The Gene Pool from Hell (and how I got here)

So I figure I should start out with a little background.

My gene pool sucks. (From a health standpoint). At least one person in my immediate family (within 2 generations) have gone through the things listed below. Here’s what I’m up against, in no particular order:

  • Type II Diabetes
  • Prostate/Lung Cancer
  • High Blood Pressure
  • A massive heart attack (before the age of 40) and quadruple bypass surgery
  • A large stroke (mid-40s)
  • Dementia
  • Family-wide obesity and all the problems that go with it
  • Any unknown problems from my mother’s side, who was adopted (could be good or bad)

Now, a lot of the problems are probably caused by the obesity. When I was in high school, I thought I had nothing to worry about. I played multiple sports and was in great shape. Meanwhile, pretty much every adult on my dad’s side were various degrees of obese. (side note: I seem to have gotten most of my genes from my dad’s side–I am very much a Baldauf) At my grandparent’s 40th anniversary, I saw a picture of my grandfather just after high school. At the time, he weighed well over 300 pounds. But in the picture, he was scrawny as a twig.

That scared me. I went to college and stayed in good shape my freshman year. Sophomore year I went backwards a little bit. Junior year into senior year, I got back into shape and dropped to my lowest weight in years. But as senior year went on, I worked out less and less. My fifth (and final!) year, I barely worked out at all. I was working all the time and school sucked the rest of my time and energy up.

I went over 200 pounds (I know it’s not that much, but it was always my cutoff point–the difference between me and the rest of my family). Some of it was due to naturally widening out, losing my teenage shape. But I could see myself starting down the same path that my grandpa and my dad and my uncle went down. My once freakishly low blood pressure also went up to normal levels, destroying my hope of getting my mom’s blood pressure.

So that’s where I’m at now. I’ve done a little better this summer. Haven’t weighed myself lately, partially out of a fear of how high I’ve gone, but I think I’m probably near 200 on the high side.  I’m probably in about average shape, but I still judge myself compared to high school, which I’ve fallen a long way from. And that’s me, struggling to beat my gene pool.

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