Without a doubt this is the hardest thing I have ever done. It’s simple, but it sure isn’t easy. Being consistent at anything is tough. Well, besides being consistenly lazy… I sure seemed to have that one down.
It’s been invigorating over the last week receiving over a dozen positive comments about my weight loss. Seeing some of my parents’ friends, as well as several coworkers that I don’t see frequently, and all of them taking note. I am trying to take it in stride, keep my ego in check, and remember there is more work to be done. I definitely take little moments to celebrate my success so far, but I know I have a ways to go.
The most common question I have been asked recently is, “How did you do it? How have you lost the weight?” My new answer is, “it’s hard.” And depending on who I am talking to, I may be more emphatic. Because what I am really thinking in that moment is… “This is so fucking hard. This is so fucking hard, but you can do it too.” But more than anything else, “This is so fucking hard.”
I recently saw a “B” list celebrity on a terrible talk show discussing her weight loss… and she talked about how easy it was… how she just had to stop eating the wrong foods and exercise. Sure, it’s soooo easy! That’s why America has an obesity epidemic and everyone is looking for a short cut… because it’s easy? I would in no way profess to be an expert on nutrition, exercise, or psychology, but the one thing I have learned on this journey is that if you’re not mentally prepared to battle through the bad days, you may never get the results you desire.
I have lost almost 70 pounds over the last 10 months. Previous to that, over the last 10 years I have probably lost over 200. Lose 20, but gain 30. Lose 50, but gain 60. You probably know someone that this has happened to… and if you don’t, watch an episode of The Biggest Loser reunion show. Those individuals have intense training on nutrition and work out with a trainer. They live in a bubble for months with no distractions from the outside world. And many of them within a year or two have gained all the weight back… and then some.
So why is this time going to be different for me? I wish I could pinpoint exactly what it is. I wish I could give someone the burning desire I currently have. Sure, I still have bad days. I just try to not have them consecutively. I have pushed myself to not have a bad week. Recently my Dad told me that I was taking my training too seriously. Part of me understands why he would say that. But there is another side of me that says, of couse I am taking it seriously. This is my health. This is my body. I have abused it for the last 20 years… and I’m trying to make it right.
I remember when I first made my goal sheet. I had printed it off and left the office for the day, mistakenly leaving it on the printer. I was embarrassed to call and ask my supervisor to remove the pages for me and place them in my desk. I was embarrassed that he was going to read that I weighed 320 lbs. And a large part of me thought that he would see that sheet and think… yeah right… this guy is going to lose 100 pounds. The same guy that walks through the breakroom and can’t keep his hands off of the cookies.
Which is a whole ‘nother story. One of the keys to success that any weight loss program will steer you towards is cleaning out your pantry, and only surrounding yourself with fresh and clean foods… whole grains and lots of fruits and vegetables. Here I am walking into work each day surrounded by a half million cases of snack food. Exactly what I’m trying to stay away from. Sure we sell healthy items as well. There is the Kashi line along with Special K. But the fact remains that every time I head into the warehouse and walk through the breakroom, there are at least a half dozen packages of cookies and crackers that are open and available to choose from. So not only do I have to stay disciplined at home, but I have to be even more disciplined at work. It’s tough when double stuffed EL Fudge cookies and every flavor of Cheez-Its are at your disposal… and let’s not even talk about the fact that thin mints are within an arm’s length every minute of the day.
I remember visiting the doctor for my yearly physical in November. I was down about 30 pounds from when I started in July, but only about 15 pounds from where I was the year previously. I told him my plans to lose 100 pounds before I turned 40. On the outside he was said, “oh that’s great… you are off to a good start.” However I felt really what he was saying in his mind as he was chuckling to himself… yeah, this fat ass is going to lose 100 pounds… good luck buddy! Nothing personal to the doctor at all, he is a great guy and I like him. But it’s a little absurd to make such a grandiose statement. Yet, I have done it. There is a famous quote that reads, “tell the world what you are going to do, but show them first.” I certainly started out that route… but wanted the accountability from others to give me that little extra motivation.
I’ll never forget the moment when my niece (who at the time was around 5 1/2 years old) called me fat. We were out in public at a restaurant while on vacation and I was embarrassed. She said it loud enough that others nearby could hear. I was embarrassed, but yet not embarrassed enough to do anything about it. What could I say? She was right. I know I never want to hear my son say those words to me… and I will continue to fight every day so that by the time he can talk, he will replace the “a” with an “i” and he will never know me as anything but fit.
Now I have
2 months, 8 1/2 weeks, 61 days 1464 hours… however you want to look at it, to reach my goal.