For many years, I have been saying “I need to lose weight”, “I shouldn’t have eaten that” and “I will start on Monday”. They are the same things I heard my mother and father say for most of my life. It was normal for me to think of eating as an “activity”. My family and I ate when we were were celebrating an occasion, when we didn’t want to eat at home, when we were bored and any time between that. Unfortunately, that habit stuck.
Both my mother and father took Fen-Phen for weight-loss in the early 2000’s. They decided to start that together, however my father stopped (I don’t remember the reason). Because of this “diet” pill, they both ended up with heart conditions. My father had irregular heart beats and my mother, who took Fen-Phen for a longer period of time, ended up with Congestive Heart Failure. She required three open heart surgeries in a ten month span, finally implanting a pacemaker. The pacemaker was incorrectly installed and she passed away in June of 2002.
My father, who was overweight, smoking cigarettes, had high blood pressure and was a Type 2 Diabetic, tried diets unsuccessfully. Due to the Diabetes, he had both legs amputated within a two year span. He passed away December of 2012 due to Diabetes and infections from his amputations.
Both of my parents were extraordinary parents. They were always there for my brother, sister and I, were loving towards each other and great role models when it came to family, education and teaching us to be good people. I would not be who I am today had it not been for them. Their lesson in health, however is a completely different story. I wish this were not the case.
I am still in my late twenties. I have an amazing and supportive husband and two gorgeous and fun daughters. I have been experiencing a sharp pain in back below my left ribcage ever since I was pregnant with my first child. I have done CT-Scans, X-Rays and bloodwork, all come back normal. According to my doctor, it could be muscular, however it scared me enough to get me thinking: With my family history, what if it is something serious? What if my poor decisions are leading me into the same path my mother and father went down? I am 5’1 and 30 Ibs over weight. I do not want to follow in their footsteps. I found my mother’s body the day she passed away and it haunts me to this day. My brother and sister watched my father suffer day in and day out while they lived with him in Brazil. I look at my daughters and am scared of what they will encounter in their lives, but I know I will not be helping add any negative memories if I can help it. I will attend all of their special events, their graduations, their weddings. I will be a grandmother. I have too much to lose, and I can change this.
Today I went to Weight Watchers and signed up. Today I change my future. Today, not Monday.