Back in May, I weighed 275 pounds. This past Friday, I weighed 229, for a grand total of 46 pounds lost — with many more still to come. Or at least that’s the plan.
I’m gonna share a couple of pics here, because I think they’re very telling. The first one is from my son’s first birthday party. It’s not a picture I’m particularly fond of. I liked the shirt I was wearing, because I thought I looked, well, not as overweight in it as some of the other shirts I wore. But as you can tell, I thought wrong. I was heavy. Hefty. Beefy. Okay, fine — I was fat. I knew I was fat, but when you have physical evidence of your obesity slapping you in the face … well, that’s just unpleasant. It was hard for me to look at that picture. It still is. Even now, I look at that pic and go, “I never realized I was that fat!”
I’m looking for things to say about that picture now. The only thing that comes to mind is YEESH. I was enormous. But what’s really bad is that I don’t think I had any idea that I was that fat. I’ve never thought of myself as a fat guy — not really, not deep down. I’ve always thought of myself (please don’t laugh here) as pretty muscular.
So this photo was a serious wake-up call. It, just as much as my springtime doctor visit, was a catalyst for me to start eating healthier and to get my flabby ass to the gym. My wife was (and is) a huge inspiration to me, as well. She’s fighting her own weight-loss battle, and doing a great job at it. Even when she has setbacks, she’s determined to continue shedding pounds. And her determination fuels my own. Kinda neat how that works, huh? We’re able to rely on each other, even when things aren’t going well — maybe especially when they’re not going well.
So, the biggest fight for me was (is) to get into the gym. I’ve discovered I like swimming pretty much more than any other workout, and I try to burn off about 1,000 calories every time I go to the pool or gym. On some days (Mondays and Thursdays, usually), I try to burn more: 1,500 to 2,000 calories in a workout. Combined with eating much healthier portions, I began to drop some weight. Back in the Spring, Misty bought some khakis for me to wear to work. They have a 44-inch waist, and sadly, they used to fit. Not anymore. I still wear them to work, but they bag and sag. My wife keeps threatening to get me some new pants, but so far I’ve continued to wear the now-baggy trousers. They’re a mark of pride for me. They show me how far I’ve come, and how far I need to go.
One of the things I like to do most is challenge myself. As such, I’m training to enter a triathlon in Spring 2013. So far, so good. I’m focusing right now on the swimming aspect of the tri, because it’s the part that concerns me the most. I’ve never been a super strong swimmer — but swimming laps every day is changing that. I’ve gone from only being able to do 16 laps in an hour to doing 37 in an hour (with an eye on doing 40, if I can get my speed up a little more). Still, I’ll probably stay far from the fray of an open-water triathlon for awhile. I don’t want an overzealous competitor actually swimming over me.
I’ve heard that can happen — as well as possibly getting accidentally punched or kicked in the head during the free-for-all that composes the swimming portion of the event.
Anyone that tries to swim over me is getting punched (and possibly kicked) on purpose, dammit.
Lately a lot of folks have asked what my “secret” is to losing weight. Today it’s the lovely Lauren Bowen Train who asked. That makes her the lucky 100th caller. You should go by her blog and say hi. She’s cool beans.
But my answer is always the same: There is no secret. It is hard work and willpower. It’s burning more calories than you eat. It’s getting off the couch every chance you get. It’s drinking more water and less beer/tea/coffee/sodas. I am doing my best not to do any “fad” type exercises or diets. I want this weight to stay off.
This pic is one of the ones I’m most proud of — and my mom totally just asked me if I was holding my stomach in. LOL I’m not, for the record — but the rash guard does kind of hold everything a little more firmly, from the waist up. Which is why I’m wearing it.
I’m also wearing my smallest pair of jeans — 40-inch waist. Looks like I can go down a size, doesn’t it? #humblebrag
That pic represents a lot of sweat, and a lot of effort. I’m down 46 lbs, and feeling better than I have in years. The last time I lost weight was shortly after Misty and I were married. I did it solely by reducing my calorie intake, and that was not a healthy way to do things. I gained all of that weight back — and it brought friends.
Now, because I’ve incorporated exercise as part of the weight-loss regimen, I’ve got a lot more energy. This past weekend, for example, I was able to get up and go to the farmer’s market with Misty and Noah — something she’s asked me to do countless times. Before, I was too exhausted to get out of bed early on Saturday mornings, since I work the night before. But even after a very challenging week of work, I was able to spend quality time with Misty and Noah — something I wasn’t always able to do before.
A lot of times, you hear people talk about functional fitness, but that’s a term that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Right now it means that I’m able to play with my kid in ways that I was unable to enjoy just a few months ago. In the spring of 2013, it’ll mean entering (and completing) my first triathlon. For me, functional fitness means that I can do the things I want to do, without fear of limits.
Maybe that’s too high a goal to aspire to, but it’s what I’m aiming for. In the meantime, I have one more pic that reminds me how far I’ve come. This one is my favorite, and it showcases the reason I’m working so hard to drop the weight: