Yep, that's me to the left, when I was that size I never felt like I was that big. I enjoyed life like I was "thin" and never felt like it was a problem. My wife loved me, I had a good job and no one ever made a big deal about it. Well something finally clicked. My story isn't a page turner or filled with personal tragedy that could be considered an acceptable reason for why my weight became such a problem. I AM LAZY pure and simple and this is my story...Over my entire childhood I was always considered the chubby one, a little bigger than most but it never really got out of hand. Pretty much like every other kid I played football, baseball, soccer and basketball, I was always doing something. If I had to put my finger on the main reason for my size would say my diet had a lot to do with it. I was "addicted" to sugar, candy, Pop, cookies, donuts, etc. along with burgers, fries, pizza, fast food and having no concept portion control you can see why this is where I ended up.
When I started in high school I was right around 200 pounds, I know this because I decided to go out for freshman wrestling and when I was a freshman weighing 200 and up was the heavyweight class. After a month of getting my ass handed to me by 6 foot 300 plus pound kids I talked with my coaches about cutting weight. A month later I was weighing in at 175 and was actually winning a few matches. The summer prior to my sophomore year I turned 16, I traded my bicycle and skateboard in for car keys, gave up wrestling for what I look back now as stupid reasons, to which I now mark as the exact moment my current struggles with weight began. All through high school and college I continued my eating habits that I am sure was coming in around 3-5000 calories a day combined with little to no exercise.
|Savannah, GA 2006|
My Doc gave me two months to try and change my diet and start exercising to reverse the damage or he would recommend medication. So for the first month feeling depressed and I did what most anyone would do, NOT A DAMN THING. I finally got around to getting a gym membership and spent the next month going 2-3 days a week, which was a huge accomplishment for me, but I wasn't really putting in a ton of effort while using the weight and elliptical machines. The gym has an indoor track and one day while on the elliptical, I was watching the runners and walkers through the glass, I thought screw this, I'm gonna give jogging a try. Even though I couldn't even make it anywhere close to a mile I enjoyed it and for the first time felt like I had a quality workout, so 2 days later I did it again and continued every other day.
The indoor track takes 9 laps to make a mile, and as I was making progress towards achieving that first mile, I started to get really interested in the topic of running, and when I get interested in something I research it to death. While in the Itunes store I came across an awesome podcast called Runner Academy, and found the host Matt Johnson to be very informative and helpful. The episode I have listened to the most and I think really kicked me into high gear is #8 which was all about two of the Fat to Finish line documentary teammates. That episode gave me the inspiration and the confidence that I could lose the weight, and do it with running. My plan was simple, to run for exercise and reduce my caloric intake to around 2000 calories.I track everything I put in my mouth with the My Net Diary App on my phone. I set my first goal to break 247lbs and run a 5K, when I did that I set my next to hit 225lbs and run a 10K. As I reach goal then I move on to the next. As I write this today (2/22/14), I have been able to completed multiple 5Ks, a 10K and two Half Marathons at a current weight of 205 with my next weight goal to break 199 and my next running goal to run a my first full marathon and 1:59:59 or better half. I have gone from a snug 46 waist to a comfortable 36 waist and down to an XL from a 3X size shirt.
My original goal was to stop when I reached 193lbs but I think that just is still a little to heavy so I decided that my finish line is my freshman year wrestling weight of 175lbs. Once I get there I will re-evaluate how I look and feel and see if I need to drop or add weight to get to what feels good for me. I know I still have a long way to go but, my confidence seems to grow every day, with the knowledge that if I put in the effort and have the desire I can accomplish anything.
I now live with the mantra “Only the Committed Will Survive”, and for me to succeed I must stay committed. Matt from Runner Academy always says "you never know where running will take you" and he is right, without running I would not be writing this and I would not have met and made some amazing new friends.
Below is my 100 pound loss comparison photo that I created for my friend and Ragnar Relay teammate Katie Foster who writes the very inspiring blog Runs for Cookies and asked to share my story and progress on her blog. I now use it to remind myself of how far I have come and that I will always be a "Fat Guy" fighting everyday to be the best healthy fat guy I can be.