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Starting Out

Thursday, February 06, 2014

So, I'm a slow starter. :) I joined SP back in Feb 2013 but really am only now starting to use it to its full potential. Back when I started, I basically created my profile and then tracked my food for a week and then quit for 9 months. I'd like to say that it's uncharacteristic of me to give up so easily but when it comes to my weight, that's how the last several years have played out for me. It took a subsequent Jan 1 (that magical time of the year when people suddenly realize that they need to shed some weight), a birthday of mine (that magical time of year when people suddenly realize they're mortal) and some upcoming birthdays for my kids (that magical time of year when people suddenly realize that their kids will need them for a long time to come) to really kick my ass and get me going again.

Not that I haven't been here before. 10 years ago, I was equally motivated. My dad was dying of heart disease and I hated every picture I saw of myself. I was recently wed to the best lady in the world and I wanted to spend as many years as possible with her. I was tired of being sore and tired and embarrassed about the way I looked. I was 30 years old and wanted to start living after a lifetime of my body image and my health holding me back.

And my wife was in the same boat. She started to lose weight about a month before I did and in truth, I mostly started trying just to help her stay on track. But after being 'on program' for about 2 weeks, the doubt fell away and I realized that I could do this.

About a month in, my dad finally succumbed to what had been looming for almost 20 years and he passed away. Things could have gone two different ways at that point: I could have used the stress of that time as an excuse to go back to eating my feelings or I could have realized that I was on the same path as my dad and made a change. I chose the latter.

My resolve was rock-solid and I never strayed far from the plan for the next year. I lost 125 pounds in that year and got down to a weight I hadn't seen since grade 8. I had no joint pain. I had no back pain. I had no sleep apnea. I had no reflux. I felt full of energy after 4-5 hours of sleep. I felt awesome. I even looked pretty good if I must say so myself. My wife came along with me on this journey and lost about 75 pounds too. We helped each other and we succeeded together.

Then, somehow, I took my eyes off the prize. I got distracted. I got lazy. Granted, I had kids and tons of job stress and I traveled a lot for work. But these are excuses, right? I mean, let's call a spade a spade. Had I chose to, I could have dealt with all of this without eating 5000 calories a day. But I didn't, I ate. And my wife did too. I've got a lot of guilt about that because I think that I let her down and she just wasn't strong enough to stay on track by herself. So here we are, many years later and back to square one. I haven't quite gained all of the weight back but it's close enough.

The thing is that I want my health back.

We're done having kids now and our youngest is 2. We're both over 40 now. In a way, we're at a nexus. The kids are becoming easier to take care of (at least physically), we're both acutely aware that we're firmly entrenched in mid-life and we both want it bad enough to do something about it again. I'm really hoping that we're ready to give this the effort that it needs and stay with it through the hurdles.

And this is what I need from SP - motivation from all the others who are working on making positive changes. Seeing your success stories, commiserating with your trials.

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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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