Jul 30 , 2020
I can only start off by saying that now more than ever, I feel like I’ve gained traction on the upward path to getting my health in order. As someone who has clawed most of their way out of obesity, I felt like I could give quite a bit of insight into the world of someone who is considered morbidly obese. A lot of people have a lot of opinions on the matter of obesity, fitness, the correlations thereof, etc. One thing however remains constant, the facts. Coming from the pits of morbid obesity, I want to share with you my experiences.
First, a little about myself. 29 years old, male, current weight 270 lbs., striving for a final goal of 200 lbs. I started my weight loss/fitness journey in late April 2018. My heaviest was 365 lbs. and I had been morbidly obese for as long as I could remember. All throughout middle school, high school, and up until just recently. A lot of people who’ve gone through their weight loss journey all talk about having that “switch” moment where one day they just realize it’s now or never. I was no different. One morning I woke up and decided it was time for a change. Leading up to this were numerous issues related to my morbid obesity that played a heavy role in why I decided to get myself together.
The ramifications of years in a morbid obese state cannot be understated. Many difficulties arose due to my physical condition and eventually, it all culminated into some real problems for me. First off,
Sleep apnea. I’ve had sleep apnea for as long as I can remember. Anyone who has it can attest to the life threatening condition and the necessity for a CPAP machine to assist in breathing. Knowing that I couldn’t breathe easily on my own due to my weight was definitely scary and more than a few times I woke up gasping for air. Even with this risk, I still couldn’t get it through my head that I needed to lose weight. I currently still use a CPAP with aspirations to get off it soon.
Joint problems. Specifically my left ankle. Even as a big guy I always remained fairly active. I loved being outside and doing sport like activities. Many folk believe being physically active and morbidly obese is a good thing as you’ll sweat off those extra pounds. That isn’t the case however. Any knowledgeable person in the realm of weight loss and fitness can tell you that you cannot out train a shitty diet. So while I did active things like bike riding, basketball, football, martial arts, etc. I never kept my diet in check which resulted in me beating my joints with my excess body weight. Eventually I would reap the rewards of living such a life style and one morning I noticed my ankle began hurting. As time went on, the pain intensified. I have a job where standing for hours is mandatory and that would exacerbate the pain immensely; to the point where I would be limping at work and would need to ice my ankle after work daily. Still, this was not enough for me to get my shit together.
Using the Bathroom. This might be T.M.I. for some of you, but it’s a concern nonetheless. Being morbidly obese leaves you in a position that makes doing your business difficult. So much fat accumulates in your groin and anal areas that it can be difficult to wipe after defecating and urinating correctly. I’ve had quite a few accidents due to this and each time I would feel embarrassed and disgusting. Which leads into my next point.
Hygiene. It’s no surprise as to why morbidly obese/obese individuals have a social stigma of being unclean. While not every big person is unhygienic, it is much more difficult to clean yourself. Folds in the skin create warm moist areas that can get infected and inflamed. Wearing clothes that rub can cause sores and irritation. I myself have a pronounced belly hang and have suffered my fair share of sores, skin infections, and rashes. It made me feel disgusting and unclean. I would shower twice a day just to feel like I was clean. Which in its own right isn’t the best thing to do as over cleaning can dry out the skin. It was also tiring to wash myself completely. Bending over, lifting my hefty limbs, etc. This led me to not cleaning properly which then led to the myriad of hygiene problems I suffered.
Job Performance. My weight had caught up to me in a way that it affected my job performance in many ways. Physically I was slower than the rest, more lethargic and less motivated. My foot and ankle hurt constantly which also affected my work performance. This obviously set an impression of me as a person to my fellow coworkers. No one has ever fully expressed their thoughts to me directly but I can tell that most don’t hold my work ethic to high regard and therefore, I am just pushed aside for consideration of added responsibilities or potential promotion.
This one is probably obvious to anyone reading this. My mental health was shot. I had low self-esteem, no confidence, no energy, no desire to improve, and no willpower. This culminated in the brutal cycle many of us find ourselves in. The biggest affect this had was to my work. My mental state had gotten so bad that I was at risk of losing my job. Specifically, I kept calling in often because just didn’t feel good. Which led to many attendance reprimands putting me at risk for losing my job. My home life was also getting hit. I found myself in such an energy deficit that I didn’t want to do anything around the house. Cleaning, cooking, etc. which led to straining the relationships of my home life as well.
Overall, I was a complete mess. I woke up one day and realized just how much of a hole I dug myself in. The switch was flipped and I decided that enough was enough. So I took action.
The Beginning of my Journey until Now
The start of my journey was not anything special. After realizing that my mentality and my physicality was threatening my livelihood, I decided it was finally time. No more excuses, no more self-deprecating bullshit. I cleaned up a lot of my nutrition by just trying to replace bad foods with good slowly but surely. I didn’t even start with E.D.D.F. coaching right away actually. My first real motivating project was learning more about nutrition in general and maintain a workout regimen in the gym. I binged many a YouTube video from many fitness individuals and I bought a workout program and got to work. I stuck with that for a couple month’s trying to just form good habits, establish a routine, and attempting to perform the work outs. The couple months passed and I was starting to get frustrated. I was maintaining progress but I felt like I was just winging it so I entered a challenge being held by a local group in my area. 8 weeks to lose as much weight as possible and the top three would get a prize! I was pretty motivated and that kept me going. I continued in the gym and I stayed with trying to change up my nutrition slowly. The challenge offered a good support group, weekly incentives, some personal coaching etc. It was really inspiring and motivating to see so many others trying to do the same thing
locally. Then I hit a wall. The weight loss challenge was over. I got 3rd place in it which was awesome but after that, I didn’t know what to do to keep me motivated. I got frustrated once again and I back slid a bit. I took to YouTube again for inspiration and found Alan's channel. I had seen his videos before and was entertained by them but I never gave it much thought. I rediscovered him and saw his coaching plans. I really liked his no BS attitude and since I was pretty much fed up with myself, I decided it was time to reach out for some real guidance.
The rest is history as you might say. I’m now close to my 100 lbs. lost mark and I feel better than ever. I strive every day to keep improving and am well on my way to finally hitting my weight loss goals. Once I hit the weight I want, I’ll start really focusing on building my fitness. Many morbidly obese/obese folk don’t ever get into their daily struggles in regards to their weight and how it affects them. It’s embarrassing and personal. I want to give you guys a glimpse into what those hardships meant to me. Obesity is more serious than people realize and it can affect any aspect of your life if left untreated. I hope this painted a good picture for you all. I’ll keep pushing forward and training to be the best version of myself I can. Every Damn Day.