Gotta Keep It Off!

Version 2.0: There And Back Again

Tag: GKIOv1.0

TBT: Taking Back Control

Wayback MachineThrowback 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.

In the second of my Throwback Thursday posts, I talk about how I took back control and did something about my weight and my health. Since then, I managed to surrender that control; I’m now in the process of getting it back. This post was originally published on January 5, 2008.

Taking Back Control

Some 20 months ago, I started the fight to take back control of my weight. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I’ve been fairly successful with that project so far.

With the new year, I set some small goals to help me get started taking control of a few other areas of my life. In fact, I’m keeping track of two of them at the bottom of my posts for the rest of the year.

Over the years I’ve let lots of things get out of control in my life. Some small, some large. Some trivial, some with consequences. Some I talk about here, some will always be private. It isn’t even that I lost control of those things. I gave away that control.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned over the last 20 months, it’s that it’s not impossible to regain control. It takes hard work and perseverance, but it can be done. And once you regain control of one thing, you can use everything that you’ve learned in that battle and apply it to the next thing, and the next, until you slowly but surely have a whole string of successes behind you.

It may never be easy, but it does get a little easier with each success. And with each success, the reward becomes even greater.

TBT: My Story, Parts One & Two

Wayback MachineThrowback 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.

The $64,000 Question, Revisited

The ThinkerIn June of 2007, I published a post on Gotta Keep It Off! v. 1.0 that I called “The $64,000 Question.” In it I answered the question, “How exactly did I manage to lose almost 130 pounds?”

I started by giving the simple answer, “I ate less and exercised more.” But then I started digging a little deeper and got to what I thought at the time was the true answer to the question. Namely, motivation.

Somewhere between then and now, I lost my motivation. I lost the spark that kept me answering the question, “How much do you want it?” with “Bad enough to do whatever it takes.” At some point I decided I wanted that second helping at dinner, or that cheese steak, or that third beer, or that over-sized restaurant dessert, or any other number of things, more than I wanted to keep off the weight that I lost. More than I enjoyed walking or exercising. More than I enjoyed looking sharp in nice clothes. More than all the reasons I had to stay healthy.

Now here I am almost seven years later and wanting to get back to where I was, and  I’m asking myself, “How much do I want it?”

I want it bad enough to do whatever it takes.

A Good Day

Every time I’ve lost a significant amount of weight in my life, there has been a catalyst to set things in motion. In 1984, I lost 40 pounds getting ready for my wedding. In 2006, I was on diabetes medications and I realized I weighed twice as much as my then teen-aged son. This time around? Look for yourself:


She’s going to be needing her Pop Pop to teach her a whole lot of things that only a Pop Pop can teach his granddaughter.

The game plan this time around is the same as when I had my best success – I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting in at least five years last night. There’s a lot of new jargon to learn and the details have been rearranged, but the more things change, the more they remain the same. The main point is that I can feel the pieces clicking into familiar places, hopefully making this journey no harder than it has to be.

A quick redesign note: I posted a reference page for the original blog under the About page above. When it’s finished it will be list of my favorite posts; I’ve listed a few to get the ball rolling.

Version 2.0

Welcome to the new digs! It’s still not ready for the Grand Opening, but it shouldn’t take too long to get this place into shape. The tough part is going to be getting me into shape, which is the point of this whole project.

For those of you not familiar with the original “Gotta Keep It Off!,” it was the blog I started after losing 130 pounds. After almost two years, there were a lot of things happening in my life that took my attention away from maintaining my weight loss and I let it spiral out of control.

For any of my old blogging friends who’ve managed to find their way here, it’s great to see you again. I’ve been on the sidelines for a while and have a lot of work to do. It will be a pleasure to have you in my corner again!

That’s all for now. See you next time!

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