As I’m watching Ghostbusters on TV and the passing of Harold Ramis Monday I felt the need to blog about my weight loss a bit more instead of my usual triathlon related stuff. I was at a loss at what to write about till a friend of mine Spencer wrote “Overcoming doubt is a great topic to help others” and I thought that it is actually an awesome subject to blog about. So lets have a look at some of the doubts that I’ve had to overcome and some of the sacrifices that I had to make.
I was one of those fat guys who knew he needed to lose weight, but always said I’d get around to it. I mean I was over 380lbs and I saw the shows I read the diet stuff, hell I even gave up enough to try and get on “The Biggest Loser”. I tried Nutrisystem which I had some success with but it was expensive and not all that great. I mean I had over 100lbs to lose and it seemed like an impossible task, in fact I still thought it was impossible and that I couldn’t do it. I tried months in and months out and my weight yo-yo’d up and down. In 2009 I managed to get myself down to 250lbs but it came back on when I started to go out again and got into partying and drinking again. Inside I honestly didn’t believe I could lose 100+lbs and it’s probably why I failed. I didn’t have a real reason to lose the weight either. I mean after all I could still go out and get women. I was out drinking and partying, and enjoying my life. So then what changed a little over 2 years ago to make me stick to it this time. How did I overcome some of the challenges mentally and find myself during the process?
Well to start I changed my career from an IT consultant to just Technical Support. The pay was a step down but I was completely unhappy with my career direction. I was working all the time and I would find my escape Friday through Sunday out in PB. Everyone remembers that 80’s song “Working for the Weekend” or that classic Bill Cosby: Himself talking about the weekends. These days when I talk to people this is the biggest excuse that people use about not committing to a healthy lifestyle. Yes it’s a HUGE change in todays society and I had doubts about doing it like paying my bills. I tell people that if it’s important to you, you will find a way! I mean if you’re living to work, instead of working to live. You are in the wrong career and only you can act to find your happiness! Now I don’t’ find my career in the least bit fulfilling but right now it’s allowing me to LIVE! I am happy with that for now.
I was unhappy about my living situation not because I was paying too much but I was unhappy with the people I was living with. Moving is always a big change and it takes courage to act in order to change your living situation. You have a great rent deal, great neighbors, it’s in such a great location… the excuses are endless. If you aren’t living in a place that is going to help promote the life that you want to achieve then where you’re living isn’t a great place at all and only you can change that. You sitting around complaining about how you have to commute with traffic 45 minutes to work is not happy! That’s 1.5 hours a day that you could be out doing something that you want to do! Take control of where you live because that is where you wake up and start your day and if you can’t start it in a good environment then why stay there?
There is a lot of different opinions out on this one. Some people say don’t make too big of goals, but at the same time make realistic goals. There are other people who don’t even make goals and will settle for being average or “normal”. Starting out I had 1 goal in mind… LOSE WEIGHT! Yes it was generic since everyone says that, but that was my goal. From there I made smaller goals on how to do this. I’m going to go to the gym once a week, then 3 times a week etc. Then I made a goal to check-in on Foursquare every week at the gym for 1 whole year. Then I added more smaller goals like running a 5K once a month or a half marathon once a year. I didn’t lose track of my main goal of lose weight. Every smaller goal that I made had to have my main goal in mind. I also had 1 seemingly impossible goal a 5K a month and 1 half marathon a year. As my weight came off and I moved into more triathlon specific goals my weight loss was still my main focus till I got to my goal weight of 240lbs. I needed to find more goals. Something happened though when I was looking at more goals to make. I realized that stuff that I once thought impossible for me to do was all of a sudden possible! I ran a 5K, 10K, Sprint Tri, or Olympic Tri once a month, but I had done 3 half marathons in 1 year! I signed up for the Oceanside Half Ironman which at the time seemed like just a challenge to finish and my main goal is to complete Ironman Arizona in November. Yes I might fail, but you can’t be afraid to set those goals and even set a goal that at that time seems impossible, but all of a sudden might be possible at some time!
You’re always going to have those people who are going to tell you that you can’t do it. I had a few people that would always say “Stop telling everyone about your weight loss or achievement’s you’re making us regular people feel bad.” You’re also going to have people who feel that they need to put you down so that they are afraid that you’ll leave them as a friend. It’s your life and friends are always hard to deal with because you have this feeling that you don’t want to hurt their feelings. Even when they use you as a welcoming mat. This takes more courage to overcome than most other things because of the emotional nature of it. Once you free yourself from these negative people in your life you’ll find it much easier to stick to the lifestyle change that you want!
The hard life changing choices are never easy and that’s why so many people are unwilling to make them. They would rather get a surgery, take a pill, go on a yo-yo diet, or some get slim quick gimmick than to make the change within themselves and find their potential to be great! Don’t be afraid to break the negative cycle you might be stuck in so that you can find a happier and fitter life. Remember that if it’s important to you, you will make it a priority.