REPOST – Journey from Fit to Fat and back again

You’ve possibly read this, I don’t know.  But I was reading this today and just felt like SOMEBODY out there might need to see this.  SOMEBODY might need to realize that REAL people lose weight and maintain that loss, all completely naturally.  If this inspires you, if this provokes questions orwhatever, please reach out to me, how can I help??

One Man’s Journey from Fit to Fat–and Back Again

Allow me to start by saying this: I love sharing my story with the hope of inspiring others to take their lives back.  It is my hope that by continuing to share my story that I can help even ONE person see there is hope to change their life.

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Growing up, I was not an athlete.

I did wrestle for a number of years, but I was more of a band geek. (Proud to say that too!) I’ve traveled the world “making music with my friends,” as I marched in various marching bands and Drum Corps.   I was always fit, firm and muscular due to the demands that band and Drum Corps put on my body.

Then, in 1998, I changed careers and got a desk job.  Things started to change.
I quickly grew accustomed to sitting all day.  Sitting behind a desk got easier and easier. It also got easier to sit on my chair at home and do nothing.

I lost my mother in February 2005 and I started eating, much more than normal.  I never knew I was an emotional eater, but there I was, eating away the grief and loss.  As time moved forward, and my habits did not improve, I slowly grew to my top measured weight of 264 pounds.  I knew I wasn’t healthy. I couldn’t walk up a small flight of stairs without being winded, I had no energy and I made poor eating choices most of the time. I didn’t like what I saw when I looked in the mirror.  I avoided having my picture taken.  In fact it was the picture taken for my security badge at work that scared me into action.  My swollen face and eyes were not a pretty sight!

That just begs the question words, why, when, how, what?  I simply can’t come up with a better answer than I got tired of being fat.  Why at the ripe ole age of 40 did I decide to take my life back? Why, when I knew it was going to take so much discipline, so much work would I make a life changing decision?

I made this decision for me.

Now, let me give you three more reasons I changed my life.  My wife and two daughters.  My wife deserves a husband who is willing and able to help out around the house. I believe she deserves a husband that she can be proud of, who can come home from work and have the energy necessary to help with dinner, kids, activities, etc. My daughters deserve a Daddy who doesn’t sit in his chair asleep all the time. They deserve a daddy who has energy to play with them, get on the floor and wrestle, tickle, and not be a grump all the time. They need a role model.

So I made the decision on December 28, 2009 to take my life back!

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Me, before

I made radical changes in my life. I’m not sure what my calorie intake was before I started, but I know it was really high! I started logging everything I ate (I used the SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker). I had a healthy breakfast and a good lunch that I kept varied between salad, soup or sandwiches most days.  I stopped eating out every day.  Thankfully I have a wife who is on board with the new lifestyle and is cooking healthier dinners.  I am practicing portion control and try to put the fork down between each bite.

Keeping in mind that I made radical changes, I also started moving, A LOT.  I began walking each day. The coldest day I remember going for a walk outside was 27 degrees.  Yes, it was cold, but I had to do it! I would be out my door by 5 a.m. for my first walk of the day, and then do it again in the evening.  I parked farther from the door while out running errands.  I walked with a quicker pace to get my heart rate elevated as much as possible.

After two months I added elliptical workouts to my routine and grew to love that machine!    I joined my wife and began doing high-impact intensity workouts WOW!  I got addicted to that right away!  Running didn’t enter the equation until months later.  Running became my time for reflection, prayer, anger management, problem solving, etc.  I can’t imagine my life without it!

I added DVD workouts in the summer of 2010, stopping after one series due to a major sports hernia.  I had probably developed this hernia years before, but with my increased activity, it became something I needed to deal with.  Surgery and recovery slowed me to a near halt for about 14 weeks.  Then I got right back to it, moving and grooving, shaking and quaking!

Less than one year after I started, December 10, 2010, I hit the 100 pound lost mark.  There was no magic pill that solved my weight problems.  Time, hard work, and determination were the tools that got me here, and now that I’m here, I work just as hard to maintain, there is no finish line in my book.

Now that I am in the maintenance phase of my weight-loss journey, it’s all about simply making sure I remember my triggers for overeating and exercise–and the power I have to control it!  I still cross train 2-3 times a week and I run 4-5 days a week.

I have completed multiple 10k’s, 15k’s, more than 20 half marathons and three full marathons and one ultra marathon.  I consider myself an endurance athlete because I embrace the challenge.  I embrace the feeling of being able to push myself to a new level of fitness.  I also love the challenge of the mind games.  That is a part of this journey that many people forget about or don’t deal with.  I feel that the mind games or the emotional part of this journey is critical for ultimate success.  Learning to deal with WHY I let myself get do big, so depressed has been a lot of fun and I wouldn’t be nearly as successful if I didn’t face that head on!

I’d like to leave you with three success factors that worked for me:

  1.     Know WHAT/HOW much you eat
  2.     Shut up and sweat – you have to WORK it off
  3.     Do it every single day – make it a lifestyle

Feel free to follow me at any of the following:
http://facebook.com\warrior4health
http://warrior4health.com
http://youtube.com/jeromemerlau

Why do I get involved in peoples lives…

I recently had a friend ask me “Jerome, why do you get involved in people’s lives?”   I enjoy creating relationships that MEAN something, relationships that go a little deeper than the surface.  What you see below is exactly WHY I get involved in people’s lives!!

I received this message today:

“Hey bro. I have been home all day with the flu. Been watching Facebook when I wake up every now and again. I saw a post you made and. I checked out your story on warrior4health. Amazing and inspiring. Brother I have been struggling with this weight issue most of my life and I read some things that you wrote and they hit me right in the gut. I am in the place where I am sick and tired of being sick and tired! I do well for a week or two then I fall in the black hole of stressful emotional eating only to come out feeling bad about my poor choices. Brother Thank you for the inspiration. Today is my day for life change. Know that when I say that I feel different about it. I am convinced that God is going to see me through to lose weight. My goal right now is to be consistent in exercise and food choices,. Recording everything going for 1000 to 1200 calories a day. Giving up all that is unhealthy until I can trust myself. Thank you for that. Bro. Jerome please pray for me. I want to be a success story and not a statistic. My wife deserves better, my children deserve better, my students deserve better. But more importantly I deserve to be fit and healthy. From fat to fit here we go! Thank you friend and fellow warrior.”

I’ve been building this relationship for several months, growing together, sharing stories and ideas.  I’ve been talking to him since he sent me this message today and guess what, I believe he’s READY for the change!!!

Seriously brought me to tears.

Island Boost Ambassador

February 28, 2014

I am so excited.  I found out tonight that I have been selected as an Ambassador for Island Boost for 2014.

I began using this product about 2 years ago and found my fuel of choice!  I had struggled to find a fuel that worked and did not completely upset my stomach and have me racing for the port a pots at the finish line.

I believe Island Boost is the fuel of the future for many reasons and I can’t wait to work even closer with the 2014 Ambassador Team.

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What IF I QUIT???

February 12th, 2014

I heard something this morning that really hit me square in the mouth.

I’ve been on my health journey for just over 4 years now and it’s been an incredible journey in so many ways.  There have been frustrating times along the way, I’m not gonna lie about it, I like to #bereal.

Most of my journey has been VERY driven.  When I was in my weight loss phase, every pound I lost was a driving factor.  Every single new habit I formed was a driving factor.  As I lost more weight and began to run, I was driven to run faster.  Then I was driven to run further and further.  I’ve ran 5k’s, 10k’s, 15k’s, 25k’s, half marathons, marathons, and I am about to run my first 50k.  I continue to challenge myself with new opportunities and new distances.  I keep moving forward no matter what.

This journey started because I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  Because my wife deserved a better husband and my daughters deserved a better father…..and I deserved to be healthy!  These are also the same reasons that I keep going, that I keep pushing myself like I do.  The support of my family is first and foremost!

This morning as I was listening to my daily dose of personal development I heard something that I wanted to share. EVERYTHING WE DO MATTERS!!  Every single thing matters, period. It can matter toward either end of the positive or negative scale, but it MATTERS!!  It not only matters now, it matters forever and ever.  As Andy Andrews would explain, this is the Butterfly Effect.

I’ve learned that this also relates to me and my journey to better health.  I know there are people watching me, there have been since the day I started.  I also know that some of them are waiting for me to fail, for me to quit (I hope they don’t wear themselves out waiting on me).  I also know that there are many more who watch for inspiration.  They follow and wonder if they have what it takes to take their own lives back from obesity.  They wonder if they really have what it takes to create new habits.

The ‘thing’ that smacked me in the mouth today was the simple fact that this is part of the reason I DON’T QUIT!  Knowing that there are people watching me, none more important than my wife and daughters means I must keep moving forward.  I keep pressing forward to a better me, not just physically, but a better me all the way around.

You see, the thing that I’ve finally accepted is that every single person who follows me, drives me.  Every single person who has ever;
asked for help
shared their struggle with me
asked me to help a family member
asked for help with a training program
told me in private they admire my accomplishments
told me they were proud of me
called me an athlete
worked out with me
continues to come back for help over and over

……they drive me to stay with the fight because, if I quit….everyone behind me, everyone that I’ve inspired, everyone that I’ve helped….THEY have a reason to quit too, and THAT is 100% unacceptable!

I DON’T QUIT
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Moment of the day – February 2nd, 2014

Moment of the day – February 2nd, 2014

Sunday morning, Feb 2nd at 0430am I met Colleen at the park for our Sunday training run.  I sort of have a plan in my head to push her, but I didn’t tell her that.

I managed to push her along without her realizing it until about mile 10 as we hit the hardest hills of the course. We dealt with wind in the face that nearly stood us up it was so strong.  The last half were totally hills and yet we ended with mostly negative splits!!

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Great run Colleen

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/439288425

…..and THAT was my moment of the day for February 2nd, 2014

 

Moment of the day, January 31st, 2014

Moment of the day, January 31st, 2014

When I got home from work, Emily and her friend were just talking about nothing really. I made my way into her room to make small talk for a bit. Not sure how we got on the topic, but it turned to using ’cause I’m Asian’ as a response.
Why are you so smart, cause I’m Asian
Why are you so dumb, cause I’m Asian
How did you do that, cause I’m Asian.

You get the idea, right.

Well Austin is also Asian and is a black belt in karate. I made a comment about “that’s how he learned karate, he’s Asian.”

I said, they come out knowing karate. Then I started making slow karate type moves like I was being born doing karate.

Both of them started laughing hysterically. I made my grand exit with both arms in the air and said “made ya laugh”……and they did, for 5 minutes. Lol

……and THAT was my moment of the day for the last day of January 2014.

Favorite Moment of the day, January 30th, 2014

Thursday January 30th

I was just sitting at work minding my own business when I got a text message from Emily, my 14 year old daughter.

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Yes, I know she was in class.  Yes I know she had her phone out under her desk.  Yes I know that’s not right.

I didn’t really care much.  I am proud of her for the research she did on her project and now she gets to go to UTA to present at the regional contest.

…….and THAT was my favorite moment of the day for January 30th, 2014

 

Favorite Moment of the Day – Jan 29th, 2014

I’ve recently learned that one of the guys at work and I have several things in common, most of which involve WHO we listen to during the work day to keep us motivated.  We share a passion for listening to positive messages from people like: Eric Thomas, Les Brown, Trent Shelton, Tony Robbins and others.  We also watch and spend time talking about our workouts and keeping each other accountable.

My favorite moment from January 29th was in the breakroom at work.  Skyler was talking about his workout at the Y that morning.  He brought up the fact that there was this dude at the gym who had  grueling workout.  His next comment was something along the lines of “and he was older, he was probably mid 40′s”.

Obviously this caught my attention.  I looked up and said “Skyler, how old do you think I am?”  He said, “You’re not that old, I though about mid-thirties”  Of course that made me smile from ear to ear as I looked up and said, “I’ll be 45 in April”.  He just looked at me while I laughed.  There was other small talk about all that I do these days as well…..

...but THAT…was my favorite moment of the day!!

 

 

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Word of the Year

Happy New Year everybody!

Seems odd to be saying 2014 already, but it’s true right.  2013 has come and gone like a whirlwind. There is always lots of talk about resolutions about this time of year, maybe you’ve even set a resolution or two for the new year.  If you’ve done that, I wish you all the power in the world to accomplish that resolution, whatever it takes!!

I am one who does not set resolutions.  This year I am trying something new however, I am selecting ONE WORD and I will focus on that word all year.  I will study more and more about that word and see what it REALLY means to live by this word.

My word this year and I have a history together really.  I was having some life issues several years ago.  I was at church on a Wednesday evening and listening to my friend Joe give his testimony. Part of what he spoke about came from Matthew 14: 27.  One specific word jumped out at me that day, there are only about 14 words in that piece of scripture, but the word COURAGE jumped about and took hold of me, I even had the word tattooed on my wrist.

This year, I will attempt to live with COURAGE in everything I do.  What will this look like is a very good question, but i can’t wait to see what happens.

Hang round and follow the fun – I will be blogging about my experiences with what it means for me to live with COURAGE!

Jerome
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