This week has been a wake-up call since early on Monday morning, when I found myself scarily dizzy and with the shakes in the school nurse’s office. I wasn’t terribly concerned until I was informed that, at least acutely, I was suffering the effects of very high blood pressure (170/95, to be precise). So at the time when I should have been reviewing the differences between the present simple and the present continuous with my morning class, I was in the guardia (urgent care) in the Clinica de Olivos where I was triaged with high priority (which I honestly hadn’t been expecting) and immediately saw a doctor.
The doctor took my blood pressure again, which had dropped somewhat, but was still too high for someone who had just turned 30 years old. For a long time, I had dreaded a specific, pending lecture from a medical professional. That became a reality as I heard the doctor tell me (in a nutshell):
“Lose weight, you are obese, and it is causing your high blood pressure, and very likely other health problems.”
She wrote me an order for a complete blood and urine analysis. I came home after being given some cool drugs at the guardia (to both lower my blood pressure and and crashed for the rest of the day. When I woke up, I had a bit of a hangover. An emotional one. No longer is my weigh a purely esthetic concern. It has come to the point where I am not just overweight. I am, by all definitions, obese. And I can no longer brush off what this is beginning to do to my health, both short and long term.
My blood pressure is high, my triglycerides and (bad) cholesterol- both high. In short: High, high, high. Yes, I have a problem. Quite a few, actually.
So… now then… Now what? What is the plan of action? It seems quite obvious- Lose weight (about 70 lbs/32kgs). But the path to this goal is undoubtedly going to be a challenging one. As a former bulimic, not so very long ago, this was my worst nightmare. They say that when you a cat’s whiskers, s/he loses the sense of its relative size, as one of the whiskers’ functions is to give the cat a sense of how large they really are. After all these years, as I have gone from one end of the spectrum of my relationship with food (aversion/phobia) to the other (extreme overindulgence/addiction), I feel that I too, have had my metaphoric whiskers clipped to the point where I have lost not only a sense of how big I have gotten, but also who I am. My formerly svelte figure used to be how I defined myself and based my self-esteem.
I know in my heart that I’ve got to balance out, I’ve got to make changes, stat. And yes, I’ve said this before to myself, more times than I can even really remember or want to admit. But was I ready before? I mean, *really* ready? No. They were superficial, half-assed promises that I made myself with no sense of accountability or specific plans or goals. I knew what I had to do. But I didn’t do anything.
But now I am ready. I am ready to change. I want to change. I have to change.
It’s super scary. I have a very raw and honest fear of going back to the way that I was, when I was vomiting on average about 3-5 times a day, was constantly trying to see if I could “pinch an inch,” and defined what kind of day I was going to have by what the number said on the scale (after stepping on and off it a few times, “just to be sure”). I’m equally scared of staying this way in my current condition, huffing and puffing up stairs, not being able to buy clothes in a city that caters to the skinny (the unrealistically, scarily skinny), and forever being mistaken for a pregnant woman on the bus. It sucks.
The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. And I am now prepared and willing take that first step.
As always, stay tuned. In addition to other topics that are a part of this blog, I also want to document my weight loss experience (the ups as well as the downs), and reflect more on this in the future.
This time, I am ready.