I never fully committed to getting better
“Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is more important than the judgment we pass on ourselves.” — Nathaniel Branden
My journey towards obesity started in high school when I was diagnosed with Epilepsy that healed a few years later. That is a story worth a whole article, but for now, I’ll say that I experienced weight gain in response to the pills I used to take to inhibit the seizures.
I’ve taken those pills for about seven years since age 13 and until age 21. During that time, I gained a lot of weight, and my friends from high school did not make my life easier and fat-shamed me. It was a horrible high school experience, but I persevered.
Those pills accompanied me later into my army service. While epilepsy barred me from some units I wanted to join, it also prohibited me from the hazardous types of services. I settled for an office job.
Around age 20–21, I was told by my neurologist that my Epilepsy had vanished and gradually, I stopped taking the pills, lowering the dosage until I stopped completely. By then, I was already fat. In hindsight, I was a lot lighter than I am now, but the mindset was already settled. I didn’t commit to lowering my body fat, and for years, I had started diets, exercise regiments, and more, but I always fell through and wasn’t consistent about it.
When I started dating and consequently facing rejection, the seeds of new thoughts began to bloom in my mind.
I recognized a pattern that woke me up
“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” — Edward Stanley
All of the women I met had one thing in common: They were not sexually attracted to me.
I can understand that. I am a pear-shaped, obese man wearing glasses and looks like I’m suffering from insomnia with black circles under my eyes. I also had other issues to take care of which were occupying the back of my mind. One woman even went as far as saying she thought we were going out as casual friends, not a potentially romantic couple.
I don’t know what she expected, but I do know that I felt I was faking it and didn’t feel truly at home in my own body.
I didn’t have time to take care of my body, which was just another way of saying I didn’t care enough about it. I found excuses instead of solutions. What changed? What’s new?
I acknowledged being overweight — not obese
“Self-love is asking yourself what you need — every day — and then making sure you receive it.” — Unknown
I needed to acknowledge Obesity, but I didn’t. Instead, I always considered myself over-weight. When you’re overweight, you’re at risk of some diseases and health complications. When you’re obese, you need to take action now.
Deep down, I didn’t want to take action.
It was easier to deny the evidence than take it to heart. It was easier to ignore my irregular bowel movements than go to the doctor. Easier to ignore my ever-increasing fatigue than to fix my sleep. It was easier to pass on the gym than to strain myself to do better, even when the gym is four floors away. Yes, on the same building I live in. Easier to keep eating Mama’s Shnitzels than a healthier meal.
The world has learned to let people live their lives and respect their way of life, even if it isn’t healthy. When you see an obese person on the street, you don’t usually call them out on their weight. You ignore them. And perhaps that is our problem. It’s so easy to protect myself from a rough healing process if I just let people accept me as I am on Social Media. So yes, I don’t want to be laughed at, but I also don’t want to be this way.
It was easier to give up on myself than to make something better of my life. More comfortable to let life carry me where it will instead of stirring myself in the right direction.
What Changed? My Outlook
I used to think that marriage and family life is so far away into the future. I lived my twenties as I entered my thirties — a teenager in heart. I wasn’t ready for marriage, kids, or a wife.
I was ready to keep playing video games, writing, and staying at the same job. I was prepared for bachelor life even though my bachelor life didn’t include parties and lots of dates or one night stands. My comfort zone included my room, computer, and some close friends. I was adamant about keeping it that way.
But life persevered.
Things started changing. My parents got older and began to push towards family life. I started dating, and even though I wasn’t fully invested in it, I faked it till only recently I felt more invested. I wanted to impress the women I was dating.
When one girl told me she wasn’t attracted to me, I didn’t take it to heart. When the second didn’t either, I still won’t budge from realizing I should change. When the third and the fourth didn’t feel it — I broke down.
I knew I would have to change my life.
It was only a matter of time before my obesity caught up with me. Now, I know what I have to do. I care about my body. Although the way is long, I decided to make the first step and then another and another. To keep going towards a future where my body is not as heavy as it is today. No, I don’t want a six pack, I don’t want huge muscles. I want to be in a healthy weight.
My name is Oren Cohen, I am Obese, and I decided to do something about it.
Thank you for reading!
Oren Cohen is a Software Development Engineer, Gamer, Geek, and Writer. He is writing in all sorts of topics on Medium, though his passion lies with Fantasy and Video Games.