Ignorance is bliss, it has been said. But I have found by my own experience, and that of others I have socialized with, that many a time that is not always the case.
Take me for example. I have been in the food and clinical arena for well over 20 years, and I found myself making mistakes that I should absolutely be ashamed to have made.
I have spend countless hours getting trained on nutrition, went to college to obtain education on clinical nutrition, and on top of it all I have been trained by some amazing chefs, and cooks with years and years of training and experience, not only on cooking, but on clinical nutrition and yet there I was well over 350 pounds. In pain, unhealthy, tired, with chronic back and leg pain and an ever-present headache. I didn’t know it at the time but my blood pressure was absolutely out of whack. I was suffering from sleep apnea and my cholesterol was well over 300.
It happened that on one occasion I was just overtaken by my headache. I just noticed that I called it “My” headache. It had become such a daily part of my days that I treated it like a pet. Anyway. I was just overcome with the headache and finally decided to have someone check my blood pressure. Being at a Hospital, I found the nearest group of nurses that just happen to be in the Wound Care Center just down the stairs from my cafeteria. My numbers were horrible and the ladies there suggested I go immediately to the Emergency Room. I took my leave promising them that I would but instead I went back to work.
My blood pressure was so out of norm that a couple of hours later they came to my work area to inquire about my condition. They found me working and I had to admit that my headache was worse, and I had not gone to the ER. They finally pushed hard enough that I had to agree and go and have myself checked.
That was the beginning of a week and a half of treatment and studies. Several Doctors and many nurses and finally a cardiologist working together were able to bring my blood pressure to somewhat acceptable levels. I spent a day and a half in the ER, three days in intensive care, and almost a week in the telemetry wing of the hospital as my body was just not cooperating.
This should have been enough for any sensible, moderately smart individual to understand that some things needed to change. I wish I could now tell you that after all of this and being placed on several medications for blood pressure, high cholesterol, water retention, etc. I fell in love with salads and changed my evil ways but I did not. I did however started taking my meds (big change) and using my c-pap machine to sleep.
I tried to lose the weight. I tried to reduce the fat and salt I consumed. But in all honesty this scare was not what made me truly start looking at options. It was a photo.
The person I was in a relationship with at the time was this beautiful red-haired girl I have been with for some time. She had come to a function we had at the hospital where we both worked and had a picture taken of us. In the picture she was holding me or at least trying to hold and hug me. There was just too much of me. She couldn’t reach around me. I was totally disgusted with what I was looking at. It was a slap in the face and a kick in the gut. A wave of emotions all of them negative overtook me.