How I Lost Weight And Donated A Kidney
About five years ago I started what was to be the most difficult but rewarding journey of my entire life. My brother Jim had been diagnosed with a serious kidney condition. For months, our entire family worried that his condition might mean his life would end tragically early.
Eventually the hospital gave us the good news we had been hoping for. Jim’s condition could be treated but he would need a kidney transplant within a year.
As Jim’s brother, I was seen as the best possible match to be a renal transplant donor. I was more than willing to donate in order to save and improve Jim’s life. There was one catch though. My weight meant I was officially obese and unsuited to donating.
I will never forget sitting in the hospital consultation room that day and the mixture of feelings, thoughts and emotions I experienced. I desperately wanted to help Jim and found it difficult to accept that my body weight was stopping me from providing him with the kidney he so desperately needed.
I will never forget the patience with which the doctor treated me that day. He calmly and carefully helped me understand that I could still provide Jim with the kidney he needed so long as I could get out of the obesity classification in time to donate. This would mean I had to lose a significant amount of weight in about 9 months.
When I left the hospital that day, I felt equally determined and scared. I had tried for years to lose weight and had even succeeded at shedding some excess pounds every now and then.
The problem was they would seem to pile back on and this gradually decreased my motivation to even attempt a healthy lifestyle as time went on. I had never had as much motivation or incentive as I had that day though.
I was worried that I would struggle to lose the weight, but was equally determined that I now had the drive I needed to stick to a diet and finally get back to a healthy weight.
The first month or so of the diet was the hardest for me. Switching from my favorite foods to a healthier eating plan was difficult. I felt I was missing out on my usual snacks and sodas, but every time I felt that way I thought of Jim and overcame my cravings.
I stuck a photograph of Jim on the fridge and above the weighing scales. His health provided me with the motivation I needed to stick to healthy eating and resist the temptations I faced daily. Each and every time I weighed myself and saw the pounds falling off increased my resolve.
Perhaps the happiest moment of my life was the day when I was told I could finally donate. It gave joy to not only myself and Jim, but to our entire family. Donating a kidney to Jim had turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Not only did my donation manage to save his life and improve his health but also improved mine. To this day I look and feel better than ever before. Losing weight to help Jim was the best decision I ever made.