My Weight Loss Journey
In October of 2011, I was living life. Of course, I thought life could be better but at that time I just accepted a job with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and I was on my third year of living with my long term girlfriend who I thought I going to marry someday. But something inside of me didn’t feel right. That day I touched the scales and saw that my young college athletic body was no more. I had reached 260 pounds and at 5’7, that was a lot of weight. If you do the math that is 3.88 pounds per inch on my body, which means if I was six foot four I would be a NFL lineman. It was a sad point in my life considering that I was 175 pounds during my junior year playing baseball for York College of Pennsylvania (Yes it is a real college and yes there is more than just farming around here) I was fast, really fast, and fast enough to beat 75% of the kids on my team in a sixty yard dash.
I can sit here and make excuses of why I let myself get that way. I could blame on starting a business with no contacts, to being stressed out from my relationship because I was concerned about keeping her happy when she got home so we could enjoy ourselves later, I can blame it on not playing any physical sports for the first time in 20 years of my life but I won’t. I didn’t exercise because I thought I was “too busy” and eating was a true love for me! My eating habits at the time were based on me running them off and eventually the pounds compounded into where I was at that moment. I was disappointed. Even after looking at the scale, I had zero motivation to do anything about my weight and keg shaped stomach.
My wonderful girlfriend and best friend at the time (weird that they are the same person, I know) decided she was going to sign us up for a 5K because she was annoyed that we ate McDonalds two weeks before and we both got seconds along with milkshakes as well. This decision probably saved my life. We signed up for the David Tome Run which is held in Spring Grove which is a great cause if you are interested. The first day we decided to run, I could barely do a mile without being so out of breath that I thought I was going to die. The next day, it was worse because I had gotten so sore from the previous run, I didn’t even go to work the next day so I can slept in to wear off the lactic acid that seemed to be taking over my body. I was trying to find every excuse in the book, one day it was my knee, the next day I had a headache and then the next day, work was awful but I knew that I paid for my registration for the race. I did not want to flush fifty dollars down the toilet. We made our runs eventually into a habit; (we tried mornings but never seemed to work so it always happened before dinner) it also helped that if I didn’t get my run in, then I couldn’t have something. I will let your minds wander about that something. We changed the way we ate dramatically even to the point where I got the Italian girlfriend to give up her regular spaghetti to whole grain pasta.
It was race day and it was cold, I was miserable as I was scared that I was not going to finish the race. That race was a big woof for me as I was running and my girlfriend who provided the best support for me, she could have ran loops around me but stuck around me to make sure that I wouldn’t give up or take a cab to the finish line. I also saw that I was in the same crowd with all of the rest of the BIG crowd including one of them that was an active COP! We finished in 36 minutes. I completed it and I felt very good about it. To tell you the truth, I was angry about my time. What I should have been proud about was my completion and the fact that I lost a couple of pounds. I also felt better, was sleeping normally, and had more energy that I could devote to my business. Something in me wanted more, and I was glad about that. The next couple of months, I had friends asked me about our race, even suggesting doing a half marathon with us and I looked at them as if they should be sent to the looney bin!
I was still not satisfied with my weight and decided to do some weightlifting with my buddy every Thursday before we went out to have a couple of beers. I fell in love with it again as I used to lift weights all the time in college with my ass of a roommate who I know consider one of my best friends. To this day, I think weightlifting is what brought me to greater heights in my weight loss because not only was I running, I was lifting on the same day and burned close to a 1,000 calories a day.
But I hit a wall in November; my relationship was falling apart, business was really slow and I could not seem to lose any more weight, even though I was doing the same exercises. My Thursday night buddy told me one day that he was doing the Tough Mudder which is 11 mile plus run that includes 15 or more military style obstacles, one of them includes running through twenty yards of wires that contained 10,000 volts of electricity (I should have said no right then and there but the beers had already kicked in. I said maybe in hopes that he would forget next week but the following week, he decided to show me a video of the crazy stuff they do and it was amazing. The first ten seconds of the video showed an Iraq war vet that had both of his legs from knee down blown off from the war, wearing prosthetics and doing the race. At the end of the video, I just looked at myself and said I have both of my legs, why am I continually battering myself into saying I can’t do something when this guy who gave his body away for our country and is still doing stuff that most normal people can’t do. The race was four months away and I had to start training right then and there or I wasn’t going to make it. I started going on long runs, and by long, I mean more than three miles. It was rough from the get-go, it is even harder when you want to run long distance and you are still running at a 12 minutes pace. One day, I read in runner’s world which I thank every day that I read this article and to sum it up, the article stated that for beginners, you should do a workout where you run for five minutes and then walk for five minutes. I enjoyed this immensely because when I ran, I was running at a good pace and I could run further. I was able to do eight miles in January when three months beforehand, I was unable to do one. One important thing that I
learned is that the mental part is the hardest, your body can do lots of thing but your mind always stops you. There are individuals out there that will work out hard enough so that they throw up, that takes tremendous willpower and something that I hope to achieve someday.
My friend and I decided that the weekend before, we would run a 5K which was exciting for me to do because I wanted to beat my time by a lot. I did my race in 28 minutes!!! A huge difference. I felt so good! I drank a couple of beers and all of the sudden; I was worried about the Tough Mudder which was taking place in five days. I was worried enough that I considered dropping out! Race day came and it was twenty five degrees outside when we left the house which at the time we were on the way there, I became incredibly worried because I knew that the first obstacle was going to be ice bath, (a 10 yard dumpster filled with water and ice with a wall in the middle that makes you go under) I was going to get wet in this weather and run a half marathon on top of that!!! I will write more about the Tough Mudder in my next blog but I did manage to complete it!
Three weeks after the race, I needed to do something to keep me going on this weight loss path so I decided out of the blue that I would do a half marathon in my hometown. I finished in two hours and thirty minutes. I still want to punch the kid in the face that did it in an hour and twenty minutes, I will give my props to him, you are an incredible athlete and you make me want to work even harder.
Today as I write this blog, I am down to 220 lbs, I have lost forty pounds in six months which is incredible. What is even more incredible is that I still want more. My next goal is run the Spartan Race competitively next weekend and to be 185 pounds by Labor Day weekend. I can’t tell you how much more confidence I have in myself with talking to business clients or to the girl next door, my energy is insane as I only need seven hours of sleep now and my stress level is not there anymore. I went from being a person who wanted to go Freddy Kruger on everyone to being Jimmy Buffet on the beach with a margarita in his hand singing his songs. The advice I would share with you is find something physical that you love doing and get really good at it, always be willing to try new workouts, I did hot yoga and it is hard – it is not a girly exercise, obstacle racing is a lot of fun, get friends that would be willing to do the exercises with you because they will hold you accountable and push you to do more when all you want to do is stop and give up. Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it but we all need help so go to Barnes and noble, read some self-help books, read inspiring biographies and have a conversation with a guy or gal that was in the same shoes that you are standing in right now because we all need to convince ourselves that there is more in us that we know of. If you guys have any questions and want to talk to me more about this, schedule a time to meet with me. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading and I hope this was helpful,
My Weight Loss Journey