In every person's life, there comes a time when they must channel the inner strength of their own self and bring forth an overwhelming power to improve. That time is today.
For what is the entirety of my life, I have struggled with my weight. It's an ongoing battle of mind over matter, fat over life. Even when I was younger, I was "the fat kid".
When you're the fat guy in high school, certainly nothing is easy. You're already sweating a lot from hormones raging, and then cap that off with fat sweats, and then top that off with being gay in the Midwest, and you have a recipe for depression. That depression drove me to eat, which just increased the problem.
When I was 25 years old, I hit the peak of my weight. I was in the mid-300s, barely able to breath, borderline diabetic, and probably looking at an early death. I committed myself, changed by habits, worked out constantly, and dropped by weight down to 185 pounds. I still wasn't 'thin' but I certainly was in a hell of a lot better place than I ever had been before. I could breath, I could run, I could jump, and I could enjoy life. It was a fantastic feeling.
Now, if you're the type that loves a feel-good fitness success story, I suggest you stop reading right now and go check out some smoothie recipes.
Over the course of the next couple of years, life changes quite a bit. I moved from a production line job to a more management level position which would have me traveling constantly. I fell in love and moved in with a wonderful man. I was enjoying life. Unfortunately, I also began slipping into old habits as one often does. Instead of bicycling everywhere, I bought a car. Instead of eating healthy food at home, I started eating out more again. Instead of working out constantly, I was tired from being on the road all the time.
I started putting on weight again, slowly at first. It has a habit of sneaking up on you, after all. My weight gradually climbed higher and higher until it reached a peak where I decided to do something in 2012. At that time, I hired a trainer again, started "spinning", and lost 30 pounds within a couple of months. Then I slipped, and of course the weight came back with a vengeance, higher than ever but still thankfully not as high as the 'peak' of my weight.
So I'm here, today. 37 years, 7 months and 16 days old, and facing down the prospect of middle age being 'morbidly obese'.
Needless to say, the idea that I am entering middle age with more fat than I've had in 10+ years frightens me. Never mind the appearance of the weight for a moment, now I'm facing down the beginnings of wear and tear of my body, such as my knees, my heart, and my mind. I am more susceptible to all sorts of diseases like diabetes, COPD, as well as diseases they believe may be contributed by obesity such as Alzheimers, Parkinson's, and more.
So I know it's a problem. What am I going to do about it? After all, sitting on my rear end doing nothing and complaining about it won't solve the problem. The only thing that can really solve the problem is hard work and determination, dedication and commitment, sweat and sacrifice. I must commit to changing not just my diet, not just my activity level, but my life much as I did a decade earlier when I lost the weight the first time. I know it will be even harder this time around, but that's why it is so important I have an even higher level of dedication than I have in the past.
So what's first? It's time to change the diet. I have to stop eating out, and I have to learn to cook all of my meals. I also have to cut out processed foods, as well as anything that contains things that impact my diet. I will be getting back to the core principles I lived on when I lost weight the first time, those being lean meats, salads, good carbs, and a balanced diet.
Next, exercise. You could ask 100 people "how do I exercise" and you'll get 100 different answers. Part of this journey will be me discovering what will work for me. This isn't just about choosing an excretes routine, but rather about doing something I enjoy while staying active which will help me lose weight. I'll take you on this journey with me, documenting as I go the progress, what's working, what isn't, and whatever insights I find along the way.
Even after diet and exercise, you still have to have the willingness to accept the challenge. Too often we set ourselves up for failure by setting unrealistic goals or by becoming discouraged when we don't look like Ryan Gosling overnight, or the fact that only 1 in 6B can be Ryan Gosling to begin with and setting unrealistic expectations hampers our future achievements.
Am I willing? Yes. Is my body willing? Frankly, I don't care because it is coming along for the ride. It will be painful at times, it will be a massive change, and I'm ready for it. As I go into the second half of my life, I will be the person who says "I look and feel better than I did in my twenties". Also, if I do nothing, I will be the person who says "Oh yeah, they cut my foot off from the diabetes. Now where's my Quaker Oats?"
Ready. Set. Let's go.