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Needing support in Baton Rouge, LA / PART ONE

Hello. I was introduced to this site via a google search. I was told that an online support community is good for people with weight loss goals. This post will be kinda long, I am famous for that, but I'd love it if you'll read it anyway.

My name is Heath and I'm a 34 year old male. My birthday is Oct 7th so you could say I'm 35 :)
I was married for 6+ years and divorced about a year ago. My ex-wife and I had very poor eating habits and I developed a sedentary lifestyle. I was in the Army when we met and weighed 175 lbs at 5'8" tall. Even then I was a bit chunky by military standards. In the first year, I gained 25 lbs and by the time my marriage ended I was close to 240 lbs. That means I was 65 lbs heavier within 7 years. I'm so ashamed. My ex-wife was a large woman when we met but I didn't care. We spent thousands of dollars on gastric by-pass surgery and she got down to 135 lbs (from over 250). Her personality changed and I guess she wasn't happy with me anymore. She cheated on me and left me for another man (the same guy). I simply refused to use artificial means to lose weight as she did, and I also refused to allow myself (personality) to change the way she did.
So here I was (2 years ago) at the time of seperation very depressed and overweight. I fluctuated a bit up and down, but the divorce never actually caused me to gain or lose weight significantly. I became a hermit, swearing off women for what was done to me and losing all sense of a social life.
Well, about 7 or 8 months ago another blow was dealt. My six year old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He is not at all overweight BTW. He's a very healty (otherwise) six year old with a slim build. His condition has been manageable so far, and it woke me up on a certain level. I was still depressed, maybe more so, because I was not able to be with him as a full time parent...but I did have the fortitude to alter my dietary lifestyle to meet his needs when he's with me (which is about 13 days a month). I started counting carbs and cutting back on portions right alongside of him. I cut out sugar-based soft drinks and switched to diet soda completely.
Well, I have never been a weight watcher in the sense of looking at my weight on a scale. But after a few months I started noticing my clothes were fitting very loosely. My image in the mirror hadn't noticeably changed though. One day I decided to weigh myself and found that I was at 215 lbs. WOW. I had lost 25 or so lbs without really thinking about it. I was still kinda sedentary so I was pleasantly surprised to see such a dramatic change with so little effort.
This occured about 2 months ago. I went out and bought a few new outfits and for once I started feeling positive about my life. I told myself that I was going to start flirting again, looking for an available young lady to woo. I met an attractive girl who happened to wait my table at a restaurant. She was very sweet and talkative but quite a bit younger (21). She had a one year old baby and just divorced. I thought, "why not"? She's a grown-up and I'm just looking for a friend. So I made my move and asked for her number. She gave it to me but after calling and talking a few times it became obvious that she wasn't as interested in me as I was her. I don't think it was the age difference because she said her ex-husband was 36. I think it was my weight.
Let me say right now that I am not opposed or unattracted to women who carry extra weight. After all, my ex-wife was very overweight when we met (bordering on morbidly obese). But her personality change highlighted something to me. As overweight people, many of us carry self esteem issues. My wife very much had them and even when she lost the weight they were still there under the surface. Her personality has always been a mask, only the mask changed to suit her station in life. The next woman I want to meet will not have these deep scars. I want a woman who is happy with herself. I have always been more attracted to thinner women (though I'd never say that to the woman I'm with). But I've also always known that I can't be "choosy" like that when my weight and shape is not up to snuff. Another reality is that I look much younger than I am. I look closer to 25 than 35. The dilemma in that is that women my own age rarely notice me, figuring I'm too young. Younger women may notice me, but they also see my out of shape physique and when so many younger men are still athleticly built I don't make a good first impression. I'm kinda shy and geeky to boot. So faced with this realization, and feeling the sense of rejection from this young lady I was speaking to, I made up my mind. I was going to change my image. I was going to find the strength and courage to get back in shape and find a new me.

continued on part two in another thread.

Mon. Oct 1, 2:57pm

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