That’s the key for me at least.
I wanted to make a post about how this time around was different for me from the other times I have lost weight, and I’ve been thinking about that every day it seems, why this time it just feels, I don’t know, like it’s a done deal.
Forgive me if this meanders a bit, because I know where I want to go with this, but not quite sure how I am going to get there yet lol.
So, I lost a TON of weight before, A TON…
I also took that loss and turned it into something more, a total physical transformation… here, check this out….
Pretty drastic, I was about 310 in the first picture, about 190 in the second, and 210 in the third. Yup, that’s me in the third pic. It’s also the same shirt, I just fill it differently. So that’s where I was in 2004. I was planning to enter a bodybuilding competition among other things… here’s a pic of me getting some more mass on for that.
So, what happened? Well several things and I’ll get into them in a sec. The one thing I do want to talk about is the illusion of health. Ok, I was obviously healthier than I was in that very first pic. The weight loss alone would make me healthier. Here’s the thing though… I wasn’t living FIT. I was eating massive amounts of calories. It was good food, just MASSIVE amounts, I was over 3500 calories a day. I was also slinging iron in a gym every single day. And here’s the amazing thing, I was smoking a pack, pack and a half a day that whole time…..
Think about that….. A PACK AND A HALF….
Look, here’s what I feel about the above pictures. I am amazed I looked like that at ANY point, it was an accomplishment to transform my self like that. I realize that not everybody could do it, and I acknowledge the effort it took to get there….
It was a lie… an illusion…. it was smoke and mirrors…..
It was all about the outside, and very little to do with the inside. It was vanity, it was desperation. It was doing what I had to do to make myself over into a package I felt would get me what I was missing. That folks was love. I was desperately lonely at that time of my life, just turned 30, no prospects, no sex, no company… nothing. I had an unhealthy off and on again infatuation with one girl, it was misplaced and just destructive to us both. So, I decided, I would tear it all down and rebuild.
How shallow of me, how misguided….
Yes I got more interest from woman when I did what I did, I thought I fell in love, even traveled across Canada to meet her, thinking this was it. It wasn’t. It started to dawn on me that it didn’t really matter WHAT the package looked like, it was more about what was inside that package that mattered.
Wouldn’t you know it, once I dropped that idea that I had to LOOK like a model, at least in body, once I started to ease up, become less hardcore about everything, I met the woman I know call my wife?? The love I was always looking for, I found it. She didn’t care, she loved me from the inside out, not the other way around.
Sadly, that unconditional love led me down the wrong path. I quickly started to put the weight back on. It PILED on actually. Then, my mother was killed in a car accident, I turned to food again…. Then, our oldest son was diagnosed with Autism… I turned to food again…. Then, my work became depressing, I turned to food again…. I had quit smoking, but everything that was happening, I took it up again…. I was, in short…. returning to where I had been before… only worse…
In no time I was above the weight I was when I first made the choice to lose….
I was…. well…. a mess…. I was…. well…. here….
330+ lbs of stress, depression and bad health. My wife is hot though hey??? She was there and still is… she is also my rock in all of this…. god love her, I know I do.
So, what was the trigger this time? What made me say enough is enough???
Funny story that.
I stepped on a nail…
Yup, I stepped on a nail and it changed my life… again….
I thought I had an infection happening from the nail I stepped on. It was red enough and tender enough that my wife convinced me to go to emergency and have a look at it. When I got to emergency they did the standard medical history and vitals etc. When the nurse put the blood pressure cuff on and took that reading her eyebrows went way up on her forehead. I asked her what was wrong, she said one second, lets get a read from your other arm. Which she did, and again, the eyebrows went up.
My weight? Over 330lbs…..
The attending Doctor said I was a flight of stairs away from a massive stroke…
Things had to change, and they did. I quit the smokes, I tried to start and eat better and I tried to be more active. It worked for a while, but the motivation was still missing, and all the stresses of work etc. were still there. I slid back into the bad habits, and while I know I dropped 30-40 lbs in the 6 months or so I was trying, it started to pack on again. There was so many things going on. We were in financial difficulties, there were a lot of stresses at work, it was just a very hard time in our lives, if it weren’t for a strong relationship in our family, I don’t know what would have happened to us.
Things were bleak, I’ll be honest, it was very bleak.
Then another opportunity came up.
A contest based on the Biggest Loser was announced. A local Boot Camp/Fitness company was holding their second ” Newfoundlands Biggest Loser Competition”. I applied and was THRILLED to be accepted as one of the contestants. I felt, this was the kick in the ass I need. I thought I did better with a competition, with something to gauge myself against, I thought this would be the answer to a big chunk of my issues.
It was, in many ways. I did well, I lost 40+ lbs. I didn’t win, I didn’t even place top 4, even though I had the second greatest weight loss. In truth, and this post is all about truth, the competition likely did more harm to me, at least mentally and spiritually, if there is such a thing. I was injured 2 weeks in. I was injured because I couldn’t afford to buy new runners. We were told to buy new ones., but I didn’t have the money. That was the first indication to me that this competition would NOT be fair. For some of the competitors it meant nothing to drop 100+ bucks on a new pair of runners, for others of us it was impossible, so I ran in my Walmart 20 buck runners and tore the tissues in my knees and developed foot issues. The organizers kicked one of my better friends out of the competition for speaking out about what they felt was a stupid decision by the organizers, the guy who won, and I am not taking ONE thing away from him, he lost a ton of weight and became an athlete, but that guy, he STARTED he competition at around the same weight I am now. He, and the top three finalists, were given an advanced boot camp session for the last three weeks of the contest, while the remainder of us were left doing what we had been doing. It was that decision to break us up, to offer advanced training to some of us, that outraged my friend, it was his voicing of his outrage that led to him being kicked out.
Turned out the outrage was well place, the three winners, were, you guessed it, the three who went to the advanced. That’s not a knock on them in any way shape or form, they worked their ASSES off, both literally and figuratively, to get to where they were. This wasn’t on them, it was on the organizers. I felt then, and I feel now, that they failed us, well, some of us. It left me really bitter about the whole thing. Rightly or wrongly, I still feel bitter about it, I just don’t let it get to me anymore.
Since that time I have had some successes, some setbacks…
I got a new job, I moved, I got promotions. We became more financially stable and truth be told, I grew a little more patient, a little wiser perhaps. I began to realize that the only person I was competing with was, well, me…
In June of 2012 I just woke up one morning knowing that if I was to change, and change long term, the truth was, I would just need to change a little.
Yup, to change a lot over time, I just needed to change a little over time…
What?? Does that even make sense??
Yup, BIG sense…
Look, I still eat everything I love. Pizza? You betcha!! Burgers?? Damn skippy, love em, smothered in onions and mushrooms and cheese, how friggin good is it! Fried chicken, oh how I love, and oh how I still eat it….
I don’t eat any of it from a fast food joint though…. I make it all myself….
A small change… a big result….
I run…. I don’t run far…. yet….. I don’t run fast…. yet…
But each time I go out there, I run a little further, a little faster….
Small changes….. big results…
I don’t look for big numbers on the scale any more, not day to day, not week to week, I look for small numbers, small changes, that over time add up to BIG changes, BIG numbers….
It’s not about a prize at the end anymore, it’s not about winning anything right now, it’s about winning every day.
It’s about being slow and steady….
It’s about loving the life I live right now, it’s about loving my family, loving my job and loving myself.
It’s about the inside out, NOT the outside in….
Wow, long post, bit of a babble and a ramble, but I feel better now that it’s out.
I just wish this damn cold would go away so I could go for a run! I need me one of those in a bad bad way!