Dear Angela: A letter of compassion for the journey

Timberline Marathon 2008

Fat guy with the "fat" mind

Fat guy with the "fat" mind











Hello Angela.  This is your friend Jason.  As you know, a little over two years ago I was even bigger than the before picture that I sent you (the pics shows me about 20 lbs lighter than when I started WW). I started WW at 307.6 lbs and was just disgusted with myself.  I couldn’t breathe  very good even getting out of bed.  Tying my shoes was a chore, and the only exercise I did was walk from the gas pump to inside the store to buy deep fried burritos.  Starting WW changed my life.  I lost 130 lbs from Dec. 13th 2006 – Dec. 13th 2007.  Losing the weight totally changed my life, but that’s not all that was transformed in me, and this is what I really wanted to write to you about.

I know that starting and staying with an exercise program is freakin’ tuff.  You have to get over the initial embarrassment of the gym, the gym clothes, jiggly weight, and just plain old bummer self esteem.  It can be done and I want to tell you that overcoming these things will change your life just as much as losing the weight in general.  You see, I did not want to exercise at all when I started WW.  My sister had to drag me to the gym, and believe me, she did just that.  At first I just did 12 minutes on a stationary bike and then stood by my sister as she finished up.  Eventually I graduated to the elliptical machine where I began to go for 20 minutes.  I did not plan on this but the weight started coming off even better with exercise and not only that; I started to feel better both physically and mentally because of my little accomplishment regarding exercise.

After losing 60 lbs I started running.  Oh yes, the dreaded activity that all over weight people say that they can’t do.  But they can Angela.  I know because I have done it.  I went from thinking it was going to hurt and be boring to falling in love with running and exercise in general.  From the time I started running, I have been able to finish 7 marathons and 4 races beyond the 30 mile marker.  I even ran 50 miles in the mountains.  Oh yeah, just the fat guy who refused to exercise at all was transformed into a lean and fit person who was proud of accomplishing great physical feats.

Why was I able to do this you ask?  You might be saying, “I’m not going to run a marathon or a 50 miler.  How does this effect what I want in my journey?”  I tell you this, and I write this letter so that you will see that exercise can really help you in your pursuit of weight loss.  You will lose weight faster to be sure, but that is just one of the many benefits.  Like I said, I could only do 12 minutes on a bike, but it grew from there.  I began to see that I was able to do more than I could have ever imagined.  My confidence grew to a healthy level.  A level where, even though I was not skinny or anything, I could do what healthy people do.  I was living.  I didn’t have to say no to fun stuff that I always wanted to do but couldn’t because it was to hard for a fat guy to do.  Then I started to not just believe, but to KNOW that I could do great things and that other people can too.  You can do great things.  You could run a marathon if you wanted.  You could go on a hike with friends and not worry about being embarrassed or not making it up the hill.  Heck, it just makes walking around the mall easier when you are in shape because of the activity you have been doing.  With exercise as a key ingredient to your weight loss journey, you will accomplish great things and the normal little things in life will also be so much more pleasurable.  I hope that this is encouraging because I full heartedly know that if you exercise during you weight loss you will love it and benefit all the more physically, emotionally, and mentally.  Keep up the good work.  You are going to change your life.  I commend you.  Thanks.



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