YUUUUP! I’ve always been overweight, I’ve tried half-heartedly to fix this many times over the years but I never really had much success. But in late 2020/early 2021 I decided that was time to change. For good. So I bought a Peloton and started hitting the pedals. 45 minutes 3x per week, with another 90 minute ride on Saturday. I lost 50lbs in 6 months with Matt, Olivia, Christine, and the rest of the Power Zone Pack. To celebrate 50lbs lost, I ran a 5k in August 2021! I was so proud of myself!
And then my grandpa died from complications following a relatively minor surgery, which threw my family into absolute chaos. 2022 was one of the most stressful and emotionally taxing years of my life. I put my family and my mental health above my physical health and regained more than a few pounds because of this. On New Year’s Eve 2022 (my grandpa’s birthday), I had plans to wear his suit to the NYE party, but I could no longer fit into it. So in 2023 I re-dedicated myself and made the hard push. This time I was on a treadmill instead of a bike. In late October 2023, I hit 175lbs. A full 100lbs down from my heaviest weight.
This is the part where people ask the obvious question, I give the obvious answer, and then we are both crushed under an avalanche of excuses. I know how it is, I’ve been on both sides of the conversation. But just because the truth hurts, doesn’t make it any less true.
I lost 100lbs through diet and exercise. That’s it. Hard work, sustained over multiple years. This statement is not meant to make anyone feel bad about their own fitness levels. I’ve been there. But it really is just hard work. I often went to bed hungry. I slogged out miles where all I could think about was my couch and TV. I passed on dessert, I passed on brunch, I cut out ALL alcohol entirely. I didn’t have cheat days. I weighed myself first thing every morning and last thing every night. People told me I was obsessed, and I was. Losing weight is a very delicate balance that required me to think about intake/output every waking moment. Too few calories and my metabolism shuts down. Too many and I’m gaining instead of losing.
People ask what my secret was. I didn’t have one. It’s work. It’s just work. You can’t get around putting in the work. Surgeries and pills can help, but you still have to put in the work to keep it off. Taking shortcuts means you miss the lessons that teach you how to change your relationship with food and exercise.
I ate one slice of toast with peanut butter for breakfast, same thing for lunch, and ate a 3/4 portion of whatever we cooked for dinner. If I needed a snack, it was fresh fruit and/or almonds. I didn’t count calories or track my food because I ate a set, steady diet. 100lbs down, with the proof right in front of their faces, I still get told “diet and exercise doesn’t work”. Guess what? It’s the only thing that works.
I’ve been verbally attacked a few times. Several people have told me I’m dangerously skinny. A few people have commented that I was better looking as a big guy. A LOT of people have told me how unhealthy it is to diet and/or exercise. I get it, I know how hard this is and along with many other people, I’ve tried and failed many times. Haters gonna hate, I just shake it off.
I ran a 5k to celebrate 50lbs down. I planned a 10k to celebrate 100lbs, but the next big 10k event around here is the Amway River Bank Run, and the main event is a 25k (15.5 mile) race. If I’m going through the hassle of training for and participating in the River Bank Run… why not run the full 25k? So I’m spending the winter training for a race that’s just slightly over a half marathon.
Since I’m going through all of this training, I’ll likely run more than one event in 2024. We’ll see what happens this winter, but my plan at this point is to… run. 5ks, 10ks, half marathons. No plan for a full marathon at this point. I’ve written up a tentative plan that includes 9 races: four 5k races, four 10k races, and two half marathons. I’m not signing up for any of them until I’ve gotten a few dozen more miles on my legs though.