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What did life look like before you focused consistently on nutrition and fitness?
I’ve always been an eater. I love to eat, and when I was young I was a beanpole. I’d eat 10 tacos in a sitting and not gain a pound. Fast forward a couple decades and the metabolism changed. Eating a Whopper combo meal with a shake followed by two king-sized candy bars for dessert snack led to me getting bigger and bigger. The fact that I wasn’t one that really enjoyed exercise didn’t help things. My feet hurt from all the extra weight, and I was tired all of the time.
I knew I was overweight (actually in the category of “very obese” according to a height/weight chart), but I also knew that I wasn’t going to start a diet until my mindset was ready. If I started and failed, that would be it; I would have lost. I needed the right mindset to do it. So since my mind wasn’t ready, my body kept ballooning.
What made you decide to make a change?
I finally made the decision February 2016 that I had officially gained enough weight, and it was time to start losing some of it. I hit an amount that I knew there was no turning back from unless I made a change: 340 pounds. It was time for a change.
So on that February day, I knew that the time was right – my mindset was in the right place and I was ready to make the commitment.
There was another reason that I decided to push myself at this point. We were planning a Thanksgiving 2016 cruise that stopped in Costa Rica. Ziplining is on my bucket list, but there was a weight maximum of much less than 340 pounds. So I made plans with my mom and daughter to do it and started losing weight.
My wife had long used Weight Watchers, so I decided to give it a try. It held a lot of appeal – I could still eat the same things I was before, just within moderation. I had seen a lot of friends do diets substituting multiple meals for shakes and ultimately failing because they didn’t get to do what they liked – eat great food. All I needed to do was track what I ate on the app and keep within a certain amount of points. Plus most fruits and veggies were “free.”
So, if I decided I wanted to eat a Whopper for lunch, I could – it just might have meant I needed to eat rabbit food for dinner. Tradeoffs. I could do that. And I didn’t even have to incorporate exercise into the mix – I could still watch TV and eat and lose weight. It was a win-win!
What has changed (race times, blood work, attitude, etc)?
Tracking my food and having my wife helping with tips/suggestions worked out well for me. The program was highly successful for me, and I lost 65 pounds by the end of 2016.
Fast forward to mid-May this year. I had hit a wall weight-loss-wise, only losing five pounds in about three months’ time. I was ready to make some tweaks to my plan. On a suggestion, I tried Shakeology in the mornings. It took about a week, but I now love the stuff and have given up cereal in the morning.
I set a goal to get to the gym at least three times a week. It turned out that most weeks would exceed that. Not only was I now losing weight faster, I could feel myself getting toned up. I was actually ENJOYING going to the gym. ME! The guy who loves sitting in front of the TV with his laptop…
On another suggestion, I decided to give The Warehouse a try a couple months ago. I’ve never done group training before this, but I love their welcoming and positive spirit. They really kicked up my fitness quite a few notches, and I’m loving the results.
I’ve gone from wearing 4XL shirts to an XL. My waist has gone down about 10 inches. I’ve become comfortable enough with my body that I actually tuck in my shirt. Even my ring size went down almost two full sizes. I’m feeling stronger, and my stamina has grown leaps and bounds.
My doctor is pleased.
Oh, and I’ve lost 100 pounds.
My goal is to still lose at least another 15 pounds by next summer so I can skydive. It’s another bucket list item that I weigh too much for, but I’m confident that with keeping track of my food and going to the Warehouse regularly, it’ll be a non-issue.