Obesity is my normal. I grew up in a family where everyone was overweight and no one really talked about it. It was not condoned, but it was accepted. To me, obesity was just an inconvenience.
And then, life hit me. I had gone to college, gotten married, and enjoyed life very much. When I “grew up”, I realized that I wanted a family. With my chosen career path as a Labor & Delivery nurse, I knew that my weight was a major risk factor to a healthy pregnancy. I tried, unsuccessfully, for 2 ½ years to get pregnant. My doctor told me all the possibilities that could be hindering my achievement of a successful pregnancy but avoided mentioning obesity. I started to lose weight because I wanted to be healthy for a pregnancy and after a few pounds lost, I got pregnant! I had naturally conceived triplets.
With my triplets, I was told to gain 65-75 lbs, even though I was starting out morbidly obese. I was eating for 4! I felt absolutely mortified that I had to gain that much weight, but took on the challenge willingly! I had a license to eat. I stayed healthy, gained weight and met up with a staggering complication at 24 weeks gestation. One of my boys died unexpectedly in utero. I was put on bedrest for 10 weeks, monitored closely and was told to expect my other son to die soon, or at best, he would be born with severe mental and physical handicaps.
I delivered my three children, buried one, and took the other two, home. They are happy, healthy and developmentally appropriate 5 years olds now, and I count my blessings every day. They even have a little sister now!
I cannot begin to explain the emotional toll that my pregnancy took on me. I was not in a good place for a very long time. I had to find a balance between grief and celebration; to mourn and be thankful, simultaneously. I lived as I knew how. I performed daily tasks, I went back to work, I took care of my new children and I ate.
For most of my life, I have felt overwhelmed with the amount of weight that I had to lose. As I continued to ignore it and feel overwhelmed, that number kept getting bigger. I would always wait for tomorrow to start my diet and every night would be my “last good meal.” My family and I deserved better than that. We went through too much to lose each other to obesity. All my life, I have been the thief of my own time. I have given away my life in pounds to the tomorrows that were never there. With Medical Weight Loss of NY and Optifast, I finally chose to take that time back: For me, tomorrow has finally come.