Rock Bottom

Post by: WW-Paul

I remember when I hit rock bottom. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Lets start at the beginning of the story.

I remember being very skinny as a kid. My sister, who was much more aware of body issues than I ever was, used to be disgusted by how skinny I was, and how skinny she didn’t think she was. By the time I was in high school, I wasn’t super skinny, but I wasn’t heavy yet. (I use relative terms because I don’t know that I ever weighed myself in high school.)

I didn’t start having trouble with weight until I was about 18 or 19. My metabolism changed, I suppose, and I started packing on some pounds. I noticed it when I walked past mirrors, but I wasn’t too concerned. Obviously, this wasn’t rock bottom. I spent two years living in Brazil, where I dropped back down to a healthy weight again (my family almost didn’t recognize me when I came home), but it wasn’t because I had changed my lifestyle in a permanent way; I came home and went back eating the way I had before I left North America.

I spent much of the next four years slowly gaining weight. By the time I got married, I weighed about 260 pounds (I’m about 6’3″; soBMI was 35.5)–but I hadn’t yet hit rock bottom. I joined a gym and went to the gym on and off for the next couple of years. I knew I was gaining weight, and I was embarrassed about it. But I hadn’t hit rock bottom. Slowly the pounds crept on. My wife began to get concerned.

About three years ago, I had an appointment with my doctor. I was twenty-six at the time. After doing a bunch of tests that showed elevated badcholesterol and really low good cholesterol, my doctor said I had a 1-in-3 chance of a major cardiac event in the next ten years (i.e. before I turned 35). But that still wasn’t rock bottom. My clothes didn’t fit anymore, and I had to move to a larger size. But still, I wasn’t at rock bottom.

Over a year later, a close family member passed away, and we traveled to her funeral. That is where I hit my “rock bottom.” My mother-in-law was a lifetime member of Weight Watchers, and was back losing some extra weight she had picked up in years since she’d made Lifetime. While we were in town that weekend, we talked a lot about the program and how it worked. We looked up the POINTS values of the foods we were eating. I didn’t think I was interested, because I didn’t think I was willing to live the program. I didn’t want to hear that what I eat affects my weight. (Duh! Head in the sand!)

When it came time to get dressed for the funeral, I realized how small my suit was getting–or rather, how large I was getting. I realized that I either had to lose weight or buy a new suit. My wife had been talking to me for ages about calories and maybe counting calories and going on some kind of a diet. My doctor had told me I had a 33% chance of a major cardiac event. I hated the way I looked. I had a very poor self esteem. Finally, I was getting humble enough to listen. After the funeral, at the dinner, one of my wife’s aunts (also a Lifetime WW) talked about the benefits of the Weight Watchers program. We stayed a couple of more days with my in-laws and I mentioned that I might be interested in trying Weight Watchers. I wasn’t crazy about the cost, but from everything I’d heard, the program sounded like it might be worth checking out.

I walked into Weight Watchers the next Saturday morning weighing 284 pounds (BMI 35.5). My wife went with me and joined as well (more to support me than because she wanted it for herself). That was a year and a half ago.

I’ll talk about my challenges and successes in losing weight in another post, because its not directly relevant to the topic I want to discuss: When did you hit rock bottom in your weight journey? What is your story? How have you come to this point in your life? What was that moment that made you realize you had to make a drastic change?

Tell us your stories. Share with us your successes and failures. Together we are strong enough to beat this. You don’t have to do it alone!

Comments are open. We are waiting to hear from you!

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9 responses to “Rock Bottom

  1. Welcome Paul, I’m glad to have you here.

    I hit my rock bottom two years ago. I was very heavy, but my weight didn’t really affect my self esteem much. I’d been overweight for a long time, but not to an extent that I felt it was interfering with my health or my ability to accomplish anything. I was just a little heavy, I told myself. I had low blood pressure and was perfectly healthy and felt strong.

    One of my great loves in life is snow skiing. Before I met and married my DH, I used to ski almost every weekend during the winter. I LOVED it SO much. The rush, the excitement, the exhilaration of rushing down a slope… But once we got married, we got out of the habit, and then for the last six years we’ve always had a baby or toddler around, which made it hard to ski. We were very sedentary.

    Two years ago around my birthday, my mom agreed to babysit and we decided to hit the slopes. We got there and I made it down the runs exactly twice before I thought my legs were going to flat out buckle underneath me. My legs simply could not support my weight sufficiently to ski well. My muscles were like jelly. At the end of the second run, I couldn’t go back up. I remember feeling humiliated, betrayed by my own body, embarrassed to have to tell my husband that I just couldn’t do it. It was a wake up call of the worst kind.

    I had to face the fact that my weight WAS interfering with my ability to do things. My weight WAS a serious issue. For the first time, my weight was limiting me, and I hated that feeling.

    Back at home, I started exercising and eating less. I lost 40 pounds. Then I just – got comfortable. I wasn’t thin by a long shot, but I felt better, and that was enough. So I stopped losing. And I maintained for about a year and a half.

    In the last four months, as I’ve gone through some really stressful stuff, I’ve started gaining. I’ve gained 14 pounds or so back. It has to stop. I’m ready to get back to business.

  2. Rock bottom, huh? I don’t know that I specifically have a rock bottom more so than I have a trainwreck of events that led me here. Bottom line is, do or die. So I’m gonna “do”

  3. Oh, and I’m doing WW, but without the meetings. Costs too much for us. But I have ALL the stuff and am doing it solo… Well, HERE obviously. But I’m much more accountable this time because I decided to do it for ME.

  4. I had my epiphany last week when I stepped on the scales for the first time in two weeks. I’ m not willing to share numbers yet, but suffice it to say that I was displeased. Quite displeased. I mean, I knew that my weight had gotten out control, particularly in the past year as my family has been dealing with my father’s terminal cancer, but somehow the numbers just didn’t click for me until last week. So here I am.

  5. For me it was a picture. The perfect picture really, if you’re looking for rolls and chins. I’ve kept that picture and I look at it from time to time. I don’t look like that anymore. Only two chins now, and only from certain angles, and I’m committed to comparing that picture to the “after” shot, and barely recognizing myself. Welcome…can’t wait to hear about what you’ve been going through.

  6. I don’t know that I’ve hit rock bottom yet Paul. I still tell myself that my weight doesn’t keep me from doing anything. Well, this is not true as I now have arthritis in my knees and my feet. I am still in a bit of denial.

    I have been on WW before and have been sucessfull. I am the queen of Yo-yo dieting. I will get serious about it and lose between 35 and 70 pounds and then life happens and I gain it back plus more. WW has been the easiest for me to follow and is a great plan. The problem is that I know all the right things to do but doing them is another thing entirely.

  7. Paul, thanks for opening up like that. I have hit rock bottom several times, which means, apparently, it just wasn’t rock bottom.

    I’ve learned that for me, weight loss is like a lot of other things, such as getting control of finances – you just have to want it bad enough. You can’t do it, or not successfully anyway, if you’re trying for somebody else or any reason other than YOU want to for you.

    In the past when I’ve lost weight, it was for pure vanity reasons. Now, though … I’ll be 36 in January. I have a son, I’m a single person. Now this more about my health, about my lifestyle.

    That makes a difference. Sticking with it is tough. I’ve spent many years cultivating my bad habits. It will take a will to unlearn them and learn good ones.

  8. Sue, thanks for sharing your story. Sounds like it was a very painful realization for you. Thanks for starting this blog so we can all work through these issues together!

    Caroline, I look forward to learning your train wreck story. And yes, we are going do to it this time. We won’t let anybody just throw in the towel!

    kymburlee, I printed my picture as a 5×7, and stuck it on my bathroom mirror. Every morning I look at my “before” picture and tell myself that I’m not going to be that person ever again, and that the choices I make today will help me move the right direction.

    sweetnt, Maybe “rock bottom” is a bit dramatic. Was there, however, a moment of epiphany that spurred a change of direction for you, in regards to your weight loss?

    Keetha, I totally agree! You really do have to want it bad enough. And at some point, I plan on writing an entry about changing motivation. See, I was 85 pounds overweight, and wanted to fit into my suit. I did that, and even had to have my suit re-sized to fit the slimmer me. I was wearing pants back in the size 30-ies. I had lost almost 20% of my starting weight, and was feeling much better about myself. But I still haven’t achieved my goal. My motivation needed to change. But here, I’m already starting the post. We’ll come back to this topic! 🙂

  9. There is more than just one “rock bottom” as any addict or alcoholic will tell you… and I am both. Plus the plus size bit. I am a regular triple threat, quadruple if you count the former pack and a half a day addiction.

    For me today, it’s all about my goals; long and short term. There is so much that I want to do yet in this body, but I have to work hard to get there first… and I’m not just talking about weight. Losing the weight is incidental to what I want to accomplish, which is odd, because I am QUITE overweight!

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