Since I was a young boy I was chunky. I always felt bad about my weight, at least since elementary school. I was never really, really big but I always was in my mind. When I reached high school I began to play more sports and started getting more fit. This did not change the “fat” mind though. Even when I weighed 179, had 12% body fat, could out-lift most of my football cohorts, and was the leanest of our teams linemen; I still felt fat.
So off to college I went. Soon I was 215 lbs and thoroughly enjoying the universities famous cafeteria that was better than any buffet resturant that I had ever seen. The weight kept packing on. Not extremely fast, but it kept coming. I graduated with my masters degree in marriage and family studies at a whopping 255 lbs. At this time I had a girlfriend who is now my wife. She loved me for who I was and did not really see the “fat” guy that I saw. Love is blind I guess, eh!
We moved to my home state where I started to work in the family business. The stress level went way up with this move and new life. Work was different than the university life. I started to medicate with food and alcohol. The weight went to 280 lbs in about 6 months. Then I turned to the Atkins diet, lost 40 lbs in a 3 months. I was excited about this weight loss and felt pretty good about myself. I got married at 240 lbs. I loved my wedding pics. I thought I looked great. Of course the weight did not stay off. I gained and lost that 4o lbs three more times before I joined weight watchers.
At my first weigh in at weight watchers I weighed 307.6 lbs. I was shocked but not in disbelief. I knew I had gotten huge. I had quit drinking all together, but my food problems just kept growing and growing right along with my body. The odd thing was that I was still thinking of my body and self the same way I did when I weighed 179 lbs fourteen years back. I had unhealthy body image issues.
Weight watchers was the start of the next part of my journey.
So on December 13th, of 2006 I started on a life changing journey towards a goal that for my entire life felt was completely unattainable even though I had already been at that goal weight before. I just never felt like I was there or maybe I just couldn’t remember. My “fat” mind would not let me see it.
As with everything that I do, I went 100% all out on this weight watchers thing. I never went over my points, not even one time for an entire year. I was determined to make this time different. The pounds were flying off. People were going crazy over the difference that the weight loss made. People at the gas station were talking about it and complimenting me, people at my meeting, my family, my co-workers, people from my past. It felt great. Week after week I had a loss. In one year’s time I only had one week where I did not lose and that was a “stayed the same week”. People were rooting for me and cheering me on.
I began running after losing 60 lbs. I started out with 2 miles. Guess what happened next, I went 100% all out. I planned a year’s worth of running and scheduled 12 marathons to complete during that time. I got addicted to the running. I neglected other healthy things in my life to run more. Running really took the weight off. At times, I even lied about how much I was running because people just weren’t getting it. They thought it was crazy. I finished my first marathon in October 2007 at 195 lbs. I kept running a marathon every month. That ended up not being enough so I started to do ultra-marathons. I did a 30 miler, then a 37 miler, then a 41 miler, and finally I accomplished something very few people do or even want to do. I finished a 50 mile trail run in about 11 1/2 hours.
I was now weighing 173 lbs and loving it. I was so fit and so proud, but my “fat” mind was taking over. I still thought I was fat. I still felt bad and guilty if I only ran 3 hours instead of 5 hours. I ate what I wanted because I knew that I could just go out for a “long run” to make up for it. Don’t get me wrong, all the running and healthy eating were great and good things in my life. It was just the way I was thinking about them. They were tools that helped me lose weight and not change the way my “fat” mind working.
I reached goal on Dec. 13th, 2007. I lost 133 lbs in a year. Could I keep it off? Check out part three of my story.
Here we are at the present time. This pic was taken in Oct. 2008 at my 11th marathon. I made it to goal weight, I just about made it to 12 marathons in a year, and I have kept off the weight for one year as of Dec. 13th 2008. Things are going well for me. That doesn’t equate to not having issues still though.
I am working hard to keep off the weight, but I am working harder on “keeping out the fat guy mind”. I still have, as Melissa at Tales of a Disordered Eater says, disordered eating habits. I still find myself putting on the guilt for messing up just the smallest bit. I find myself saying, “I can never have that food” or “I can’t go there because that is a bad environment” or asking my wife a hundred times a month “I’m fat, do I look like I have gained my weight back?”
I know that it might seem crazy, but that is the truth. I see the picture here and think, “Man, I have come so far.” I might go into our bathroom in the next hour, see myself in the mirror and think, “Man, I am not keeping it off. I look pretty chunky”.
So the battle wages on. This blog is here to inspire you and myself to get rid of the “fat” mind and get on with our lives of joy and health. I am making great strides and I know you are too. I’m learning balance in food, fitness, thinking, and life. I will win the battle with the “fat” mind.
The present journey is an inspiring one for me. The weight loss and body changes have been amazing, but the changing of my perception of myself have been the most rewarding. I will keep on keeping on. I will move towards healthier patterns of life and eating. Hopefully you all will join me.
Leave a comment. I always love to know that there are others out there who have gone through, are going through, or are about to go through the same things as me. Hang in there. Anything is possible. See you at the finish line.