Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Beginning of the Middle

This is my first attempt at a blog. I am several months into the life-changing experience of weight loss and switching to a healthy lifestyle. In this inaugural post, I will write about what brought me to this point in my life, and a bit about my accomplishments with my lifestyle change.

The first thing you should know about me, is that I've been chubby and overweight my entire life. My mother was so proud of me the day I was born, a pudgy, wonderfully plump baby. Fast forward several years to elementary school where being plump is no longer cute, but invites teasing and taunting, especially by a kid named Ned, who suffered the same fate as I, but who I now know was trying to deflect attention away from himself and on to me.

Middle school is where I discovered my athletic strength in swimming, although even being on the swim team throughout middle and high school didn't keep my weight down. I always felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb, but I was good for what I was. I eventually became a lifeguard and swim lesson instructor, both occupations that you don't normally associate with someone who is overweight. I am sure people wondered what I was doing, did I have any business protecting people at the pool or teaching them to swim when I couldn't even control my weight? I didn't think of it that often. I knew who and what I was, and just accepted that I was fat, that it was all I'd ever been, and it was too far out of my expertise to change.

I first attempted to lose weight when I was 19, and joined Weight Watchers for the first of many times. I lost in the neighborhood of 30 pounds, but my resolve eventually petered out. That is the pattern I followed time and again, until I eventually weighed nearly 300 pounds when I was 27. It was then that I joined a gym for the first time. I worked out on my own, making up my own workouts, pretty much fumbling around, but stayed pretty consistent. I lost 40 pounds, but life gets in the way as it always does.

In December of 2009, my best friend Whitney bought me a starter membership at Pure Fitness. I didn't have high hopes. Nearly 30 years of experience told me that I was as close to a helpless case as I thought I could be. I was 286 pounds.

This time is different. For some reason, the fates have decided to give me every tool I need to be successful. Perhaps they've been there all along and I wasn't aware, or maybe now is just my time. I feel different this time.

In the past, dieting has felt like holding my breath, like I could only do it for a little bit and then give up, then try again until I couldn't handle it anymore and then give up once more. That mentality isn't happening to me this time.

One reason I think this is is that the gym that I joined is extremely supportive and interested in what I am doing. They start you out at my gym with two free personal training sessions, which was so helpful to me. It gave me a starting point for working out and helped me know what I needed to do. Because of that I have been (mostly) injury free, and have been able to consistently work out six days a week since the first week of January of this year.

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