- Posted September 15, 2013 by
Bronx, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Your 'Aha' weight-loss moments
The Yo-Yo Effect
Star Date: February 16, 1984
Place: Bellevue Hospital NYC’s psychiatric ward
Weight: 360 lbs.
Emotional state: Psychotic
Star Date: April 16, 1985
Place: Central Park
Weight: 290 lbs.
Emotional State: Jubilation
Star Date: December 12, 1987
Place: Opti-fast Eating Disorder Clinic
Weight: 380 lbs.
emotional state: desperation
Star Date: October 31, 1988
Place: AA Halloween Party
Weight: 260 lbs.
Emotional State: dispassionate
Star Date: July 7, 1997
Place: Mont Sinai Hospital’s Bariatric Ward for stomach stapling and gastric lap band
Weight: 430 lbs.
Emotional State: self hatred
Star Date: July 7, 1999
Place: American Stock Exchange
Weight: 330 lbs.
Emotional State: elation
Star Date: August 31, 2008
Place: Bally’s with Personal Trainer
Weight: 380 lbs.
Emotional State: hopeful
Star Date: September 13, 2013
Place: American Family Fitness Center
Weight: 254 lbs.
Emotional State: grateful
My journey to weight loss started 29 years ago when I woke up tied to a bed in a strait jacket in the psychiatric ward of Bellevue Hospital NYC. Alcohol, drugs and food were my friends and lovers. It took six cops, a hospital and losing a job before I got my epiphany. I was an addict and I needed help.
So, after spending 30 days in a rehab, getting my job back and realizing that I can no longer drink or drug in moderation, the binging started. It was my only salvation to all my problems. A bucket of fried chicken and a gallon of butter pecan ice cream relaxed me after a hard day’s workout on the trading floor of the stock exchange. Food was my pressure valve. It was my only friend since my other two betrayed me. Food was my last hope. Food was everything to me.
One day after meeting a former lover and a romp in the bed; just before he left my apartment he turned to me and said, “Wow! I’ve never made love to an elephant before!”
THAT was the straw that broke the camel’s back. THAT was when this desire in my soul appeared. THAT was the first day of my yo-yo-ing up and down the weight scales. I completed my 90/90 in AA and blew up to a mere three hundred and sixty pounds. I was never that big in my whole entire life. Something had to be done and it had to be done quick if I was going to retrieve the man of my dreams before he decided that elephants weren’t on his bucket list.
A friend at the Exchange was pushing the “Cambridge” diet. It was a powdered supplement you take instead of food. So I went on a regiment of powered supplements and riding my bike all over New York City. I have to add the reason I got a bike is because HE had a bike and it was all in my plot to get him back.
BINGO! After going from a size sixty pants to a forty-eight, he appeared out of nowhere one day on the street. We hooked up. He moved in. I was in heaven for a few days then BAM! Domestic violence, police visits, and running around keeping tabs on his whereabout got me to realize that I was an addict and this kind of environment will send me back to my former friends who betrayed me. For my own survival I kicked him out and just like that in one month I was up to a size fifty-four pants.
Three years later I was rushing to catch the bus for my trip to work when I felt like my bones were going to crack. My ankles were hurting, my knees were hurting and I missed the bus. Had I gotten so fat that I can no longer walk? In fact, I had sleep apnea. Every chance I got I slept. I slept on the bus to the subway. I slept on the train to Wall Street. I slept on my first break in the morning. I slept on my lunch half-hour. I slept on my second break. Then repeated the whole process on my way home. When I got home I would sit in front of the TV watching the evening news with a quart of pork fried rice, half a roasted chicken, a liter of diet pepsi and a half gallon of ice cream. I would wake up with the TV blasting realizing that I had dozed off to sleep. I would get up at least three times during the night, go to the refrigerator and sample more ice cream washing it down with orange juice. I was littering committing suicide in slow motion.
The on-site doctor at work had recommended that I try the opti-fast program. It was another powered supplement bad it was all I take in. No food for three months just the supplements. Also, I was monitored by a doctor and a dietitian bi-weekly. I passed the program with flying colors. Within ten months I went from a size sixty-two pants to a thirty-eight and I met a guy off of the personal ad section of the Native New Yorker.
He was a lawyer and a cook. He had a house in Vermont. He was building two houses in New Brunswick, one for him and the other for his parents. Since I was a writer, he wanted to marry me, quit my Wall Street job and he would support me as I write my plays, screen plays etc..
Well, after going from a thirty-eight to a fifty in four months because of his fabulous cooking and he was an undercover “Gainer” (guys who like to make normal size people obese), I knew it was over if I wanted to survive healthy wealthy and wise.
Let’s fast forward to 1997. My sleep apnea had gotten worse. I exploded to four hundred and thirty pounds. I was out sick and needed a doctor’s note before returning to work. That was where I got the notion to be operated on for the gastric bypass. However, the doctor at Sinai who performed these operations suggested that I get the stomach stapling and gastric lap band instead. I was desperate. I agreed.
Now once again, why did I lose weight? Was it for my health? Or was it to trap a man? You guessed it! It wasn’t until 2008 and two jobs later when I got my yearly physical that the doctor wanted to add some medications to my already eleven-year regiment of taking water pills. He wanted to add Lasix, Lipitor and Zantac. I said “NO WAY!” So, he suggested that I loose weight and if my conditions doesn’t improve I would take the medications.
To make a long story short, I joined a gym and got a personal trainer. Within six months I went from weighing three hundred and eighty pounds to three hundred and thirty pounds. My doctor was elated and didn’t put me on any new medications.
However, who was I loosing weight for? Well, when I complained to the doctor that having a personal trainer is killing my pocket book; he smiled at me with his pretty white teeth and said, “That’s ok Mr. Booth, you can pay your personal trainer now or you can pay me later.”
THAT was my second epiphany. Losing weight wasn’t about getting into a relationship. It wasn’t about finding some man to love me more than I love myself. Losing weight was about being healthy and keeping my money in my pockets not in the pockets of doctors, hospitals, clinics and the pharmaceutical companies. Isn’t it funny how finance has a way of moving mountains.
So, far I’ve lost one hundred and eighty-four pounds since 1997. In the past five years with the help of my personal trainers I’ve lost one hundred and thirty-four pounds and have kept it off and still losing and toning up my body. It was a long tough journey but I am satisfied to say that food hasn’t betrayed me. I’ve learned how to eat to live not live to eat.