I got a call from my bio dad's girlfriend, at about 9 p.m. Thursday night. I missed the call and so I got the voicemail she left yesterday morning.

My bio dad and I don't have much of a relationship, outside of Christmas (about 50% of the time) and a brief phone call here and there. In fact, I didn't even know who he was until I was 21 yrs old, married and had a child of my own. My mom and he had a short realtionship and she had left him when she found out he was still married (although seperated from his wife and 2 kids). A few weeks after she left, she found out she was pregnant. He had already taken off to Tennessee to pursue a career as a country music singer and didn't return to Ohio until over a year later. By that time, rumors were flying around our small town, that I was his. He sure took his good ole time trying to figure it out too. When I was about 18 months old, and mom had already gotten married to someone else, and was pregnant w/ my brother, he finally showed up and was quickly told to take a hike. "Graciously" he did. He had more important things to do in life than worry about me I suppose. After all, he already had two other kids he was leavign behind, so I am not surprised.

I grew up in a decent home. My mom was a great mother, and my dad (LC-actually step, but I don't use that term) raised me as his own. I have had some issues, but overall, I can say my childhood was good for the most part. LC did the best he could. He has some undiagnosed mental issues and so I understand now as an adult that that crippled him at times. He could be the most loving, caring person, then suddenly flip flop into this dark, depressed person who wouldn't leave his bed for weeks on end.

At any rate, back to J my bio dad. So, our relationship is a weird one. Since I met him in 2001 things have been touch and go. I don't go out of my way to contact him, and he doesn't me either. We talk probably 4 times a year, and see each other maybe 1 time. We live 5 miles away from one another. He is always busy w/ his latest music project though, and his newest girlfriends are getting closer and closer to my age w/ each new one, and just overall involved in his own life.

There is a point to this blog though I promise!

So, I get the phone call that he has been life flighted. This man is overweight, smokes, has diabetes, congestive heart failure, has had 2 heart attacks, and several heart procedures, sleep apnea... He is far from a picture of health.

As his new girlfriend filled me in on the details of what the doctors were saying/doing now, I couldn't help but think about how unlucky I am in regards to family health history... but how blessed I am to have gotten my weight under control now before it was too late.

I look like this man, and no doubt I have inherited his side of the families genes,as no one on my mom's side has weight issues. Everyone on his side is obese, w/ multiple health problems.

For the last few weeks, I have had my focus on outward appearances. Am I thin enough? Do I look fat still? Am I ok?? There is a little lady at the nursing home who constantly asks, "Am I ok?" and we constantly reassure that yes, she is ok. I was her!

Am I ok?

Yes. I am. Of course we all want to look good, but I am seeing bigger victories here now.

I won't be laying in a hosptial bed at 50 something already having had 2 heart surgeries, cancer, lung issues, heart issues, diabetes, sleep apnea, etc. like my father. I have taken control of my health at 29 and I am so thankful for it.

It isn't just about being thin. It is about health and I see it now more than ever. What my dad is going through right now, WAS my future. I've changed it. I've chosen to be HEALTHY and if I'm thin too, then that is fine, but that can't be 1st and foremost.

I did this for health and I see it paying off already.


Meghan said...

Wow, what a great change in perspective. I too sometimes forget this about HEALTH more than anything else. I hope your bio-dad's okay and can turn his own health around.

AJ said...

Health was the number one reason that I had my wls. My Mom is very sick with lots of weight related issues and I don't want to be her in 25 years. So good for you for reaching this level in self awareness. Congratulation for dodging the genetic bullet!

Susy said...

Ta Da. I'm so proud of you Amber. You being happy is important and your should fight for your dreams. Great blog and perspective Amber. Keep working on that freedom my friend!

Kyla said...

Reading this was like reading something I had wrote! My biological father died when when I was 29 (he was 51?) and we didn't have a relationship. My Dad that raised me was my step-father, whom I love dearly. I am losing this weight because like you, I want to be alive and healthy well into old age to see my family grow up! Congratulations on how well you've done and I hope to be as successful as you. =)