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A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.

A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.
A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.

I will do for me, what my family couldn't do for themselves. Life is good and way to short. I cherish every moment. Life is waiting for us out there and all we have to do is open the door and go.

During the summer of 2004, I was feeling lousy. I was morbidly obese. I got out of breath walking across the room. I slept way too much and was always tired. I don't know how I made it to work but I did, not missing a day for well over a year. I couldn't stand for long. I also couldn't sleep properly as I probably had sleep apnea. Most days, the usual activities of daily living was a lot to handle and honestly don't know how I functioned at all.

A regular doctor's appointment sent me to see the cardiologist, whom I knew through my job. He did the usual work up including a heart monitor. Not good. I am positive that I was experiencing the beginning of some very serious heart problems. This is a usual pattern for diabetics. He scheduled a follow-up visit for six weeks in which time I lost 15 pounds on my own. I returned feeling only very slightly better but I knew I was on the right track. He had almost hospitalized me, but knew I would do the right thing and continue to lose weight. That same summer in August, I went to a baby shower for a friend's daughter. I almost fainted dead away when I saw the photograph of myself. I looked so bloated. All someone had to do was stick a pin in me and I'd fly away!

Not only am I way too young to be doing this to myself, but my family history alone should have gotten me to do something a long time ago. At this point, all of my family were dead due to diabetes related illnesses. My father, mother, sister, one grandparent, an aunt, and an uncle all died from diabetes related illnesses and I am also diabetic. Dad was 48 and I was 16 at the time. He had already lost both of his legs and was going blind. Mom died 21 years later at 69. My only sibling, a sister died on December 30, 1999 at the age of 52, after a being on disability for 2 years. What she thought were sprained ankles were actually many fractures from neuropathy in her feet. The last L-fracture finally did her in. At the time of her death, the doctor was talking of amputating a foot that would not heal.

That day I visited the cardiologist, I walked the nine blocks very slowly directly to the Weight Watchers center. They were open and I joined on the spot. I made a commitment to myself that day. Whatever it took or however long it took, I was going to take off the weight and lead a healthy, better life. My health has already improved, and look forward to what I will feel like at goal! I have been known to walk a good 4-5 miles at a clip, and even walk the 2.25 miles to work.

It's been a very slow process. Being diabetic complicates things, but doesn't make life impossible. That's okay! I'm a constant work in progress, reconstructing a better body day by day. I am no longer interested in the old lifestyle/way of eating and I also can't eat the way I used to. More progress.

On that day back in 2004 I chose to live and not to die.
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