I had a rough three years from 2009 to 2012. I quit shooting basketball, I quit the gym, I quit caring. It wasn’t that I didn’t care about how I looked, I just quit caring what people thought about how I looked. Then one day I looked in the mirror and decided it was time for me to change. Last year I took lots of pictures of myself. What I saw, I didn’t like. I had become what I said that I never would be and my health started to deteriorate.
It started with sleep apnea. Then along came insomnia. I mean serious insomnia. The kind that leads to about 4 hours of sleep a week. Then came the acid reflux. Finally I was convinced it was time for change when anxiety set in. That for me was the last straw. It was time to make a change.
On January first I decided that I would lose 30 pounds in 2013. I hit the scale on December 31 at my highest weight ever. I was almost 300lbs. I was embarrassed when I went to the doctor and she told me how much I weighed. I didn’t trip on what she said, I just told her that when I came back in a month I would be 10 lbs lighter. When I left the doctor I didn’t go home, I went to the store to buy gym clothes. I bought compression shorts, running shorts, dry fit long sleeve shirts, and running shoes.
I didn’t go buy a bunch of food that I knew I wouldn’t eat, I decided it was time for moderation. So I found an app on my phone called MY FITNESS PAL and realized that I could track my food intake and exercise through the app.
I didn’t want to go to the gym right away and embarrass myself with a weak workout but I knew it was necessary. I got on the elliptical machine daily from 5:30 am to 6:15 every day for two weeks. I started eating breakfast, which I never eat. I had egg whites and vegetables on flat-bread at Subway, or I ate at home and had Honey Nut Cheerios every morning. I also started walking in the afternoon. I made it a point to walk for 45 minutes every evening and not to eat anything after 7pm.
The first week passed and I had lost 12 lbs. It didn’t seem right at the time. I told the doctor and she said as long as I feel good keep going. So I upped the cardio from 45 minutes to an hour. I got on the same elliptical machine so much that the gym could be full when I arrived and no one would be on that machine. The second week, I had lost a total of 18lbs and I was feeling pretty good. I saw guys get on the scale who in my mind were much smaller than me but when they got on the scale they were 20 lbs lighter than me and that was in my head.
Three weeks in I decided to add spinning to the routine as well. I had maxed out on the elliptical and I needed a new challenge. I was working out pretty hard and I was looking for something to take my workout over the top. Spin offered me a good workout and I noticed that when I was sore, all the pain would go away after a spin class. I remember the instructor came over to me at the beginning of one class and told me it was okay to take a break if I needed too.
I made it through that class and I took at least 3 classes a week. I would spin for 3 days and do the elliptical for 3 days. So for 6 days a week I was in the gym. After taking the cardio up a notch the afternoon walks became a soother more than exercise. At the end of the first month I had lost 25lbs. I went back to the doctor and she told me to keep doing what I was doing. I told her that when I come back in two months, I would be under 250. She told me to stay positive but that was unlikely.
February was a difficult month to get it in gear because I coach so my season was starting and I was grinding at the workouts. The afternoon walks went away so I decided to take the cardio up in the morning from an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. This worked well as I put in the time and effort to push myself. Then I added a twist. On Saturdays and Sundays, I would do two workouts back to back. So I would do spin and elliptical an hour each both days.
This led to a transformation. By the middle of February I was down to 255lbs. I could tell I was losing weight. My skin was starting to hang and my clothes were getting pretty big on me. March was more of the same and by the end of March I was down to 235lbs. April was a good month because I could see myself changing. My confidence started rising and I was on pace to be at my desired weight of 225 lbs by the end of the month. I reached that goal and decided that I needed to go down even further.
May was probably the least progressive of the months. I only lost 5 pounds the entire month because I was getting to know the new me. From June to August I went into another gear. As a teacher I didn’t have to work so I got it in. I went to the gym every morning around 7 and stayed until about 10. I was reshaping my body to another level. I got the weight down to 205lbs by the end of the summer break. I went to the doctor for a checkup and her nurse came out to get me and was standing beside me and didn’t know who I was. I had lost 85lbs and she couldn’t believe what she saw.
It was a great victory for me. The acid reflux, anxiety, and insomnia are all gone. I enjoy life again and I have started to enjoy the fruits of my work. I am sitting under 200lbs for the first time in my life since 11th grade. As a 40 year old man I didn’t think I would ever say that again. I feel fortunate that I made the decision to make a change. Sometimes you find motivation from strange places. I get mine every day when I look into those Angel Eyes. They make me want to make life better.