My Story

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

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 2001 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

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 (SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker). The beautiful thing about this is that I was not starving myself. 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 (she lost more than 70 pounds herself) 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(Insanity and RevAbs) 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.

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 3-4 times a week and I run 4-5 days a week.

I have completed multiple 10k’s, 15k’s, half marathons and two full marathons.  I love sharing my story with the hope of inspiring others to take their lives back.

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

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