Friday, November 30, 2007

Some weighty matters

I had to go to the doctor yesterday. I was called in because my blood pressure and blood glucose were too high. Yes, I am a diabetic and have hypertension. I blame this on two things-Heredity and poor life choices.

I have been overweight off and on since I was 12 years old. I went from being just under 100 pounds at age 11 to over 185 at age 13. Over weight kids have to have a sense of humor or they have a painful life ahead of them. Not being very athletic, I spent 3 years on my high school football squad, sitting on the bench. And believe me when I say some football coaches can be worse than kids when it came to berating those who had weight problems.

In the blog My Thoughts, Stacy wrote a post about her daughter Kelcy. Kelcy had taken a lot of meanness from her classmates because of her weight. Kids are too mean but I also think that some of this can be attributed to their upbringing.

One of the things that people say that makes them assume that they can say something mean is "I'm telling you this for your own good." Some may call this constructive criticism. Still hurt when I was growing up and the subject was my weight.

I've been feeling that there isn't enough positive motivation among families and friends of those who feel hopeless about their weight. I tried to lose weight at least three times when I was in high school with no success. I would announce that I was trying to lose weight and then all the teasing would start. I would lose a few pounds then gain back more than I lost.

There is the opposite end of the spectrum. That's those who aren't overweight but still feel the need to diet constantly. You have models that are so thin that a good stiff wind would blow them away. Karen Carpenter died at the age of 32 due from the effects of anorexia. A record executive had told her she looked chubby, and she took it to heart so much that before she died, she about looked like a human skeleton.

A good read about weight struggles from one who has never described herself as overweight or obese, but has gained and lost since her teen years would be Valley Girl's post, Weighing in on Weight.

About the time I turned 21, I was tired of not being able to date. I was 260 pounds, all baby fat, insecure as all get out, and no young lady would give me the time of day. But one day something happened. I started losing weight. My lunch at work was the same thing everyday-A fish sandwich with nothing on it and a can of Tab. The pounds started coming off, as I was also walking a few miles everyday. Girls started thinking I looked cute as I also had a full head of dark brown curly hair. I was now actively dating. It was after I lost 60 pounds that I met this young lady at work. This was Thanksgiving week, 1977. The young lady is now Mrs74WIXYgrad.

I told people that I lost 60 pounds chasing women. I gained some of it back when I caught one. Here is a picture of me with my mother on my wedding day, March 10, 1977. As you can see, I had gained some of the weight back.
But I still had my full head of dark hair.

My weight had hit a high of 240 when I decided to stop smoking. My decision to stop smoking was made because my wife was pregnant with our first child. I decided to quit shortly after Election day, 1980. I thought for sure I was going to have to go out and buy larger clothes. But instead, I started to lose weight!!! I was taking a sandwich and sliced fresh vegetables for my lunch, sometimes washing them down with a V8. Man was I felt great. I made it down to 184. I was wearing a 34 inch waistband.

Problem with getting down to a desired weight. You have to maintain it. I didn't. Back up to about 240. Marrying into a southern family does have it's tasty hazards. My mother in law happens to be one of the best cooks around. Church dinners have more than their fair share of fried chicken. And speaking of chicken, I live dangerously close to Barberton, Ohio, called by some the Chicken Capitol of the World. Barberton chicken is very tasty, and it's cooked in lard.

In the next few years, I lost a few and gained more back. In 1995, I had arthroscopic surgery on my knee. I was told the next surgery would be a total knee replacement. The following year, I started reading nutrition labels and started cutting out saturated fat from my meals when I could. Sandwich, salad, and fruit would be in my lunch. And no buying off the lunch truck. I went from 245 to 205. Didn't get near my target weight, which would have been 185. Had I done that, I would have cut off my facial hair. I think that men grow beards for one of two reasons. One is to hide a fact they don't have a chin. The other is that they have too many chins. My reason was the latter.

2001, I had the total knee replacement. Another surgery on the same knee followed 15 months later. Weight came back on. Now up to 265.

2005, when I had my physical it was discovered that I was diabetic. I then lost about 30 pounds before depression hit. Anti depressants are no good when you're watching your weight. You can't lose weight and you turn to your good friend, food. What hurts the most tastes the best.

2007: The picture to your left is me this past July. I had just made friends with Liquid and I sent her this picture. I wanted to see if she would judge me by my looks. She touched it up in her personal style, added a story to it and put it on her blog. Liquid is a good friend. In this picture, I weigh 275.

Good news though. I went to the doctor yesterday and I weighed 260. Hopefully going down. Blood pressure, blood glucose, and weight.

But knowing first hand what people go through when they don't weigh as much as society thinks they should, and knowing the hurt that I have felt when someone makes the derogatory comments I have heard made about me, and knowing that some kids in school think fat kids are dumb(I know, run on sentence), I would ask that in this case don't judge the book by the cover. We need encouragement and loved on. A little positive motivation goes a long way.

Walk a mile in our shoes.

13 comments:

Frasypoo said...

Weight is such an issue and a personal one at that.I was always very skinny but when I hit 25,I started gaining weight.From there to now its been a see saw and I wish I did not have to care about it but with a 100% family history of diabetes,I ahve to be careful about my diet,fitness etc.Though I fall short all the time !
Thats a post from the heart,WIXY
(Thats an impressive head of hair)

74WIXYgrad said...

Frasypoo,

As far as the hair is concerned, I still have it. It's just a lot lighter.

Bella said...

Good post.

People can be so cruel.

Good for you for quitting smoking too.

Jessica said...

Wow, that some deep stuff. Your comment "Don't judge a book by it's cover"...Oh how true. Some people never learn that.

I would have missed out on some pretty important friendships in my life had I rejected people due to weight or looks. We are all God's creatures and we all have wonderful gifts to offer no matter who or what we are....Including you WIXY.

I never gained an ounce until I hit 35. I'd like to loose 30 pounds and somedays I feel really rotten about it but then I just try and tell myself that my worth is not based on my weight. More than anything I'd like to loose the weight for health reasons. My Dad is a diabetic and my Mom has bad heart disease and being a nurse I know first hand all this stuff too well. But that doesn't make it any easier.

Kathy said...

I'm sorry to hear that you've been through this struggle. I think you look just fine in the recent pictures of yourself. I've had some weight problems also, but not like seriously overweight, just a little overweight. Mainly because I'm so short. So, really, I'm not too fat, I'm just too short! Don't worry about the weight, just try to be healthy.
Hey, there's an award waiting for you to pick up here...
Blog Friend Award

Valley Girl said...

Anyone that would discount you based on your looks isn't worth knowing, anyway. Remember that. Consider this a blessing in that you can weed out the useless people from the true friends.

But being healthy is important, too. I hope you do what it takes to ensure that you live a full and happy life. Your pic with Mrs. WIXY is just adorable.

Hugs,
Val

jim said...

The main cause of weight gain is caused by the impact what people eat and drink on blood sugar levels.

Both turkey and pork chops have a minimal impacat on blood sugar levels.Art really is cluess about the subject.

Here is more info:

http://www.mendosa.com/gilists.htm

http://www.nutritiondata.com/topics/glycemic-index

74WIXYgrad said...

Bella: Unfortunately I had picked up the cigarettes again, only I never smoked around my children. I did lay them down for good over 10 years ago. One of the best motivators for not restarting nowadays is the sign above the cashier's head at the gas station which list the current prices.

Jessica and Bella: I have worked in medical related jobs and I have found out that sometimes the worst people about abusing their bodies are in the medical profession.

Kathy: My current problem have to do with the way I feel about myself, and overall conditions like fatigue. Many people judge others because they feel that the person they are judging don't look like the way they think the other should.

Val: One good thing about blogger is we can get to know our friends from inside first. Overweight people are discriminated as much as others. In a lot of situations I had to work hard to prove myself.

Jim: Thanks for the advice. You are a good friend. One of the things I remember about you the only time we met face to face was how fit you are. I know that you are a jogger, as well as a car enthusiast. Start a blog based on some of your interests. The community that assembles here is some real good folks.

kasper794 said...

When I was younger I was anorexic. I had my mother telling me I was skinnier than that at your age contantly, kids at school ridiculing me, and my parents divorce. Oh well I snapped out of it and am healthier now. So sorry to hear about your struggle. I agree with Don't judge a book by it's cover.

stacys1175 said...

this post brought tears to my eyes because dealing with the problems my whole life and now seeing my little girl deal with it.It deeply hurts so i can honesty say i know what you go through. but on the up side of thing i think you look good for your age :) I also would like to think you for adding kelcey in your blog and i have to agree with you it dose have to deal with the upbrings of kids. anyway it was a great post. have a good day:)

jim said...

The reasons for weight gain are several. The reason I listed above is one of the major reasons. I should have said it is one of the main reasons for weight gain. I said it is the main reason but I should have said it is one of the main reasons.

It may indeed be the main reason for weight gain as well as being one of the main reasons for weight gain. I am not 100% sure if it is the main reason or one of the main reasons. But in any case, it is indeed one of the main reasons for weight gain. I think the reason I listed may be the main reason for weight gain but I am not sure if it is the main reason. I clearly know it is one of the main reasons though for weight gain.

I hope this message was clear. I am just trying to be clear.

jim said...

I meant to say that there can be various reasons for weight gain. The reason I listed above is one of the major reasons. I should have said it is one of the main reasons for weight gain. I said it is the main reason but I should have said it is one of the main reasons.

It may indeed be the main reason for weight gain as well as being one of the main reasons for weight gain. I am not 100% sure if it is the main reason or one of the main reasons. But in any case, it is indeed one of the main reasons for weight gain. I think the reason I listed may be the main reason for weight gain but I am not sure if it is the main reason. I clearly know it is one of the main reasons though for weight gain.

I hope this message was clear. I am just trying to be clear.

jim said...

I meant to say that there are various reasons for weight gain. The reason I listed above is one of the major reasons. I should have said it is one of the main reasons for weight gain. I said it is the main reason but I should have said it is one of the main reasons.

It may indeed be the main reason for weight gain as well as being one of the main reasons for weight gain. I am not 100% sure if it is the main reason or one of the main reasons. But in any case, it is indeed one of the main reasons for weight gain. I think the reason I listed may be the main reason for weight gain but I am not sure if it is the main reason. I clearly know it is one of the main reasons though for weight gain.

I hope this message was clear. I am just trying to be clear.