought I'd provide a little background on how I got to my own personal low in my health, and what contributed to my weight gain.  It will obviously be the most fun to talk about my successes, and how I've gotten to where I am now, but the reality of it is, half the battle for me was to realize what things in my life I had to cut out to be able to make progress.  So, here it goes.

I've always loved while I'm sure that's not shocking--everybody loves eating--I think it's really the fundamental crossroads for someone who has diet issues.  You can take that love of eating and harness it, learning to enjoy healthy foods and what your body needs, OR, you lose control, eating what you want and what you crave, however much you want, when you want it and with disregard to what function it serves your body (or doesn't serve, as the case would be).

For me, age 9 or 10 is when I first lost control.  I was extremely fortunate in the sense that I had always been big into athletics from a very early age, and I played organized sports most of the way through high school.  Had I not been getting that consistent exercise from an early age, my situation could have been vastly worse.  As it was, around age 9 or 10, I began to show signs of my eleventh birthday, I was tall for my age, 5'7", but I weighed nearly 170 lbs, and I was still pudgy.

The habits I developed in those years, specifically, I believe were habits of overeating.  My family ate a lot of produce from our large home garden, and certainly healthy food was available to me, but I loved the starches (pasta, rice), cheeses and condiments.  The fact alone that you're eating these foods won't cause you to gain a tremendous amount of weight, it's the portion size, and the balance of diet which is important.  The fact was, the diet I had gotten accustomed to was HEAVY in simple carbohydrates and fat, and I was overeating those things.

Next post: High school, college, and Diabetes


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The First Step

Thanks for visiting!  I've had encouragement from all kinds of sources during my quest to become healthy over the past few years, and I wanted to start this blog to help others who have lost control of their health realize that no one is beyond hope...

Inspiration is the first step for most who forsee a long journey ahead of them, and I hope to be able to provide some of that!  I struggled with my weight from a very early age, never corrected my habits, and eventually became morbidly obese and was diagnosed with symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes.  The turning point was about two years ago now, when I realized I was putting my life in jeopardy by the way I ate and by my lack of activity.

For those of you out there for whom this sounds familiar, I've been there, and I can help you get back!  For those of you who haven't ever been quite that unhealthy, but are trying to treat your body as well as possible in becoming more healthy, that is the stage I am in now, as I approach my ideal weight.  For you readers out there, let's do this together!

I will read comments on my posts, and I would love to answer any questions you may have!  I am still in the process of shedding the products from years of unhealthy living, and I hope we can be a mutual encouragement!