Overcoming Obesity

by Sarah
(Columbus, Ohio)

I was always overweight. All the members of my family, for that matter, were overweight, too. We used food as a way to cope with stress, and as a result, we all packed on the pounds.

By the time I was 26 I weighed a lifetime high of 327 pounds. I was 5'10, and my doctor warned me that my lab work indicated I was pre-diabetic and if I didn't do something fast, I would be diabetic like my aunts, my father, and my grandparents, who died at an early age from complications from diabetes and heart disease.

I decided I wanted to escape my family's history of being victims of obesity.

I talked to my doctor about how to start, and he recommended a regime of diet and exercise. The hardest part was incorporating exercise into my life. I started with a routine where I would follow a video by sitting in a chair and doing the arm and leg exercises.

When my dieting and exercising helped me to progress to a point where I could move around more without feeling dizzy and worry about fainting, I started a walking program. It was important for me to start small. I worked at small attainable goals, and would reward myself for larger goals with small gifts, like an inspiring cd to listen to while I walked.

I am not going to lie to you: it was not easy. It was very slow at first, but I had a network of friends around me who offered encouragement and support. Since I have started exercising I have lost over 60 pounds.

I have also experienced the added benefits of having my health improve. My blood sugar is back in the normal range, I have started having a regular menstrual cycle and reduced the medication I take for poly-cystic ovarian syndrome, and the depression that I have suffered from for as long as I can remember has also lifted.

Making the commitment to begin exercising and sticking with it has changed my life. It all started with a first step.

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