There are many overweight people who are healthy and agile. Some can be 40, 50, or 60 pounds overweight with perfect blood pressure (120/80), low cholesterol, and free of diabetes. For me, seven years ago was physically a dark time. Being petite at 52, my weight reached my lifetime maximum nearly 250lbs. There were times that I walked in agony because of the weight overpowering my feet. Also, my heart used to beat so rapidly, there were moments I thought it would halt. Although I faced these life threatening challenges daily, I did nothing to improve my health. I just continued to not eat right and did little exercise. One day, my laziness and ignorance caught up with me, and nearly took my life.

In 1997, on a warm summer night, I began to experience a tingling sensation in my right arm. At first, I thought it could have been poor circulation, but through the night the tingling had turned into numbness. It had spread to my right leg and my right face. Whats going on with me, I asked myself Im only twenty-seven. Im too young to die. Obviously I was facing a situation that I knew it could be fatal. Instead of listening to my conscious to telephone for help, I tried to treat myself by administering ibuprofen. Ill take a little nap, I said, I should feel better when I wake up. So I waddled over to the couch and hoped for a better outcome.

Two hours later, I woke up to discover that I couldnt see out of my right eye. As soon as I stood up, I began to have an excruciating headache. I clearly remember grabbing the side of my head, then suddenly falling to the floor. As I laid there next to the cool floor vent, my oldest son, with compassion in his eyes, asked Mommy, are you okay? I wanted to answer, yet my mind couldnt transfer my words to my mouth. Then suddenly, I pointed to the phone. Phone! I slurred. My son quickly grabbed the phone and handed to me. As my vision nearly diminished I struggled to call my sister. Within twenty minutes, my sister, her fianc, and my father found me lying helplessly on the floor between the T.V. and the floor vent. The only thing I remembered before they took me to the hospital was my father carrying me to the car, and my children saying I love you, Mommy before my sister walked them five houses to my Grandmothers.

Minutes later, we arrived at the Emergency room. I was resting on my fathers shoulder in the waiting area, when out of the blue, a nasally male triage nurse called me to take my vitals. As I sat down, hed asked me question after question, as he took my blood pressure. At that moment, everything and everyone became a big blur. However the only thing I remember was the anesthetic smell, and the cold stethoscope inside my elbow. When the result of my blood pressure came on the monitor, I saw a grave concern on this nurses face. Are you having any numbness? hed asked. I shrugged my left shoulder, and peeped at the reading. It read: 200/118. The next thing I knew, I was wheeled immediately to the triage bed units. The details of this experience are very sketchy after I saw the Emergency room doctors. I can remember taking several tests which includes a CAT scan that did show that I had calcium deposit on my brain.

This particular experience had a tremendous impact on my life. Up until recently, I never learned what happened to me on that terrifying night. It was a mini stroke after all. Shortly after that night, I began to change my diet along with a daily walking plan. I admit changing bad habits isnt easy, but if its pertaining to your life physically and emotionally, its worth it. After two years of faithfully keeping this new commitment, I lost 110 lbs, dropped from a size 26 to a 12, and gained an abundance of self-esteem. I have kept this weight off for five years. Furthermore, going through this life altering experience, not only led me to change my physique, but showed me I could do anything I desire.

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