This is a blog that I should have started a LONG time ago. But I had no idea where this journey would take me, so here I am now, as I embark on another major step of this journey, blogging. I am doing this for many reasons, but I hope that it will help other people!
I have been fat my whole life. Not in the way that many people call themselves "fat" but truly morbidly obese. Why it took me until I was in my late 30's to do something about it, is a question I can’t answer. I made many half-hearted attempts at losing weight and getting healthy before and the resolve lasted a very short time before I was right back to old habits.
I was pretty lucky - no major health complications from being obese. I did have sleep apnea which was controlled by a CPAP machine. My cholesterol was too high, but not outrageous. My knees ached, especially when it rained, but I still was relatively active. And denial, well, it is a powerful thing.
In February, 2010, I was taken from work to the emergency room after basically collapsing. I was diagnosed with labyrinthitis - a inner ear problem. It was unrelated to my weight. While in the hospital though, they found a mass in my head and I had to follow up with my primary doctor. The mass ended up being a benign calcification and nothing to worry about. But I remember - so clearly - standing on that scale and seeing the number 344 blazing back at me. Unreal. It was getting harder for me to justify that I wasn’t "that bad" when I weighed that much!
You would think that this would have been a huge wake up call, but it wasn’t. I started thinking about making some changes, but didn’t really start anything concrete. I had bought EA Sports Active for the Wii and even the basic workout with that KILLED me. Then Marc decided to cut back on soda. I was annoyed. But then I cut back too. Just that one small thing made some pounds drop off. I started thinking that maybe, just maybe, it was possible to lose weight. By my 38th birthday in June I had lost 30 pounds. Around this same time, a good friend of mine was starting the process to have weight loss surgery. She showed me all the literature, and I was pretty horrified. I knew that for me, this was not a option.
So I started making more life changes. I focused hard on portion control. I didn’t really change what I was eating, just how much I was eating. More weight dropped. In November of 2010 I bought a treadmill. I was in the high 280's. I tried running for really the first time in my life. Running 2 minutes made me feel like I was going to die!
I then started really buckling down with my eating - I learned more about healthy foods and what assists in weight loss. We switched to whole grains and wheat. I heard about how good strength training was, so in an after Xmas sale I bought a Bowflex. In February I had lost 100 pounds. I thought that was pretty awesome until I had Marc take my picture. Seeing the picture, I cried. I couldn’t believe I had lost 100 pounds and still looked so horrible. I almost said fuck it and gave up. But after a small pity party for myself, I carried on.
That spring Marc and I built a workout room in our basement to house our rapidly growing workout materials. I came in 3rd place with a friend in a weight loss competition at work. In May I started running outside for the first time. Wow! It was much harder then on the treadmill. So I read articles on learning to run. The first time I ran a mile straight - OMG - you would have thought I ran a marathon I was so excited. My next goal became to run 3 miles straight. That seemed next to impossible at the time.
By that summer another 50 pounds were gone. I was now sleeping without my CPAP machine and an overnight test by the doctor told me my sleep apnea was gone. In August I flew down to visit relatives in Georgia. Not only did I not need an extender belt, but I fit comfortably in a seat. A homeland security agent in Atlanta looked at my license and congratulated me on me weight loss. My family was all complimentary and happy for me.
In September I ran my first 5K. It was SLOW - like 35 minutes - but I ran the whole thing. But my weight loss was slowing. When you weigh 250+ pounds, you can easily lose 2-3 pounds a week. But as my weight got nearer to a normal weight, that wasn’t happening. I started counting calories.
It was around this time - even though I still was "overweight" by BMI standards I had people start telling me that I didn’t need to lose any more weight and expressing concerns. Seems people have a distorted picture of what people should look like since we see so many heavy people.
So here we are, March, 2012. I have lost 205 pounds as of today. The biggest concern I have right now is the HUGE amount of extra skin that I have - specifically in my stomach area. So the next Phase of this journey will be getting the skin removed. Stay tuned for updates!