Caught on Camera: How This Embarrassing Snoring Video Changed My LifeObesity
By Kyle Stephenson, A Millennial
This video below of me snoring is not pretty! Neither are the pictures of what I looked like when I used to snore.
To be honest, it’s really embarrassing looking back at these pictures and video. They were taken by my mom only about seven months ago. It was her attempt to let me know how unhealthy I was. Yes, my family is brutal that way! They kept telling me I needed to be ‘healthy’ - whatever that meant. The message wasn’t getting through to me, so they took videos and pictures like these.
Back then I hated looking at videos and pictures of myself - and there are many more! I don’t mind looking at them now, because I am no longer that person and it motivates me to never return to that ‘place’ that made me look like this.
But back to this horrible video of me sleeping.
I started snoring when I gained weight. I weighed about 65 pounds more than I do now in that video as well as the pictures shown above. I never snored before my weight gain.
Not only was I snoring very loud, but it also looks like I even stopped breathing in that video.
I also recall that during the period when I was carrying all that extra weight, I felt tired even just after waking up. And sometimes, my family caught me taking a nap with my mouth open. I will also admit that I felt tired driving and would sometimes catch myself dozing off at the wheel.
So I am very happy I got through that terrible period without hurting anyone because as I look back, I could have easily caused harm to others while driving in that condition.
In fact, let me ‘keep it real.’
When I was obese, I was not only a danger to myself but I was a danger to others! Drowsy driving is responsible for many accidents and deaths. Some even say drowsy driving is almost just as bad as drunk driving.
I also did some reading to understand snoring and sleep apnea some more. These are serious problems for many obese people. The word ‘apnea’ means ‘want of breath.’
Here is what I learned:
When your oxygen level drops, your brain does whatever it can to get you to resume breathing. So the snorting and choking sounds you may hear when someone like your spouse snores is really them gasping for air, because the brain is not getting enough oxygen.
I choose to talk about my experiences with obesity, because many people might think that maintaining a healthy weight is about how we look. But feeling good is even more important than looking good. Feeling good means I feel awake in the mornings after a good night’s sleep. It means being able to focus and concentrate. And when I was carrying around all that excess weight, I did not feel awake, alert or good.
One of the reasons why I probably didn’t feel good and was tired all the time was because I wasn’t sleeping well. It all makes sense now, because I was struggling to get enough oxygen during my sleep. And I needed the oxygen to make my body function well. We all do!
Many people have died from sleep apnea, and obesity is one of the risk factors for this type of sleeping problem. In my case, I am lucky to not have suffered more serious consequences from this problem because I was able to eat healthily, move and balance my nutrients in order to lose the excess weight.
So my takeaway from all this is that losing excess weight and ridding myself of obesity is more about feeling good than looking good. It is so nice to get all the compliments now that I look good, and I appreciate them all. But I think I am more proud of myself because I learned how to feel good healthily.
And finally, I will always remember that as an obese person, I was a danger not only to myself but to others as well.
Kyle Stephenson is a 25-year-old young adult who overcame addiction and obesity and has dedicated his life to helping others do the same.