I am writing this on 11/05/08 and it has been about five months since I started this project. As I tell people, "I was a 3 pizza a week, fried food loving person whose main source of exercise was mowing the lawn every other week". My official high weight was 318, but I have no doubt that I broke 320+ at some point since I tried to lose some weight BEFORE I went to see my doctor. Here's one of the "better" ones that friends have given to me.
So the single word question everyone asks me is "How?"
There are three basic components that have changed in my life: Desire, Exercise, and Food.
This is probably the most important component as well as the toughest one to overcome. Without it you're like a ship without a rudder. I always had the "desire" to lose weight, but unfortunately I now realize it wasn't PURE desire, but desire attached with excuses. I remember thinking that when I hit 250 that that would be the breaking point. It was upped to 300 when I was ~275 but that didn't make a difference. I'll never forget getting on a plane with my brother and finally resorted to asking for a seatbelt extender because the regular seat belt no longer fit. That should have done it but it didn't. I threw it in my bag when I left the plane and used it for the next 3 years, saving myself the embarrassment of asking for one.
Borderline diabetes, high blood pressure, bigger and bigger clothes, sitting at tables instead of booths, squeezing into seats at Fenway, breaking chairs at people's homes, looks from people, etc. should have done it, but they didn't.
I always had Excuses.
Just before my 47th birthday something clicked. It started when I mentioned to my wife that I had come up with yet another "crazy scheme" one night while cooking some ribs on the grill. I had just discovered that they had finished casting for the upcoming season of the Biggest Loser which was supposed to be my salvation. I came up with another plan to lose weight, run the Boston Marathon and in the process raise money for Cystic Fibrosis. When I told her about it, instead of just agreeing with me, she encouraged me to do it. At that point I realized just how important it was to her for me to lose weight. The fire was started.
I started out by just telling a few friends and family members about my plans, thereby making myself accountable to the people most important to me. Since then I have launched this website, received 100s of emails from people encouraging me and have experienced a new sense of being, both physically as well as mentally. I have specific goals (lose weight, run the marthon and raise money for CF) and I am doing everything I can to accomplish them. It's really pretty easy if you actually focus on something. Sounds cliche but it's true. And the following line is the most important one:
I have replaced Excuses with Desire.
As I had mentioned above, my primary exercise routine for the last 20 years has consisted mainly of mowing the lawn. And while I considered it a monumental task that I completed (usually) every other weekend, the truth is that the mower is self propelled, the lawn is not that big and the grass growing season here in New England only lasts about 4 months.
That said, there have many times that I made an effort to get in shape. I joined several "gyms" over the years, but I soon discovered (each time) that just joining them doesn't actually cause you to lose weight. I'm pretty sure that the gyms know this as well, but telling you isn't that good for business. I also discovered that even if you do show up and get on the machines, you need to stay longer than 10 minutes, that there is pain involved and you actually need to build up a good sweat.
Not exercising is easy. Exercising is hard!
Once you have obtained the true desire to change your life and get yourself in shape, you need to figure out an exercise routine and stick with it. Whenever I joined a gym (and actually went), and I found some time to go, I would spend about 10-15 minutes on one of the machines and leave. Fortunately I always found a good excuse why I couldn't make it and within 3-4 weeks I had enough excuses to only go once a week. Within 2 months I was pretty much done with that gym and would put my exercise routine on hold for the next year. This is how I ended up at +320 pounds.
There's more but it will cost you a $100 donation to the Cystic Fibrosis to get the rest of the information...
Just kidding! This page is still "under construction" but I needed to update the November pictures so please check back for the completed page in a couple of days. Thanks and sorry. Roger 11/08/08