Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: My house
Little bit about how I became a new subspecies of endangered whale...
Over the years I was for the most part generally healthy and fit but had struggled with up and down weight. From the ages of 12-14 I was about 40 lbs. overweight (180lbs) so over summer break before HS started I spent 3 months with my sister in Colorado. Lived a normal, regular life, had a part time job mowing lawns, played sports with friends, went hiking in the Rockies, ate a normal healthy diet, mostly vegetarian (with some chicken and turkey). I lost all the weight and then some and came back a skinny kid, completely unintentional.
Back in high school I continued to maintain an active lifestyle. Weighed 135-140lbs and had almost no fat on my body. I had a full six-pack, muscle tone and definition all over. You could see the muscles in my shoulders, chest, biceps and forearms even without flexing. Used to jog 5 miles a day, mountain bike 20-30 miles up and down the coast of SoCal on the weekends. I exercised a minimum of at least 2 hours each day in addition to playing sports with friends and doing Phys Ed at school every day, aerobics, stretching, cardio, and some weight lifting. Most of what I did was exercises using my own bodyweight: pull-ups, pushups, triceps dips, crunches, calisthenics etc. Loved it.
After HS I started working full time and going to college part time.
That's when the weight started piling on. Over the next 16 years it would be up and down weight. I would be on a health and fitness kick, super motivated, energized and hit the gym, drop 20 lbs., feel great and then something would happen that would throw me off track, out of whack, lead to not being able to handle stress, pressure, depression and soon enough after a couple months I would be back to eating junk food and vedging out in front of the TV to deal with stress and pressure from the job, school, family drama, friend drama and eventual depression. Once in that cycle it can get pretty bad and out of control.
Fast forward to 2005/06 when I made a valiant and successful attempt at regaining control of my health. I partnered up with a buddy from work to the gym and we kept each other on track, kept each other motivated. I started educating myself on fitness and nutrition, became obsessed. He eventually stopped going and stopped eating healthy but I continued on for another couple years on my own and got down to 200lbs from 260. Looked good, felt great, wasn't depressed, and handled the stress from the job fairly well. Then life happened and too much crap from work, family, friends, and finances hit me all at once and threw me back into old, bad habits. Ultimately what it boiled down to was using that safety of being lazy and eating a bunch of junk food as a comfort to the stress, pressure and depression I was going through and didn't want to face. The emotional eating would then start just to numb myself, very much like a drug addiction.
One of my few loyal friends and former roommates recently told me some honest truth that made me think. He said many things that to anyone would seem mean and hurtful but in reality he said them because he actually cares about me, is genuinely concerned for me and it was the truth, something I NEEDED to hear rather than something I wanted to hear.
After telling me how I have become fat, lazy, depressed and boring he told me I am not the same person he knew when he first met me. I had changed, made a complete 180 and he is sad because he liked who I was. He liked when I was into eating healthy and going to the gym, living an active lifestyle. He misses my old self and wants to see that person again. He wants to see the real me again. What I have become is not who I really am.
After taking in all these things he said to me, I realized even though it seemed harsh and hurtful, he was actually right. What I have allowed myself to become is not who I really am, that in itself has contributed to the vicious cycle of stress, depression and emotional eating that has turned me into a prisoner of my own doing.
Last Monday I was fired from my job of almost 15 years.
You would think this would be devastating, that I would panic and start gorging on every type of junk food I could find. While it's sad that I am not working for that company anymore and I don't have that nice level of income, I am actually ok. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted, like I've been released from a dark dungeon that I was chained to for years.
I'm not missing that place at all and realize now how much that place affected me mentally. I know it was a major contributing factor of stress and depression and now I feel free to finally take a breather, pick my head up, open my eyes and see the sunshine all around, to take charge of my life and regain control of my health.
Congratulations if you're still reading this, you deserve brownie points.
(healthy, sugar-free, organic brownies using whole wheat, oat flour and apple sauce of course)
34, M, 5'9"
Start date: 3/01/2012
Start Weight: 350lbs
Long term goal: 170 lbs
End date: 05/01/2013