Wow, it's been a year since I took the plunge and decided to change myself for the better. I had a hefty goal last April when joined this site; to lose 110 lbs (or more) by March 31 2012. Well, that date has come and gone and I didn't reach my goal. I did however lose over 70 lbs, become much more healthy and regain some of my old confidence. The longer that I travel this path, the more I see the old me. The happy, fun, energetic guy that loved to play sports, be around people and just generally enjoy life.
For the last 15 years that guy that I once was began to disappear. A severe back injury led to depression and rapid weight gain. A failed marriage, being a full time single father and eventually a failed business kept me on that lonely path to ruin.
In December of 2010 I decided to go back to school to get my bachelor's degree in business. This helped me gain some confidence. Then I saw a picture of myself with my brother, dad and grandfather. I'm on the left, in the blue t-shirt, looking like a parade balloon.
I hated how I had let myself go. How could I do this to myself? I had spent years before in gyms and nutrition classes. I knew what it took to be in good shape and yet I wasn't doing any of it. Finally in early April of 2011 a couple I know told me about a biggest loser challenge they were signed up for and I decided I would do it myself. April 12 was the first weigh in day, 317.2 was the bad news. The nice folks at the weigh in had lots of info about websites to help with weight loss and SparkPeople was one of them. I signed up that evening and began tracking my food intake right away. Best thing I have done in years.
Now it's one year later and I am down over 72 lbs. I've had lots of ups and downs but I have continued to move forward. This is not easy, if it were we would all look like movie stars. I still have a ways to go, but I will make it there eventually as will every one of you, if you just stick with it. Rome wasn't built in a day and we didn't all get fat overnight.
Here's me today, after pulling some weeds in the garden.
This trip wouldn't have taken me as far as it has without help. Of course my family has been very encouraging, which is nice (some folks don't have that help at home, that's shame). But the friends that I have made here on Spark have been so instrumental in my success so far. So my hat is off to you guys.
A special thanks to some of the folks that have been with me for the last 12 months: Chris, my brother from another mother; Helene, like the French Canadian sister I never had; Colleen, a strong willed woman who loves to dance; Mary, My dear Spark friend living in Japan; Nadine, a fellow Tough Mudder trainee who is always kept busy here on Spark and Holly, A very busy baker who was my first Spark friend and still encourages me.
Good Lord willing, let's make this year great!