With the exception of 11-12th grades, I have been fat my whole life. I have not always been extremely fat, but I have always been fat. I was deeply convicted by an article I read around the new year, that essentially said it’s not what you think that matters, but what you do. With that in mind, I decided it’s time to actually DO some things. One of those things that I need to do is lose weight. I am obviously unhealthy.
With that in mind, whenever I learned of a city-wide weight-loss challenge, with a grand prize of 1000 dollars, I decided to do it. (It helped that I had some goodfriends also planning to participate) That was 8 weeks ago and I have been eating healthy and exercising every day since. I have had a lot of success during this period. I have lost more than 30 pounds. I wore pants today that I could barely fit into a month ago. I am down 2 notches on my belt. I have lost enough that pretty much everyone I know and see on a somewhat regular basis has acknowledged it and encouraged me. I now weigh less than I have since college.
Eight weeks is a long time when you are working hard, but ultimately it's not that long of a time. During this period I have hung on to every possible milestone and goal for encouragement. Since week three, though, one thing has really driven me - the thought that I might actually win a thousand bucks.
It is 8 weeks later and I am substantially thinner. I am going to have to buy some new clothes soon. But I am still a load. Even though I won a prize (not the grand prize), if I put the weight back on, it would be a waste. It would be a real shame to let 8 weeks of work and 30 pounds less of me go to waste, so I have to consider the future and more weight loss.
My goal is not to be all ripped, I’m not planning to run a marathon (ever), I don’t want to set records for leanness or win any body-building contests. I just want to weigh less than 200 and be able to climb a flight of stairs without panting. I ate very badly the day the prizes were announced, and the next day for that matter, but I also rode the bike on those days.
Now I’m back at it. I just don’t have the frenzy of a deadline and a cash prize driving me. So I have to have goals to be encouraged by. Here are the next few:
- I have this one shirt that I want to be able to wear in public comfortably. It was free, it’s a 2x, and I don’t even like it that much. But it’s a brand name and the sizes are very small, so wearing it would be a victory. (I squeezed into it the other day but I would not have been comfortable)
- When I get to 215, my BMI changes from the obese category to overweight. That’s still a way off, and will surely be a struggle. Weight gets harder to lose the more you lose.
- Under 200 pounds. That will feel like a victory of victories and then I try to transition into maintain mode.
I have no idea if I'll be able to keep going, and actually weigh under 200. That is still a very long way away. For all I know, by the middle of May I'll get tired of exercising and begin heading back towards being a huge fat guy. I always have been; I don’t really know anything different. I genuinely hope that doesn't happen.
People keep asking me if I feel better. The answer is yes, but not the way people mean. Physically there's not much difference. I never have heartburn, but otherwise pretty much everything is the same. Very often my left knee still hurts. I still never want to get out of bed in the morning and I still want a nap just about every day. However, psychologically the boost is incredible. I’ve always been fat. I sort of feel like, if I can do this, I can do anything. It’s ridiculous, I know. But this has been very hard and the accomplishment very encouraging.
I’ll leave you with some encouragement, I hope:
Once you have some success, once you can see results and others see results you want to keep going. Right now I want to wear that one shirt more than I want to be lazy and eat a whole pizza. It is hard. I never actually want to start pedaling the bike & I NEVER want to do stomach crunches. But it is worth it…so far. So, umm, do something.
Ride the bike while you watch TV.
Or don't. Do whatever you want. why should you listen to some jerk on the internet?