Today's post is fairly personal and, for me, a pretty serious subject. If you're fed up of 'oh I need to lose weight and get fit' style posts then, yeah, this one isn't for you. But I really want/need (for my own sake) to share this with somebody.
Over the last few months, I have suffered from a number of health problems; from just achy legs when walking, to breathlessness and some other not-so-nice issues, but on Thursday afternoon I was sent to A&E - in absolute agony and with a fever - with suspected gallstones.
For those of you who aren't aware of what gallstones are, they're stones that form in your gallbladder and are made up of cholesterol. If they get trapped, they cause intense abdominal pain, particularly in the upper right-hand side of your abdomen. It can also lead to inflammation of the gallbladder, which is also very painful.
Gallstones and, in general, gallbladder problems are caused by chemical imbalances of bile and cholesterol, but are more likely if you're overweight (guilty as charged) and eat a very fatty diet (once again, guilty...)
After several hours in A&E and a few tests, I was informed that I had a blood infection which was - most likely - due to an inflamed gallbladder, however I won't get my full blood results back until later this week, and will have to see where to go from there. I was prescribed antibiotics and strong painkillers, advised to book an ultrasound scan of my gallbladder and told - very bluntly - to change my lifestyle.
Alcohol, fatty, oily and processed foods, dairy and cigarettes are now off the menu, if I want to be able to control my symptoms and stop this from returning.
I guess this was the shock that I needed to scare me into making some big changes. For far too long, my diet has been atrocious - takeaways, red wine, huge amounts of refined carbohydrates and very little exercise - so it's no wonder I've got myself into this mess.
After a couple of chats with two friends who have also suffered from gallstones and/or gallbladder problems in the past, I came away feeling positive and motivated. They advised me to simply watch what I eat, to eat little and often, to cut out the crap and to take better care of myself - and wait for the rewards to come rolling in (or dropping off, in the form of lbs).
Since Thursday, I had been practically bed-bound and lost my appetite completely, unintentionally. However, from Saturday afternoon on wards I began to feel myself again and was able to eat a couple of meals and get my energy levels up, as the antibiotics began to kick in.
I now feel OK. I'm not going to lie and say that I feel fantastic because I don't. I'm still in pain, my sleep is disturbed and I have bouts of dizziness, but I know that I'm getting better, and if I want to keep heading in the right direction I need to make
a few a lot of changes...
No more comfort eating and quick, easy junk food. No more sitting on my backside all day and then wondering why I don't have a six-pack. No more 'oh go on then' when I'm offered biscuits, sweets or a cup of sugary tea in the office.
It's time to take responsibility for my health.
Starting BMI (going by my home scales): 36.8 - morbidly obese
Starting waist measurement: 37"
I plan to do a post every week or so, to let you know how I'm getting on both weight-wise and health-wise, and whether there have been any updates. There is no end date for this journey and there are no specific goals other than to feel better both physically and emotionally.
Wish me luck.