It is my pleasure to introduce to you who don’t know him, Greg Gaul aka Ksigma1222 who has lost 155 pounds!
Greg is one of the most fascinating people I’ve had the honor to meet in person. He wears his heart on his sleeve and genuinely cares about others. He has lost so much weight and made so many healthy changes! We both spoke at the 2009 SparkPeople convention, and we have maintained a friendship since.
He is such an inspiration to me that I call him “Rockstar.” He has spoken at conventions, been on local television, hosted workshops in his hometown, been featured in both SparkPeople books, and I venture to say I don’t believe he is done yet.
He was born in Omaha, NW, but lives in Topeka, KS, where he is the Safety and Security Manager at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. At age 38, he is married to his wife Melinda and had daughters Hannah (9) and Rachel (7) and son Jesse (2). His hobbies are running, swimming, cooking, playing cards, pop up books, shopping, and anything that keeps him moving and living. He joined SparkPeople in October 2007.
~Indygirl: How much weight have you lost?
Ksigma1222: Well. I was down to 180 at one point, but have purposely worked my way back up to 220-225 range. I never wanted to be below 215 really. Remember I am 6’6”.
~Indygirl: How long have you kept it off? Since November19, 2007, so more than 4 years now.
~Indygirl: What was your "A-Ha moment"?
Ksigma1222: In the summer 2007, after returning from a funeral and wanting to change and get healthy, I started for a month of eating breakfast lunch and dinner and controlling my portions. Then again on July 4, when on a walk with my family, I kept telling myself “I can do this (walk) every day” and I did. I also came up with some basic rules to follow for my new way of life!
Ksigma1222: It is simple and straightforward. SparkPeople uses actual measurements and terms that anyone can identify and use. It has tools that I saw I needed. Then later it had members who made it all real and not like an alone, drifting feeling.
~Indygirl: How did it help you make such a large change?
Ksigma1222: Understanding and balance. I started my journey shooting from the hip, so to speak, and just kept adding things and such to my non-existent plan. SparkPeople gave me the tools to map it all out and understand what it all meant. I was guessing at numbers and such and found that I was way off and not understanding at all what I was doing or how I was doing it. That threw me way off balance. With the way I was going, I was going to fail by hurting myself with how much I was off, or be forced to stop and just recover. Maybe after that I would never want to be healthy again for fear of going out of control again. Also the people to say “It is OK, you are human.”
~Indygirl: What things are different about you since starting SparkPeople?
Ksigma1222: My outlook on life. Not about the numbers or time or anything like that. It is about being happy, positive and healthy. The numbers help give you some direction and goals but in the end are just numbers. How you feel and more importantly how you feel about yourself is more important than any number ever will be.
I have more energy now, need less sleep, have a better outlook on life, do not feel “trapped” in my body or mind anymore, understand I am human and will make mistakes, do not put myself down as much in my own mind, am open about my journey with others, like to be seen and many other things. Life is AMAZING!!!
~Indygirl: What have others noticed that is different about you?
Ksigma1222: Well at first most people did not recognize me. They also said I look younger and such. They've noticed my change in attitude and outlook on life, that I'm motivated, happy and just positive in general.
~Indygirl: You are a runner now. Tell us about that.
Ksigma1222: Well, I started off just walking and got healthy doing that. But like many I wondered if I could run a little, how it would feel and how far could I go. So in December 2007, I started walking then running a little and continued doing this. Also, I found it was a much faster way to get my heart rate up and get my cardio in and done. .
I have kept running and love it. I love it when I travel especially, get to where ever you are going or stopping, throw your bags down and go run the area. I like to find out where everything is and how to get there. Running the same route can be different every time if you just pay attention. You see the world from a different vantage point when running so enjoy it.
~Indygirl: You like to spread the Spark. What are some ways you help others learn about SparkPeople?
Ksigma1222: I’ve given some talks before groups, openly talked to anyone who wants to talk about it, I bring it up when I see an avenue or place it would do well. But largely I have seen my actions have done more. People see me and know “They can do it!”
Most recently was at a 5K alumni race. A guy I played football with in college was there and running it as well. He was weighing about what I did when I started my new life and finished the race in twice the time it took me. I sparked something in him. A year later he contacted me and went from 370 to 250 and is a runner. Things are happening and Sparking all the time and we will not know of or see them all but feel good in knowing we are enabling it to happen by just living it.
~Indygirl: What are some of your favorite foods now?
Ksigma1222: Peppers, spinach, black rice, chicken, Greek food, sushi, apples, bananas, tilapia, salmon, oatmeal, blueberries, chocolate protein powder in my coffee and anything I make (yes, I am biased).
~Indygirl: What was a typical day of eating like before?
Ksigma1222: I didn’t eat breakfast or lunch and would get home from work and eat from then until I went to bed. I could eat whole bag of double stuffed Oreos, 20 piece bucket of KFC chicken, a whole extra-large pizza or whatever I could find or buy. I did not know very much then about how skipping breakfast and other meals were so harmful to my body and mind. Now I never, on purpose, miss a meal and am very aware of what and when I eat.
What about Greg's story inspires you?
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