I'm 'Doing Whatever It Takes'

By , SparkPeople Member FANGLE
My motto: "Doing whatever it takes."
When the dailySpark asked me to write a guest blog I was completed humbled and honoured. What better way to help inspire people then getting to share my story, where I have been, where I am and where I am going.
On to the title of my blog, "doing whatever it takes." When I started to lose weight in May 2009, I had hit rock bottom with my self-esteem, was very close to the heaviest I had ever been, at close to 320 pounds. My athletic abilities were completely gone and I knew that it was a time for a change.
I had contemplated losing weight for years. In my second year of university, I had a huge drug problem and when I eventually stopped doing drugs (it has been over 4 years) I gave myself 3 goals all with equal importance to me.

Gerry, before, at 320 pounds

  1. Stay clean. I knew that I would not be able to do anything productive with my life if I was a drug addict. I have always been a very ambitious person and the drugs really stunted that.
  1. Lose weight. Even though goal number 1 is never really going to be complete, it will have to be something that I work at for the rest of my life, after about two years of contemplating losing weight I finally said to myself enough is enough and I was ready to do whatever was necessary, whatever it took to get fit.
  1. Start dating again. At 320 pounds, I knew that I would never find someone. How could anyone love me if I hated myself? I knew that if goals 1 and 2 were accomplished, then goal number 3 would happen in time.
I have talked about this last goal in previous blogs so I am just going to mention them and not go into detail with number 3 at this time.
Ok, focus, back to the title of my blog.
Regardless of anything you read, anything you hear, any advice you get from people who have done it before you, you will NOT succeed unless you are willing to do whatever it takes to lose weight and keep it off. I always heard people say you need to do this, or you need to do that, but nothing was going to change unless I was willing to change it. It is that simple.
So, what does "doing whatever it takes" mean? Well that is not an easy answer because for me, what it takes for me is constantly changing and evolving.
When I started losing weight, whatever it took was healthy eating, portion control and regular exercise. I began lifting weights, which is something I had never done before and I started to run on the elliptical a few times per week.
A light bulb went off and I literally went from being the most useless human being on the planet to working out 5 times per week in a matter of seconds. Another big part of doing whatever it took at the beginning was I had to say goodbye to a few of my old food groups: bacon, Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwiches, Chinese food and beer. For 7 months, I did not have a drop of alcohol. To this day I have not had Chinese food once but, well, bacon is back in my diet but more on that later.
After I lost about 60 pounds or so, doing whatever it took to lose more weight changed. I knew that I had to make some compromises in my diet and in my lifestyle so that I would be able to make this a long term change. So, I started having a beer on occasion and allowed myself to have some of the things I enjoy in moderation. I lost the next 40 pounds slower than I had lost the first 60, but I was still losing weight, eating things I enjoyed and loving life.
In April 2010, "doing whatever it takes" evolved again. I realized that for me, there is no point in working out unless I am working as hard as I can. So, I decided that I was going to sign up for a triathlon in July and I was going to train hard for it. I began working out between 1-2 hours per day for 6 days per week. I worked out very hard and this has become part of my self-concept today. I love to work hard and get kind of a sick enjoyment out of seeing myself drenched in sweat.
In July 2010 I completed my first triathlon. It was so much fun and there is nothing that can compare to the feeling you get when you are getting to the finish line and everyone is cheering for you. After that point, "doing whatever it takes" took on a new face once again. I was going to become the best triathlete that I could be. What does that mean exactly? Well, my diet is solid, my workouts are consistent and mentally I think I am stronger than ever.
What does "doing whatever it takes" mean to me now? I am currently "doing whatever it takes" to complete an Olympic distance triathlon on August 7, 2011, and I want to complete a half-ironman triathlon next summer: 1.9 km swim, 90km bike and 21.2 km run. A daunting task and one thing that I know for certain is that I am going to do whatever it takes to not only complete that triathlon, but I am going to do whatever it takes to do the best job I can. Lastly, "doing whatever it takes" to make this a lifelong journey means I need to eat bacon because a life without bacon just isn’t worth it.

What does "doing whatever it takes" mean to you?

Gerry after, during his triathlon!