Loosing most of my sight was a cruel blow. Emotionally, I beat myself up pretty badly over the next few years. It took me a long time to come to terms with the loss. Not being able to enjoy walking anymore was torture. Even with some mobility training from the CNIB and other visually impaired friends, life was a daily struggle. I hated having to rely on others to do the things I had always done for myself.
As soon as I could, I started making changes in my kitchen so I could cook and bake. I had my appliances, measuring utensils, and spices all labeled so that I could see them. I had a number of recipes done in large print and had my mom put several on cassette. I was regaining control of one of the things I loved.
Unfortunately, I loved my food too much. I ate my three meals a day and also snacked between meals. One of the medications that I was on for a number of years, required that it be taken with food. I took the last one of the day at bedtime with a tall cold glass of milk and chocolate chip cookies.
I did make a half hearted effort to watch my weight and I even tried using the exercise bike for awhile but it was uncomfortable, boring and I couldn't see the monitor to see how far I'd gone. I gained about 35 pounds in 5 years, but felt like I didn't have any options or reason to deal with it.
In late July of 1996, I started getting severe fatigue. I had no energy and just wanted to sleep. I wasn't clinically depressed. I saw my doctor and numerous specialists for countless tests over the next few years, but was never able to get a definitive answer for the symptoms other than a probable mild form of "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome".
I had about two good days a week. If I overdid it, I suffered more. I had to hire someone to help with cleaning and laundry. I didn't do nearly as much cooking as I wanted to do and I rarely baked anymore. Needless to say my self esteem was pretty much non existent. I had completely lost control of my life.
I developed a "fondness" for Fudgeeos, Chips Ahoy, Dad's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Old Dutch Potato Chips (sour cream 'n' onion, Au Gratin and salt 'n' vinegar) and microwave buttered popcorn.
I was slowly eating myself into oblivion and I didn't care. I knew I was gaining weight but since I couldn't really see myself clearly in the mirror I didn't know how bad I looked. All I knew, was that my favourite clothing store had sizes 5-15 in regular and 14-24 in the plus sizes. As long as I could still get clothes that fit, then that was all that mattered.
I had always been a little on the pudgy side for my 5' 5 3/4" big boned frame and was probably about 20 pounds over weight before November 1990. By March 2000, I was 100 pounds overweight - morbidly obese. I was also up to a size 22.
I had to find a way to get out of this mess.
Tomorrow; "The Realization"