Friday, January 18, 2008

How I Got Started

Like I said yesterday, there was no single thing that happened to make me want to lose the weight. It had been building up over several years, and the simple truth is that I just didn't feel good anymore. Not physically, nor mentally. There are the obvious physical problems that come with being obese. Going to a movie always induced anxiety because I would have to squeeze all of myself into the seat and hope I would fit. Finding clothes was tough. Mowing my yard turned me a shade of red that I didn't know existed. The many rolls. And climbing stairs- forget about it.

Here is an example of the "roll" issue:

Dealing with the mental stress of being a heavy person is almost worse. I remember reading somewhere that when people step into an elevator, they position themselves so that the weight in the elevator car will be evenly distributed. When I would ride the elevator at my office, I'd be on one side, and three people would all be on the other.

I didn't like looking people in the eye, for fear of seeing in them something that they hated or loathed in me. When meeting someone for the first time, I would try to make a joke about my own fatness, just so I could be the first to get it out of the way. Just get it out there. Yes, I'm aware I'm fat.

It was May 1, 2007 that I weighed myself. I was 264 lbs. I got out a journal with a picture of Bucky and Satchel from the comic strip "Get Fuzzy" on the cover, and wrote the date on the first page. Below it, I wrote down everything I ate that day. I wasn't trying to change my diet that first day, so looking back, I cringe when I see what I put into my body... lots of macaroni and cheese, tuna patties fried in vegetable oil, half a pint of Ben & Jerry's... eesh. The next few days I started eating a little less, and eating more fruit. I also started walking. I would take my dog to the park down the street and back.

This transitional period was strange. I was reluctant to tell anyone about it because I wasn't sure if it would stick. In a weak moment, I mentioned to my mom that I was trying to live a healthier life. If I remember right, all she said was "hmmm." My parents had a treadmill, so one day I went over there to work out. I managed to stay on for 35 minutes, which is longer than I'd ever exercised. I felt pretty proud of myself, but my mom still seemed distrustful and skeptical.

On May 14, 2007, I joined a free web site call On the site, you form groups of 4 people and log all your food and exercise. This really helped me feel accountable. If I ate an extra serving at dinner, I knew I'd have to log it and my group mates would see. It helped me stay on track. To see my daily food and exercise profile on PeerTrainer, click here.

By the middle of July 2007, I had lost 30 lbs. and people were starting to notice and compliment me. My parents dumped their skeptical attitudes and said they were proud. I was feeling pretty strong and good about myself. We got a treadmill for our house and I used it almost daily.

On October 16th, I weighed 199 lbs. I had dreamed of that moment when would step on the scale and see a one in the front. I actually took a photo of the scale. All you see is my feet and 199.

Those first 65 lbs. were probably the easiest to lose. Next time I'll discuss how the weight loss slowed down, and where I'm at now.

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