Throwback Thursday seems to be a popular meme on the internet these days, so I decided to get in on the fun here. I’ll be re-posting some favorite articles from my first Gotta Keep It Off! blog and maybe even some other blasts from the past in this space.
To kick off my very own Throwback Thursday series, here are two posts that were originally published on July 5th, 2007. They flesh out, if you’ll pardon the pun, a bit of my background and will give you an idea of how I got started on the road to losing 130 pounds.
My Story, Part One
I never remember being anywhere near thin growing up. I always remember needing husky clothes, and even though I remember playing outside a lot, I was never what you could call athletic. There was also a lot of emotional/stress eating back then, as my parents had divorced when I was 4, and I was never very comfortable around the man that eventually became my stepfather.
In high school I was smart enough academically to take enough classes to avoid having to take gym throughout my four years there. My interest in aviation had me considering the Air Force Academy at one point, but I was put off by the fitness requirements.
By the time I graduated, I was about 5′ 9″ tall and weighed about 215. I remained in that neighborhood through a few semesters of college, then aircraft mechanic school. In the meantime I met this young lady who captured my fancy, and in 1982 we announced our engagement.
As the wedding date drew closer I was determined to look good in my tuxedo and began a diet of my own design in order to drop 40 pounds. I also started working out with the RCAF 5BX Program and by the time of the wedding in October of 1984 I had reached my goal of 175 pounds and I looked and felt great.
Unfortunately, I thought my work was over at that point and began falling back into the old habits. My new bride’s wonderful Italian cooking skills and my own love of cooking didn’t help my waistline at all, and the weight started coming back.
At one point, I don’t remember when, I tried the Atkins diet and lost 50 pounds in three months. I stopped because I just couldn’t continue eating that way any more. I’m glad that it works for some people, but I just couldn’t do that for the rest off my life.
My Story, Part Two
By the time May of 1999 rolled around I had ballooned up to 325 pounds. Things didn’t look so hot at work, so I started taking classes in case I needed to find another job. I was going to school during the day and working at night, and maybe getting about 4-5 hours of sleep every night.
About two weeks before I graduated from school, I came down with pneumonia and nearly didn’t graduate. Once I recovered, I started losing weight with very little effort. I also started becoming extremely thirsty, drinking gallons of water a day and urinating just as much. By the time January of 2000 rolled around I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
So there I was, just a few weeks after my 40th birthday. I had high blood pressure, diabetes, and weighed 290 pounds. I started taking care of myself, got my weight down to about 275, but soon after it started back up and seemed to stabilize at 290 plus or minus 5 pounds.
As long as my blood pressure and blood sugar readings were under control with my medications, I really didn’t pay attention to my weight. I did become somewhat concerned in 2005 when my meds had to be increased, but not concerned enough to do anything about it.
By the start of 2006, I was on 4 daily blood pressure pills and two diabetes pills. Then something interesting happened. That April my 16 year old son started giving me grief because he was starting to grow taller than me. At the same time, he was rowing for his high school crew team, trying to make a lightweight boat.
That’s when it hit me. Here he was, taller than me, rowing in a boat where the maximum weight was 150 pounds. Almost twice his weight. I was almost twice his weight. That hit home. Hard.
They say God works in mysterious ways. The next week I saw fliers in work for the next Weight Watchers at Work session that was starting up. Coincidence? Anyway, I signed up, took it seriously, and now, a little over a year later, I’m under my goal weight, a lifetime member of Weight Watchers, and probably within 5 pounds of my son’s weight. I never in a million years thought that I had it in me to make such a profound change. I guess we all have something within ourselves that enables us to do something life changing. We just have to keep looking for it until we find it.
So that’s my story. I hope you enjoyed it.