Before I get into the meat of this post, let me show you three pictures.
I have been overweight for as long as I can remember. In 2004, I weighed 280 pounds. The picture above was taken in May of that year at Caprock Canyon in west Texas. A couple of months later, we moved to New Jersey. In March of 2005, I decided it was time to stop being overweight. I got an appointment with a dietitian and she set up a diet for me. That diet was 1800 calories a day,down from the 4000 or so a day I was averaging then. She wanted me to eat three 500 calorie meals and two 150 calorie snacks. Quality calories too: no juices, sweets, etc. I started the diet and began exercising. A little at first and gradually adding more. By May I found I could run again, and began running 5 days a week. I ran 2 miles or so first and got up to 3.5 miles at a 7 MPH pace by the end of our time in New Jersey. If you look at the archives for 2005, you’ll find weight loss update posts. Here’s the last one. I got down to 220 pounds during 2005. That photo of me with the Stanley Cup, taken in September, is the lowest weight I can ever remember being in my adult life: 220 pounds. I had also lost about 8 inches on my waist. I had to start wearing my wedding ring on my middle finger because it would just slid off my ring finger. If you look close, you can see that in the 2005 picture. I now keep that picture as my iPhone background for inspiration.
I had incredible willpower during the months from March until October. I couldn’t even tempt myself with my favorite fast food: McDonald’s. I didn’t have any cravings for bad foods. I kept eating sensible meals and snacks. Once, Maggie and I went to a Chili’s and I could only eat half a Big Mouth Burger before I was full. People who knew me before and who know me now would be shocked at that I think.
In November of 2005, we made the move back to Texas and I took my old job back. In doing so, I apparently left my willpower in New Jersey. I had and continue to have an array of cravings daily. We moved back to all my favorite foods. The overeating began and with my new commute and schedule, I no longer had time for exercise. I ballooned to where I am today, in 2010, weighing 320 pounds. That’s right, I undid all the hard work I did in 2005 and added 40 pounds!
One thing I’ve learned about myself the past 5 years is I stress eat. When I get stressed, I start thinking of everything I love to eat and I go out and get one of them. I over order and then shove it all down. Part of that stress was my previous job. It was a high stress environment. Couple that with a crazy 45-90 minute commute each way and I was always craving something and would call my wife and convince her we should just eat out since I was getting home late. We even moved closer to my work in 2008 to try and help the commute time, but work got even more busy and I was still coming home late and stressed and wanting my comfort foods.
Enter my New Beginning. Part of the allure of taking a job where I could work from home was being able to always take the time to get exercise in as well as a much better chance of eating at home. In November I started walking 2 miles a day during the week. I also started eating better and at home and I had lost 6 pounds or so.
Ironically, my new job got very busy at the end of the month and into December and I didn’t do my walking and the bad eating kicked back in, undoing my good work.
So, here I am in 2011. This morning, I made the decision that no matter how busy I am and how late I stay up, I’m always taking my walk in the morning, working to upgrading to running once I’ve lost enough weight that the shin splints go away. I need to take advantage that my schedule is my own. After working on someone else’s schedule for most of my life, that’s taking some getting used to. I’m also going to find my willpower to put down these cravings. I know it’s going to be hard, but I think if I can get a solid 2 months in, the cravings will eventually go away.
My goal weight is 220 pounds, meaning I need to lose 100 pounds. I think that will take the better part of a year, if not longer. Then the real battle of keeping it off will begin. I wanted to share this with you with hopes that by doing so I make myself accountable to my friends who I know read this blog as well as the Internet at large. I’m determined to get back to size 34 jeans and not being disgusted when I look at myself in a mirror.
Finally, the irony is not lost on me that I sell a fitness tracking application for the iPhone as well as work on a calorie tracking application for one of my clients.