I had been obese most of my adult life, having tried all types of diets, exercise plans, pills, patches, support groups, therapy… all to no avail.

It was the loss of my dad in 2010 that really woke me up regarding my health. He had suffered from lung and colon cancers due to his poor health habits. His death left a scar on me and I promised myself that I would learn something from losing him. I needed to change my health habits soon, or I too would be facing some more serious health issues which would threaten my own life. I was 40 years old and I weighed well over 400 pounds at the time. I had developed sleep apnea, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, acid reflux, fungal infections and was an extremely high risk of having a heart attack.

In addition to the medical concerns, there were other obesity-related issues such as not being able to fit in a booth at most restaurants, needing a seat belt extender in my car, breaking chairs, wearing out bed mattresses, straining to tie my shoes, and having extreme difficulty wiping myself in the bathroom (so much so I have some damage in my right shoulder from pulling my arm behind me). As you can imagine dealing with these things can be humiliating enough but compound that with comments from people and how ashamed I was of myself. At many points, I had considered taking my own life. And on a few occasions, I half-heartedly tried. Often I would go to bed wishing I would just have a heart attack in my sleep. I was miserable and most people around me had no idea.

So I decided I was going to do something about my health. What I knew about my past attempts was that I had no idea about the amount of food I was consuming. In addition, I knew that in order for me to cut back on what I was eating, I needed to do it slowly over time in order for it to become sustainable. So I decided that I needed to track everything I ate. I used an app to log my food intake and my activity. I started doing moderate aerobics routines (online Bodies in Motion videos) and walking. As time went on and I began to lose weight, I increased my activity.