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You Lost Over 120 Pounds TWICE?!

2002 – 325 pounds

2006 – 201 pounds

2012 – 325 pounds

2021 – 185 pounds

Those numbers represent what I really weighed.  I lost 124 pounds.  I gained back every single ounce of it.  Then I lost 140 again (156 really but who is counting.)  This isn’t a proud thing for me to talk about.  I’m a bit embarrassed in fact to talk about it.  I had done it after all.  I had lost a huge amount of weight.  I had beaten the system.  I had accomplished something I thought was impossible.  And I had thrown it all away.

Excuses

Let’s talk about excuses.  Or perhaps more appropriately let’s talk about will power.  If you had asked me in 2012 what it takes to lose a lot of weight, I probably couldn’t have given you a good answer.  Oh sure, I could talk about diet planning and calorie counting for hours.  But the deeper question of “what does it take to lose weight” would have been a mystery to me.  What does it take mentally to embark on a long term goal like losing well over a hundred pounds?  The determination, the resolve, the commitment, ability to say “no.”  These things were foreign concepts to me.

Keep in mind I HAD ALREADY DONE IT!  I had already done all the work once.  Through hard work and determination I had lost 124 pounds.  It wasn’t a matter of “what CAN you do” but “what DID you do?”  But that didn’t matter.  In fact, I had a picture of myself taken after my first weight loss that I would look at and it felt like I was looking at a stranger.  I had nothing in common with that person.  That person was strong, I was weak.  That person was committed, I was unmotivated.  That person was driven, I was lazy.  But that person was me! 

I can’t stress this enough.  Most people will look at a celebrity or a fitness model and think “that person is special, they have super genes, I could never do that.”  I was doing the same thing with A PICTURE OF MYSELF!  I had lost the weight, gained it back, and forgotten what it was like to be able to lose it in the first place.

Failure

Let’s talk about failure.  That’s what this was.  I had failed to maintain my diet plan.  I had failed to commit to my exercise routine.  I had failed to learn from my mistakes.  I had failed to take my own advice when it came to getting over temporary setbacks.  I had failed.  Period.

The truth goes like this.  I had lost 124 pounds.  Then, I suffered a relatively minor weight lifting related injury which kept me from working out for a month and I got a new job that was more stressful and tiring.  Excuses piled up and I stopped going to the gym.  I stopped meticulously planning my meals.  I stopped riding my exercise bike every morning.  Couldn’t I have started going back to the gym after my injury had healed?  Sure, but I was SO busy at work.   Couldn’t I have gotten on my exercise bike before work?  Sure, but there was always something else that needed to be done.  Couldn’t I have at least maintained my diet?  Sure but it was easier to order take out than to plan and cook meals.  Did I mention excuses?

Self Reflection

So there I was.  I weighed as much as ever and  I knew exactly what I needed to do to lose the weight.  I just had to do it.  There wasn’t a lightning bolt style moment that made me recommit to being healthy.  I just decided to start doing all the things I knew worked for me.  The biggest hurdle for me has always been the snowballing effect of small missteps.  I let an injury that lasted a couple weeks turn into almost 10 years of not going to the gym.  The stress of a new job turn into years of not eating well.  I let excuses and failure dictate how I looked and felt.

Success

Let’s talk about success.  There won’t be any revelations in this paragraph.  Don’t get your hopes up for some unbelievable secret that once you know it, will make all your fitness dreams come true.  I can tell you this however, and I think it’s something worth discussing.  It doesn’t take HARD work to lose tremendous amounts of weight.  It just takes prolonged effort.  A little effort every day will get you to your goals. 

Something I talk about in the 100 Calorie Rule post is that walking for half an hour during lunch 5 days a week equates to around 21 pounds of body fat per year for me.  I walk fast and I don’t take breaks.  But that’s it.  Each day that I have time, I walk at lunch and I weigh 21 pounds less every year because of it.  Seems pretty doable right?  That is what successful dieting and long term success looks like.  Simple changes that you can repeat day after day. 

Goals

Let’s talk about you.   Everyone’s health and fitness goals are personal and everyone’s weight loss journey will be unique.  Maybe you get up early and hop on a treadmill.  I do.  Maybe you walk in circles around the parking lot or conference room at lunch.  I do.  Maybe you lift weights after work.  I do.  Maybe you plan your meals a week in advance and have them all staged and ready to go so you won’t be tempted to stop for a burger.  I do.  Maybe you do one or all or none of these things.  The changes you make need to be ones you will stick to.  You need to make small adjustments to your lifestyle that over time will lead to massive results.

I’m not special.  I don’t have super genes.  I am a failure.  But I’ve conquered the monster of weight loss twice.  And if I can do it.

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