My Life as a Loser. A Never-Ending Battle to Lose Weight–Chapter One-Genetics and the Early Years

You can do a lot to change your life. For one, you can change your hair color. With contacts, you can even change your eye color. You can add silicon implants and do liposuction and you can do gender transition surgeries and bariatric surgeries, but you, so far can’t change your genes and your ancestry. Every family tree has its genetic issues. Some families have cancer and diabetes in their family tree. We have heart issues and elevated cholesterol levels. Even when I was running marathons and competing in triathlons, my cholesterol levels were marginal at best. My siblings and I inherited another wonderful trait and that is we were born chubby babies. It was great for photos but not so good for our health. I had weight issues right up to my 8th year in Jr. High School when I had a growth spurt and my hormones kicked in.

I immediately went from chubby to cadaverous in the matter of a few months. Instead of obesity to deal with, now I had to deal with acne and the penchant of passing out when I stood up too quickly. I went from rotund to rail thin. My mother went crazy, she couldn’t let out the cuffs in my pants fast enough. I always presented a problem for her in the pants department. Initially, my waistline was too big as per my leg length. Then I went the other way where my waistline was too small for my leg length. She could not catch a break. Of course, my metabolic rate shot through the roof. I could eat anything and everything and not gain a pound. It didn’t help that I started working out and exercising. So I eventually started to fill out a little, so I no longer looked like an extra for a zombie movie. As part of my exercise regimen, I took up running which for the most part I kept up with until I reached thirty years of age. Coincidentally enough, this is the only time in my life that I did not have an issue with being overweight.

While my mother liked to bake, she mainly cooked pies which are just marginally healthier for you than cakes. So at least I had that going for me. I was lucky that I did not become diabetic when I was a child. At least she cooked otherwise healthy food for us children. Fast food and junk food were simply not a part of our diet, mainly because they were simply too expensive. My mother was also a stay-at-home Mom, so all of our meals were homecooked and healthy if not a little generic. She had a repertoire of about 15 meals, but at least they were tasty to us, anyway. Her spices selection was pretty basic as well. Maybe that is why we developed delicate stomachs, we simply could not tolerate rich foods when we were exposed to them. My sister and I are still bothered by them. We also did not get a lot of fiber and ruffage in our diet. Our vegetable selections were limited mainly to green beans, peas and corn with broccoli and cauliflower thrown in for good measure. Fruits were berries, apples, pears and occasionally bananas. I did not have real steak until I was at least 15 years of age. Chopped sirloin was as good as it got.

Now I don’t want you to think that I am complaining, I am not. Besides we did not know any better. We never went to bed hungry. However, my somewhat limited diet may have led to my intolerance of certain foods later on in life that made it difficult for me to maintain my weight. There can’t be any coincidence that my two brothers, my sister and I all had weight issues as we entered our later years. We also all had gastrointestinal issues, like irritable bowel and diverticulosis. Luckily, I have been spared that delight.