/One Man's Journey from Fit to Fat--and Back Again
Allow me to start by saying this: I love sharing my story with the hope of inspiring others to take their lives back. It is my hope that by continuing to share my story that I can help even ONE person see there is hope to change their life.
Growing up, I was not an athlete.
I did wrestle for a number of years, but I was more of a band geek. (Proud to say that too!) I've traveled the world "making music with my friends," as I marched in various marching bands and Drum Corps. I was always fit, firm and muscular due to the demands that band and Drum Corps put on my body.
Then, in 1998, I changed careers and got a desk job. Things started to change.
I quickly grew accustomed to sitting all day. Sitting behind a desk got easier and easier. It also got easier to sit on my chair at home and do nothing.
I lost my mother in February 2005 and I started eating, much more than normal. I never knew I was an emotional eater, but there I was, eating away the grief and loss. As time moved forward, and my habits did not improve, I slowly grew to my top measured weight of 264 pounds. I knew I wasn't healthy. I couldn't walk up a small flight of stairs without being winded, I had no energy and I made poor eating choices most of the time. I didn't like what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I avoided having my picture taken. In fact it was the picture taken for my security badge at work that scared me into action. My swollen face and eyes were not a pretty sight!
That just begs the question words, why, when, how, what? I simply can't come up with a better answer than I got tired of being fat. Why at the ripe ole age of 40 did I decide to take my life back? Why, when I knew it was going to take so much discipline, so much work would I make a life changing decision?
I made this decision for me.
Now, let me give you three more reasons I changed my life. My wife and two daughters. My wife deserves a husband who is willing and able to help out around the house. I believe she deserves a husband that she can be proud of, who can come home from work and have the energy necessary to help with dinner, kids, activities, etc. My daughters deserve a Daddy who doesn't sit in his chair asleep all the time. They deserve a daddy who has energy to play with them, get on the floor and wrestle, tickle, and not be a grump all the time. They need a role model.
So I made the decision on December 28, 2009 to take my life back!
I made radical changes in my life. I'm not sure what my calorie intake was before I started, but I know it was really high! I started logging everything I ate (I used the SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker). I had a healthy breakfast and a good lunch that I kept varied between salad, soup or sandwiches most days. I stopped eating out every day. Thankfully I have a wife who is on board with the new lifestyle (she lost more than 70 pounds herself) and is cooking healthier dinners. I am practicing portion control and try to put the fork down between each bite.
Keeping in mind that I made radical changes, I also started moving, A LOT. I began walking each day. The coldest day I remember going for a walk outside was 27 degrees. Yes, it was cold, but I had to do it! I would be out my door by 5 a.m. for my first walk of the day, and then do it again in the evening. I parked farther from the door while out running errands. I walked with a quicker pace to get my heart rate elevated as much as possible.
After two months I added elliptical workouts to my routine and grew to love that machine! I joined my wife and began doing high-impact intensity workouts WOW! I got addicted to that right away! Running didn’t enter the equation until months later. Running became my time for reflection, prayer, anger management, problem solving, etc. I can’t imagine my life without it!
I added DVD workouts in the summer of 2010, stopping after one series due to a major sports hernia. I had probably developed this hernia years before, but with my increased activity, it became something I needed to deal with. Surgery and recovery slowed me to a near halt for about 14 weeks. Then I got right back to it, moving and grooving, shaking and quaking!
Less than one year after I started, December 10, 2010, I hit the 100 pound lost mark. There was no magic pill that solved my weight problems. Time, hard work, and determination were the tools that got me here, and now that I’m here, I work just as hard to maintain, there is no finish line in my book.
Now that I am in the maintenance phase of my weight-loss journey, it’s all about simply making sure I remember my triggers for overeating and exercise--and the power I have to control it! I still cross train 2-3 times a week and I run 4-5 days a week.
I have completed multiple 10k’s, 15k’s, half marathons and two full marathons. I consider myself an endurance athlete because I embrace the challenge. I embrace the feeling of being able to push myself to a new level of fitness. I also love the challenge of the mind games. That is a part of this journey that many people forget about or don’t deal with. I feel that the mind games or the emotional part of this journey is critical for ultimate success. Learning to deal with WHY I let myself get do big, so depressed has been a lot of fun and I wouldn’t be nearly as successful if I didn’t face that head on!
I’d like to leave you with three success factors that worked for me:
1. Know WHAT/HOW much you eat
2. Shut up and sweat – you have to WORK it off
3. Do it every single day – make it a lifestyle
Feel free to follow me at any of the following: