How my father's death inspired me to change how we die | Aditi Mallick, MD | End Well Symposium
The Death of My Father Inspired Me to Lose 75 Pounds
The first time I saw the number I thoughtfor sureit was from the last time my husband weighed himself; there was no way I weighed that much. Satisfied that something was definitely wrong with the scale, I promptly left the bathroom and found myself right back where I started: on the couch in tears.
That was four years ago. Pushing my kids in a stroller was a struggle; carrying them up the steps left me breathless. After they went to bed, I would alternate between searching online for thenext best dietand feeling so miserable about myself that I would binge until I fell asleep.
I would hide my body under layers of clothing. Often wearing my husband's T-shirts and maternity clothes that should have been put away a long time ago. The layers represented years of shame and embarrassment. They were a constant reminder of what I was hiding from—myself.
Food became the way I coped when overwhelming feelings became too much to handle, especially when my dad died during the eighth week of my pregnancy. I never quite grieved that loss while I was pregnant; I'd told him the news exactly one week before he died unexpectedly from a heart attack. He was the most important man in my life and I felt so lost and unsure of myself after he passed.
The intense feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and loneliness that were present during my pregnancy were quickly compartmentalized and shoved away after my daughter was born.
I can still distinctly remember the day I decided to sayenough. After a routine physical and blood work, my doctor shared with me that my cholesterol level was high enough to warrant medication immediately. I was stunned; my dad lived with high cholesterol most of his life and it eventually killed him. I made a promise to him that night that I would not follow down that same path.
I started walking and eating better. After the confidence slowly began to come back, I joined the gym. I cried every day that I drove there. How could I walk in there with all those people and let them see me? Let them see what I had become?
I joined the gym and cried every day that I drove there.
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