I’ve heard many things about life. It’s a journey, a road trip, a series of steps to different destinations, a progression of doors, rooms, and random other beings you happen to come across in your wanderings through them. I’ve even heard it described as what happens between finding places to sit down.
Well, today I happen to find myself on the edge of 22 years old, in a slightly too-cold Starbucks and sitting in a comfortable leather chair.
Trust me when I say I know a comfortable chair.
My journey through life, although short, has been all manners of bumpy, confusing, joyous, strange, and with plenty of places to sit down. Perhaps too many.
I have always known the feeling of overweight. I have always known fat, chubby, or as my mom liked to call it “healthy”. That is, until I hit adolescence, then it was just shameful. At age 22 I have never known what it’s like to feel beautiful, sexy, or dare I say it, hot.
When I was 17 I hit my highest weight, 185 pounds. At barely 5 feet tall, that’s quite a feat.
At age 18 the summer after my freshman year at college and after slimming down to a slightly more respectable 172 pounds, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Although it should have been shocking, it wasn’t. Both of my parents are diabetic and many other family members as well. Type 2 diabetes is a notoriously genetic disease and I happened to hit the jackpot of the human lottery. The only surprise was how early it struck and the fact that I, a pre-med student who had just studied basic human anatomy, had absolutely no idea.
Freshmen pre-meds have an inflated sense of self-importance and tend to overestimate their own medical knowledge. I should know.
I have been diabetic for a little over 3 years. I have lost about 30 pounds since I was 17, and am trying to get to a place that is healthy and doesn’t elicit raised eyebrows from my doctor.
Through the years I, like many other people who have been “the fat kid”, have hidden away, scared to tackle life and experience all that it has to offer. I have turned down offers to go to parties, invites to go clubbing, even going out to dinner because of self-consciousness.
So, at 22 I decided that the time has come from me to accept my experiences for what they were and appreciate what I learned from my own life. It’s time I start living my life instead of hiding from it.
So, this is my journey, and I would love to have you come along for the ride.