SP Premium



Tuesday, August 13, 2013

/One Man's Journey from Fit to Fat--and Back Again

Allow me to start by saying this: I love sharing my story with the hope of inspiring others to take their lives back. It is my hope that by continuing to share my story that I can help even ONE person see there is hope to change their life.

Growing up, I was not an athlete.

I did wrestle for a number of years, but I was more of a band geek. (Proud to say that too!) I've traveled the world "making music with my friends," as I marched in various marching bands and Drum Corps. I was always fit, firm and muscular due to the demands that band and Drum Corps put on my body.

Then, in 1998, I changed careers and got a desk job. Things started to change.
I quickly grew accustomed to sitting all day. Sitting behind a desk got easier and easier. It also got easier to sit on my chair at home and do nothing.

I lost my mother in February 2005 and I started eating, much more than normal. I never knew I was an emotional eater, but there I was, eating away the grief and loss. As time moved forward, and my habits did not improve, I slowly grew to my top measured weight of 264 pounds. I knew I wasn't healthy. I couldn't walk up a small flight of stairs without being winded, I had no energy and I made poor eating choices most of the time. I didn't like what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I avoided having my picture taken. In fact it was the picture taken for my security badge at work that scared me into action. My swollen face and eyes were not a pretty sight!

That just begs the question words, why, when, how, what? I simply can't come up with a better answer than I got tired of being fat. Why at the ripe ole age of 40 did I decide to take my life back? Why, when I knew it was going to take so much discipline, so much work would I make a life changing decision?

I made this decision for me.

Now, let me give you three more reasons I changed my life. My wife and two daughters. My wife deserves a husband who is willing and able to help out around the house. I believe she deserves a husband that she can be proud of, who can come home from work and have the energy necessary to help with dinner, kids, activities, etc. My daughters deserve a Daddy who doesn't sit in his chair asleep all the time. They deserve a daddy who has energy to play with them, get on the floor and wrestle, tickle, and not be a grump all the time. They need a role model.

So I made the decision on December 28, 2009 to take my life back!

Me, before

I made radical changes in my life. I'm not sure what my calorie intake was before I started, but I know it was really high! I started logging everything I ate (I used the SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker). I had a healthy breakfast and a good lunch that I kept varied between salad, soup or sandwiches most days. I stopped eating out every day. Thankfully I have a wife who is on board with the new lifestyle (she lost more than 70 pounds herself) and is cooking healthier dinners. I am practicing portion control and try to put the fork down between each bite.

Keeping in mind that I made radical changes, I also started moving, A LOT. I began walking each day. The coldest day I remember going for a walk outside was 27 degrees. Yes, it was cold, but I had to do it! I would be out my door by 5 a.m. for my first walk of the day, and then do it again in the evening. I parked farther from the door while out running errands. I walked with a quicker pace to get my heart rate elevated as much as possible.

After two months I added elliptical workouts to my routine and grew to love that machine! I joined my wife and began doing high-impact intensity workouts WOW! I got addicted to that right away! Running didn’t enter the equation until months later. Running became my time for reflection, prayer, anger management, problem solving, etc. I can’t imagine my life without it!

I added DVD workouts in the summer of 2010, stopping after one series due to a major sports hernia. I had probably developed this hernia years before, but with my increased activity, it became something I needed to deal with. Surgery and recovery slowed me to a near halt for about 14 weeks. Then I got right back to it, moving and grooving, shaking and quaking!

Less than one year after I started, December 10, 2010, I hit the 100 pound lost mark. There was no magic pill that solved my weight problems. Time, hard work, and determination were the tools that got me here, and now that I’m here, I work just as hard to maintain, there is no finish line in my book.

Now that I am in the maintenance phase of my weight-loss journey, it’s all about simply making sure I remember my triggers for overeating and exercise--and the power I have to control it! I still cross train 2-3 times a week and I run 4-5 days a week.

I have completed multiple 10k’s, 15k’s, half marathons and two full marathons. I consider myself an endurance athlete because I embrace the challenge. I embrace the feeling of being able to push myself to a new level of fitness. I also love the challenge of the mind games. That is a part of this journey that many people forget about or don’t deal with. I feel that the mind games or the emotional part of this journey is critical for ultimate success. Learning to deal with WHY I let myself get do big, so depressed has been a lot of fun and I wouldn’t be nearly as successful if I didn’t face that head on!

I’d like to leave you with three success factors that worked for me:
1. Know WHAT/HOW much you eat
2. Shut up and sweat – you have to WORK it off
3. Do it every single day – make it a lifestyle

Feel free to follow me at any of the following:
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • MISSLISA1973
    You aren't just an endurance athlete... you are an endurance person! You have persevered for a long time an been an inspiration to so many!!
    2893 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14148396

    Thank you so, so much. You are such an encouragement!

    2907 days ago
    Wonderful job!
    2911 days ago
    I love your story of determination. emoticon
    2912 days ago
    Your story has always inspired me.. you are the one person who I have seen kept going and working hard through out this journey, yes you may have had bumps, pot holes and detours but you have handled them with power and grace, you have gone through them around them and even plowed right through them.. and you keep going strong.. like the saying you have taken a licking and keep on ticking and that is what inspires me and motivates me to keep on this journey because it can be done and you are doing it..


    2912 days ago
  • no profile photo NEWANDHEALTHY13
    Excellent Blog and definitely inspiring.
    Thank you
    2912 days ago
  • _JODI404
    EXCELLENT blog Jerome!!

    Very inspiring.

    I totally agree, reaching Maintenance -- it still takes focus and vigilance and there is no finish line!

    I also agree with your 3 tips. All 3 are quite important!
    I think #1 is an area for many to falter. If you do not weigh and measure in the beginning, it is VERY easy to underestimate what you are eating. Also, if you do not research and learn about healthier choices, it is very easy to continue to eat unhealthy food that may be misrepresented to appear healthier. I love the phone App "Fooducate". I am pretty sure it was free. You can just scan the bar code on a food and it will tell you a letter grade and the reason for the grade. Great way to see where you might need to seek out healthier choices!

    You made it happen, and I love that you want to reach out to others and help them realize these same benefits and achievements!

    emoticon emoticon
    2912 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2035636
    You are my hero and inspiration. Thanks again for telling your story.
    2912 days ago
    Wonderful blog. Thank you so much for putting this all in written form. Inspirational for sure.
    Have a terrific day.
    2912 days ago
    Two ideas here that really speak to me:
    * no finish line
    * facing up to the mind games

    Thanks for sharing your ideas; I've copied some of them into my "Inspiration Journal"
    2913 days ago
    Two ideas here that really speak to me:
    * no finish line
    * facing up to the mind games

    Thanks for sharing your ideas; I've copied some of them into my "Inspiration Journal"
    2913 days ago
    you are such an inspiration.... thank you so much for your blog.... I too lost 100# I did have lapband surgery May 2009 but I have also put in lot of hours at the gym and use the nutrition tracker also...
    2913 days ago
    Love your fierce determination and the example you are setting for your kids. You are right to trumpet your successes!
    2913 days ago
  • TIGER_LILY_613
    emoticon emoticon
    2913 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2913 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.