Goooooaaaaalllll! – Diet Day 82
On January 13th 2012 I made the decision that I needed to be healthier. My weight had progressively risen over the years to a point where I now weighed 210.5 pounds. My Body Mass Index (BMI) was 27.7, which was at the high end of the overweight category nearing obesity. I was taking two medications for high blood pressure and even with the help of daily pills my ratings were 146/95. My health was deteriorating and I felt miserable.
A recent visit to my doctor was a wake-up call. I had two cancer scares and the doctor explained that unless I changed my lifestyle and took better care of myself I would likely not be around very long. One of the first suggestions he made was to lose some weight and begin an exercise program.
This wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I was content with the way my life was going. I didn’t think I was really that bad. I wasn’t eating breakfast and my lunch was just a bag of chips and a soda. The only meal I was really eating was dinner, which was meat and potatoes, then a snack while I watched television or worked on the computer.
Looking into the eyes of my wife Trina I could tell she was worried. If I wasn’t going to take care of myself, who would be there to take care of my wife and five wonderful children? Did I really want to give up on my life and my health and miss out on all of the memories that would come from being with my family?
It took a long time for me to convince myself that I was even capable of becoming healthier. I had concluded that age and genetics were working against me and that no matter what I tried I would not be successful. Dieting and exercise seemed like hard work and with all the stress and time constraints in my life I didn’t need to add this into the mix.
Regardless of the excuses I could come up with the fact remained I could not continue down this self-destructive path. I need to change. Given my lack of success in maintaining my health so far in my life I knew I would never be able to do this alone.
With the help of my wife Trina I began researching ways that I could regain my health. Trina contacted her niece Amy who had recently lost weight and asked for advice. Amy introduced us to Take Shape For Life. The program was not just about losing weight but about becoming healthy.
This looked like a plan I could follow. They not only helped you choosing meals for losing weight but also had a curriculum that would teach you how to become healthier. My confidence was boosted when I found that I would have a personal health coach to guide me along the way. I would have weekly checkpoints and would be held accountable for my actions where those be food related, educational, or behavioral.
The weight loss program began Friday the 13th of January, which somehow seemed appropriate. The doctor had recommended I lose 20 pounds but my goal was much loftier. I wanted to get back to a weight when I was first married.
The journey was not without its bumps and pain points. Some of the food invoked a gag reflex when I tried to eat them. There were weeks when the weight loss seemed to plateau and despite all my hard work things didn’t go nearly as smoothly as I planned.
I had set a goal with myself that I would be completed with this journey before baseball season started. There were weeks when that seemed like an eternity and times when it looked impossible that I would ever get anywhere near my goal.
This morning I stepped on the scale like I do regularly (too regularly if you ask Trina or Amy). I looked down at the dial and waited for the numbers to appear. Finally the digits came into view – 170 pounds with a body fat percentage of 15.8% and a BMI of 22.5. I had reached my goal.
I cannot describe the feelings and emotions I felt when I saw that. I did not expect that this number would make any difference. For nearly all of my life I when I would get on a scale I would read the numbers but they had no meaning.
Sadly I was home alone when this event occurred. I so wanted to share this with everyone who was a part of making this happen. I immediately contacted my wife and kids to announce the fact that I had reached my goal.
When Trina and I were talking I became choked up. I thanked her over and over for being such an important part of this milestone. Were it not for her love, understanding, patience, and hard work I would have never been successful.
I also contacted my health coach Amy to likewise share the news and express my gratitude. I know I probably have driven her insane the past two and a half months with my crazy questions, frustrating emails, and numerous complaints of having to do homework.
I also shared this with my kids who have put up with my constant talking about healthy choices and dietary changes. Losing 40 pounds is not something anyone does alone. To be successful there has to be a village of people who support and encourage you and I am blessed to have some of the best people around me.
This is not the end of my journey though. I will stay on this program another week then move into a transitional state slowly moving out of fat burning mode and into maintenance. The lessons I have learned about healthy living will act as a map to guide me through the rest of my life.
I am not the same person as I was when the year started. I am literally only 81 percent of the man I used to be. Hopefully that 19 percent was the worst part and I can now embrace a new healthier outlook on life.
I am no longer taking medications for high blood pressure and my numbers this morning were in the normal range. I have gone from an extra large shirt and a 35-inch waist to a medium shirt and a 31 inch waistline. I have more energy than I have had in decades. For the first time in my life I am enjoying time with my family being active and living life to the fullest. I am lighter but more importantly I am healthy.
It’s good to have goals and even better when you reach them. But this is not the end, it is just the beginning and I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.