I was born with transposition of the greater vessels. It’s a rare heart defect present at birth (congenital), in which the two main arteries leaving the heart are reversed (transposed). The future is uncertain, and I’ve been told by my cardiologist that the only treatment left would be a heart transplant when / if required.
Being overweight has put an extra strain on my heart over the years and would most likely not be eligible for a transplant should that day come. Last year, I was living on borrowed time and I was told I needed to sort my weight out because it was starting to cause problems. Given my dieting history, and health, nobody had faith I would or could lose weight on my own, so I was told that surgery would be required. I was referred for bariatric surgery and had an appointment to see a surgeon about pick best surgery option but then COVID Pandemic hit.
When COVID-19 arrived in the UK, I was warned to be strict about isolating and was told to shield. Someone with a heart condition and that was severely overweight, I knew I’d be at an increased risk of complications including death if I got the virus.
I started to second-guess my decision to go forward with surgery. My appointment with the surgeon was cancelled due to pandemic. I was hit with reality to either change my lifestyle NOW to live longer or to carry on which would only lead me to an early grave. I decided to stop making excuses. I knew this was my last chance to change!
I knew this time had to be different and I’d battled with my weight for most of my life so I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I became so fed up with talking about losing weight, but never actually doing anything about it. Over the years I learnt the hard way that shakes, pills, meal replacements and fad diets only work temporarily or not at all. I joined Show Me fit, I started healthy eating and adding exercise into my everyday routine whether that be working out at home or going for a walk. I even started the Couch To 5k app after someone recommended it in the group.
I’ve never ‘ran’ as an adult. I’ve half attempted but never completed a training program. What I’m now completely aware of is ALL the excuses. Too old, Too heavy, Too tired. Too busy, and I have a heart condition. I started Week1 Run1 of Couch To 5k app. It felt really great to have a coach talking me through the process and ‘holding my hand’. Running for 60 seconds was painful, I couldn’t breathe properly or find my stride. I really struggled but I was determined to not give up. I completed the App last week, I’d even go as much to say I actually enjoyed it.
I’ve accomplished a lot and have lost over 3 stone since the end of June. My journey is still in progress and I have a long way to go. Ultimately, I’d like to be in the ‘healthy’ category for my height but my main focus is being health and fit which is something that Show Me Fit taught me. Life doesn’t have to be based around losing weight and focusing on what the scales scale, non scale victories matter too.
Regardless of what people say losing weight and getting healthy / fit isn’t easy, it takes time. The results speak for themselves and the rewards at the end will be worth it. Believe in yourself and you’ll succeed. I am no longer going ahead with variate if surgery and I never would have guessed at the beginning of the pandemic I would make such a change, and end up here. I have no doubt that my cardiologist will be happy- he has always empathised that losing weight would not just benefit my health but my heart long term.