Six years ago today, I took actions and completely changed my life for the better. Six years and a day ago, I had a physical and was shocked when I stepped on the scale to find I was 300.5 lbs. My home scale never told me that. As far as it was concerned, I was still in the 290s and I was happy being there, too. I wasn't 300, so why bother doing anything about it. But seeing that 3 on the scale scared the shit out of me. I took the rest of the day to figure out what I was going to do about it, stopping at McDonald's for lunch even. My doctor didn't give me very much advice, but what he told me stuck and helped tremendously. He told me that if I wanted to lose weight, I needed to watch my calories, watch my carb intake and get some exercise. If he told me anything more, I don't know if I would have been able to do what I've managed to do. When I got home, I googled how many calories I should eat to lose weight. It seemed like a tremendous amount until I started counting calories. Suddenly I realized my average meal was my suggest daily caloric intake (and sometimes more.) But I was committed to losing weight. I don't know how I let myself get so far away from healthy. So August 5, 2006, I changed my life. I started eating healthy. I started to exercise. My exercise consisted solely of walking. I was so out of shape that I couldn't go very far at first. My initial walking goal was to leave the house and walk for three songs, turn around and head home. I know that's not very much, but it's all I could manage. My legs killed me, but I pushed through. Soon it was four songs, then five, then six, then I stopped counting. The first year, I managed to drop 66 pounds. That alone is something I should have been proud of, but I only saw it as being a little more than half way. I wasn't willing to give up yet. I wanted to be 200 pounds in the worst way.
As year two started, my weight loss had slowed down, but that's just natural. Sometimes I'd let the frustration of the smaller drops get to me, sometimes I just used it as reason to push harder. As I was nearing the 200 pound mark, I decided that it just wasn't good enough. I wanted a little more drama, so I readjusted my goal to 190 pounds. I can't tell you the last time I was in the 100's. I was probably thirteen years old. But I was determined to make it. And on August 5, 2008, I weighed in for the first time as an adult at 190 pounds. Two years to the day I started.
If someone told me when I started this crazy journey that it's a journey you don't ever end, I think it would have derailed me. In my head, I needed to lose weight and as soon as I did, I could go back to my old ways. I don't know why I thought that, but it kept me going. Since hitting my goal, though, my eating habits have definitely changed. I'm not as strict as I was during the two years I was losing the weight. I now know what I can eat, how much I can eat and when I can eat it. Sundays, for instance, are my go crazy day. I eat poorly on Sundays. My official weigh in day is Sunday, so I figure it gives me the rest of the week to undo the damage I just did. Tonight, for instance, I just ate a big ass ice cream sundae. It was delicious, I didn't need it, but I wanted it. And because I know how my body works, my weight should spike tomorrow and then goose up just a little more on Tuesday before regulating. I weigh myself every day, so I generally know what to expect when I step on the scale. Sometimes I get awesome surprises, though. Yesterday morning I had no idea I'd be 190. I thought it would be a little higher based on how I'd been eating. Today was extra special because I weighed in at 186.3. It was great seeing that, especially because it's an important day. It's the best showing on the scale for 2012.
I'm so proud of myself. I worked so hard to get healthy and still can't believe I did it. I look at old pictures of myself and although I still feel like that fat guy on the inside, I don't recognize the fat guy I'm looking at. I don't know how I ever let myself get to be that man. And looking in the mirror today, I still see some of the damage that fat guy left me with. I have a permanent muffin top. My skin was stretched so far for so long that it's retracted as much as it's going to. I see the extra skin and it's hard for me to convince myself it's not fat. It's just leftover skin. And stretch marks. I've got plenty of them, too. But they're my war wounds. They're there to remind me of who I was and the man I will never be again.