From 589 pounds to 220 pounds. This is my journey. Welcome to the countdown.

Archive for December, 2014

You’re doing great!

This morning, I got on the scale.

353.8

Not bad since I had pecan pie and a 7 oz fillet last night.

(Note to all the food police: Yes, I should not be eating pecan pie. So noted and stipulated. Thank you.)

As I thanked god and creation, I got off the scale in the locker room. That’s when someone said it:

“You’re doing great! Keep going!”

Ever since the winter of 2013, this is a regular happening at Lifetime Fitness Old Orchard. As I’ve mentioned previously, I went from sideshow to rock star. There were days when I couldn’t get through a workout without being stopped. My trainers get asked about me when I’m not in the building.

As Ron Burgundy once said, I’m kind of a big deal. People know me. And for the most part, I enjoy it.  It’s nice to walk in the building like I’m Norm from Cheers. Especially when most of my life I dreaded going to the gym–a place of the pretty and buff–two things I’m not.

Now when someone wishes to compliment me and things are going well, it’s a polite thank you and try to be humble (somewhere my true friends are laughing at that). Usually that includes a comment like…”well, I appreciate that but I’m not finished yet”. And I’m not. I’m 133 pounds away as of this morning.

But on the days when the scale isn’t my friend…well, it’s a lot heard feel good about those words.  Especially when you know if you didn’t stop at Culver’s for a Concrete Mixer frozen custard with cookie dough, peanut butter cups, and peanut butter syrup things would gone much better.  So when a well meaning person says those nice words, my inner loser knows better and get squirely.

Now in the past, I was losing more. That meant this wasn’t an issue. But as I mentioned previously, in April of 2014 I was at 307. I was closing in on 300. I was 87 pounds from goal.

After Thanksgiving I was at 360. For those not wanting to do the math, that’s a gain of 53 pounds since then. So when well meaning individuals would walk up to me these last few months and say…

“Hey, you’re doing great!”

ARGH…

I AM NOT DOING GREAT! I JUST GAINED AGAIN AND ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT IS CHEESEBURGERS WITH BACON! THINGS ARE NOT GREAT! I’VE GAINED A SHITLOAD OF WEIGHT AND I TOTALLY SUCK!

That’s what I want to say. What do I usually say?

“Thank you.”

And then the worst feel in the world happens. The one where I look at myself in the mirror and my mind is thinking only one thing.

FRAUD.

Yes, I should look at the big picture but when 1 pound becomes 5 and 5 becomes 15…well, it’s not so easy.  You know that right now, a pat on the back or high five is the last thing in the world you deserve. Then comes the fun part. You feel guilt. In my case guilt leads to stress. What do I do when I’m stressed?

You guessed it–I eat.

All because someone tried to be nice and my mind twisted it into something else entirely. The last few months, I’ve allowed myself to say and think horrible things about myself. But I also know this. I don’t want to go back to who and what I used to be either.

There is no question I am my own worst enemy. Everyday I’ll need to remember to stay positive and not give up. That when somebody says “you’re doing great” it’s a reason smile and stand proud even if the night before you had too many carbs and the scale says your up.

I may feel like a fraud at times but the truth is I’m stronger, faster, and healthier than any point in my life. If I just continue to believe in myself, I will figure it out. I will lose the weight. I will reach my goal.

He was right: I am doing great.

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Four Guys On A Bench Revisited

One of the first posts, I ever wrote was about 4 guys on a bench. If I was tech savvy, I’d have a way to link it to this post. but I’m not so please feel free to search it out.

Many of my regular workouts the past couple years happen in the gym.  I would see these four men and other racquetball players most mornings. The Lifetime Fitness used to have it’s cycle room, rock wall, and racquetball courts next to it’s basketball courts.

Notice I said use to.

At the end of May, Lifetime Fitness Old Orchard decided to make a brand new yoga studio (yay!)–right where the racquetball courts were (boo!). While I’m happy there’s a new yoga studio, I was disappointed it would mean these people–the people who’d watch me melt away, would no longer have their place to play.

So in mid June of 2014, the courts were closed, the benches removed, and my biggest fans were now gone. After the yoga studios opened, the gym was a lot more quiet. There’s an occasional basketball player but otherwise…quiet.

Before they left, I got the email for one of them. They’ve been bouncing around between LA Fitness locations. In the first email, I sent him the post I’d wrote about Four Guys On a Bench. I told him how much I appreciated him that day and how that made a difference.

At the time I sent him the link, I wasn’t writing any more. A few weeks later, I got a note about a comment posted. It was one of the wives of those players. She’d been inspired by my post and was going to work towards weight loss.

I recently was emailing with them and asked them what they were thinking that day. His response?

When I saw you working out the first time I knew you had an uphill battle that wasn’t going to be easy. I knew that you needed all the encouragement you could get. I think the average guy would say keep trying and that was the end of it.

 I think I told you I had a lot of ups and downs in my lifetime and these guys I hang with are terrific. They can make you laugh at the drop of a hat. Laughter is the best medicine I know. We started teasing you in hopes you would take it the right way and you obviously did.  It’s an easy way to break the ice and laughter can be contagious. I know we had Miranda & Matt laughing a lot with all of us.  

 You take care of yourself and keep plugging away. We’ll get together when you reach your goal next year.”

He was right. At that moment I was tired, exhausted, and seconds from giving up. Seconds from throwing it all away.

Two years later, when the scale keeps going up and I get frustrated, I think back to that moment at the gym. That’s when I remember the most important thing I’ve learned:

NEVER GIVE UP!

We will all have our ups and downs. Our successes and failures, it’s where we go next that determines our course in life.

239 days ago, I was at 307 pounds. Today…355. But I know I get back there. I know because even when the numbers on the scale go up, I know I can do it. I won’t give up. It may take weeks, months, or years but I will get there. I will lose 135 pounds. I will get to 220 pounds.

Because I know I can.

Time’s passed and sometimes I wonder if anyone remembers there used to be racquetball courts or the players who’d come in the early morning to use them. Then I remember it does matter because I do.

I remember.

And that’s all that matters.

Can’t wait to see them next year when I reach my goal.

Hey Remember me?

Forgive me father have sinned.

It’s been 239 days since my last posting. The last time y’all heard from me I was closing in on a milestone–being under 300 pounds.

I’d love to tell you I made my goal and I’m at 220 pounds. That I just got busy and lacked time to post is all.

This morning I tipped the scales at 355 or 48 pounds heavier than my last posting here. A lot has happened since my last post. In the first year I was able to shut a lot of the demons and issues out. But they were still there. They found new ways to manifest.

I also began to deal with identity issues. I’d have people walk up telling me “how they feared for me” or things they’d noticed.

Things they never bothered to tell me….until now. The line that killed me the most: “your life must be so much better now!”

It made me ask the following question–what was wrong with the old me? I was a pretty good guy–I think. Did everyone I know around me perceive me as some giant, fat, ass loser ticking time bomb?

Another hurdle has been that 300 number. Twice I’ve pushed forward gotten close only to end up 20 or more pounds away within 7-14 days. The first time it happened, I shook it off. The 2nd time, it lingered. Recently I came back from Structure House in October at 339 and poised to make a run at 300. I’m now 16 pounds heavier.

And while I appreciated all the concern and support from friends, family, co-workers, trainers, and all those in my corner; I needed to sort this out and find answers…on my own. I shut out a lot of people and still am at points.

But one of the bigger mistakes I made was not continuing to write. It’s so easy to write when things are going well. But I promised myself even when times were tough I’d continue to write.

I didn’t.

And the person I hurt most doing so was myself. If I’d done so, I might be in a better place. I also might been able to help others who like me were struggling.

There’s a lot more to write about the past 239 days. I’m not sure when or how much I’ll talk about. I also don’t know when I’ll write again. But I do know this:

I will write again. I also know the countdown isn’t over. I’m 135 pounds from my 220 goal and I will get there. It might not be tomorrow, next week, or next year but I will reach my goal.

I write soon and not in another 239 days.

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