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

Posts tagged ‘Durham North Carolina’

20 years later…

Next week I head to Vegas for a 4 day weekend–place I’ve not been in 20 years.

It reminded me about the time I could have gone to Vegas and didn’t. About 4-6 years ago, I was President of non-profit game group. We helped run and promote games like Monopoly, Dungeons and Dragons, and Magic the Gathering. An industry magazine had decided to create a trade show and approached us about having members demo games for companies in…Las Vegas. It was all expenses paid. Further, they were giving me an opportunity to create a seminar talking to the biggest and best in the industry. Given my penchant for public speaking and hunting for a career opportunity this was an amazing break.

But it never happened. I never went to Las Vegas.

I told friends it was fiances and I couldn’t get of work.

A total lie.

I didn’t go because I knew I wouldn’t fit in a plane seat. Because I was scared what would happen if I had to go to the bathroom and I couldn’t fit in it. Because I didn’t want to ask them to pay for a 2nd plane seat.

And so my friends boarded a plane and I stayed at home.

And that was the first time I realized what I’d done to myself. That my weight was indeed an issue. That it had hindered me and I missed out on an amazing opportunity. And in typical fashion, it made me unhappy, depressed, and caused me to eat even more. Because at that time, I could grasp how I’d ever could be anything more than the overweight man that I was.

I told myself there’d be another chance and I’d go next year.┬áThere was no next year. The show folded after one year. I missed out because of my issues with weight. Now I’d like to believe it was all for the best. That maybe it all needed to happen. That it was the beginning of my awakening. That it made me think about doing something. That I started to look at places like Structure House.

But the truth is we’ll never know. But I do know this: on Thursday night I’ll board a plane for Las Vegas.

The last time I was on a plane?

Before 9/11–when it didn’t cost you to check a bag.

Yeah, that long ago.

The true test? Will I need a seat belt extension? I’m hoping the answer is no.

The last time I was in Vegas, I was 21. I’d always though I’d be back sooner. A lot has changed in 20 years and I plan to see all of it. And a lot more. Thursday night marks the biggest milestone so far–I can travel on a plane again. Even when I went to North Carolina to Structure House it was a 2 day drive there and back.

But now things will be different now. I am never putting myself in a position like that again. I’ve got places to go and people to see. Well as long as the airfare isn’t too high. But 20 years later things will now be very different from now on.

The countdown begins–NOW!

My name is Jeff Stein and at age 38 it was clear I wasn’t happy with my life. I was over 500 pounds–closer to 600, at a job I hated, and waiting for something to change.

That something was me.

I could lay blame and point fingers but in the end, I allowed myself to get to a point where I couldn’t take an airline flight because I didn’t know if I’d fit bathroom let alone an airplane seat. There wasn’t a fast food drive thru I didn’t like. Hell, some fast food workers knew me on a first name basis!

That was my life.

In spring of 2011, I had a cellulitis attack which was compounded by weight. I spent 2 weeks in a hospital and 4 in a rehab facility. I knew then things had gone too far. That I needed to make a change. In November of 2011, I went to Structure House in Durham, NC. I stayed for 3 months and dropped 80 pounds.

And then I came home and proceeded to hit every bump in the road along the way. By November 2012, I’d gained back 60 of the 80 that I’d lost. The week of Thanksgiving 2012, I weighed 543 pounds.

What a difference a year makes.

Today (12/23/13), I weighed in at 337lbs. For those math challenged like me, that’s 206lbs. There wasn’t a surgery–just hard work, a ton of sweat, and a need for willpower.

This blog will be what documents the good, bad, and ugly of the next leg of this journey: 220 pounds. As of today that’s 117 pounds away. It’ll also look back other aspects of where I am today. And it will probably once in a while be a place I can talk about others things as well.

I have no idea if anyone will read or see this post let alone those to come. But I’ll try to keep it entertaining. But for now, welcome to the countdown because it begins…

NOW.

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