Change in my life was needed. At the time I was in pretty bad shape:
- Seven different prescription medications
- Twenty-four hour oxygen
- Bi-PAP ventilation at night
- Four times per day blood glucose monitoring
- Insulin injection
- Physical therapy every day
- Severe pitting lymphatic swelling below the knee in both legs
- Morbidly obese at over six hundred pounds
- Declaration of disability from the state
I was almost too ill to participate in the Sharp Weight Management program at all. I had managed to drop a significant amount of weight, mostly water, before applying for the program. This was possible because I had spent a month in the hospital and been in physical therapy for more than a year. The debate about letting me into the program or not was all kept away from me. I was unaware that I was a bit controversial as a program candidate. I am alive today because of that program. I am forever thankful for it. I entered the program at five hundred seventy-nine pounds. My illnesses began to change almost immediately.
The thing that people noticed in me right away was attitude. I had been notoriously angry. A mean, quick-tempered and sharp-tongued fat man. I look back on those times and realize how much of my anger was drawn from fear and scrambling for a sense of control, when so many things were chaotic. I had become more friendly and understanding. I would share smiles and shake hands more often. People commented on my optimism. I was shocked, almost offended.
The details of the Sharp program, and how it works requires a dedicated posting. For those of you that already know of HMR, you may be able to surmise much of the program structure.I made a commitment. A promise to myself to change. I had the support of family members who sacrificed quite a bit to see my way into this program and I couldn't let them, or myself fail. I had the words of the kind soul in a lab coat ringing in my ears. I was sick... and tired of being so sick. I had to do it. I had to pay attention. Learn. Move. Eat less. Discover nutrition. Commit. And I did all of them with a passion I had never known before. It was critical to me to enact change. Not to think it, or want it, but to take action. I had all the motivation in the world.