I had been making too many excuses in my life (I still do too often but I am trying to get better at this aspect of life) and had blamed a difficult previous year with the death of my Grandmother in April 2011, not coaching any longer, not being satisfied with life or work and biggest of all the death of my father-in-law in October of 2011 to just eat, drink and do what comforted me. The problem is, those were actually burdens to my health and life. I weighed around 187 in April of 2011. I felt like that was a "comfortable" long-term weight I needed to sustain. I got up to about 195 by the time my father-in-law passed saying that I was only a couple healthy weeks of eating from being back below 190. Then I started drinking soda, eating candy and any 4th Meal I could get my hands on. My diet was heavy in extra calories of fast food, junk food and pop pretty much and contributed to be being between 203-208 from November until March 5th when I weighed myself and said I was going to change myself for good.
My wife had mentioned running in the past and I always made an excuse that I hated it or I had wrestling or some other activity I could do. Unfortunately, I never committed myself or had the time while coaching to change myself but instead focused on who I was there for, the kids. So I would watch them get in better shape as I stayed out of shape, but tried to eat less and get a couple days in where I worked out for maybe an hour. That's when I got down to my "comfortable" long-term weight. So when we had breakfast on March 4th, my Uncle was talking 160s for the marathon and mid to high 160s for my lifelong weight, I laughed at him. I was like, 175-180 long term would be great, 170 is what I think I'll be for the marathon. But the more I though about it, the more I realized I had spent 13 years not taking care of myself. I had not been in good shape since I turned 18 and was just finsihing up high school and that was a sad realization. When I was 18 I weighed between 165-180. I was never the most athletic or best, but I worked my bottom off. Part of that was probably due to having a younger brother who was more athletic and spent 12 years beating me up, until I turned 14 and my work as a freshman athlete started paying off to even the field, and realizing that talent alone wouldn't be enough but hard work would get me there.
So I realized I needed to approach this and fully commit to it. My Uncle layed out a schedule the Monday, the day after our March 4th breakfast and him and I had got back from NC, for our marathon training that was 50 weeks away. He pointed out that it was a goal of completing the marathon but to change our lives was the most important part. He talked aboout MEPS, changing your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual well being to make your life more complete and be a happier and healthier person. I have learned this takes adjustment and I am still failing at aspects of this but making strides to become better person and trying to readjust when I lose that focus.
We are 16 weeks into the program. I have weighed between 170 and 175 for over 3 weeks now. My Uncle was right. A weight has literally been lifted off my shoulders. I used to be sitting there and feel weird pressure on the top of my collarbone when I was at my heaviest weights. I tried to say it was something else but knew it was simply my body and mind did not feel "good". I have to tell you, I feel amazing at this weight but feel being 165 (at least with my current muscle tone) is a better long-term weight. I have no doubt I'll be there and I won't let myself balloon back past 175 again. My body feels great and looks much better too. I have noticed the following major changes in my MEPS (not in order):
- Physical (Body)-My legs have always been strong and fairly lean, but they are muscular and I can see my quads, hammies, calves and see the strength in them. My moobs/man boobs are much smaller and I can take my shirt off and feel comfortable. This also includes my waist. I unfortunately have always carried more weight in my waist than anywhere else. But now I feel the upper abs I had in high school and only small love handles and only a front small tire. My arms are leaner (they have lost some of their thickness which I think a lot of overweight guys who used to lift think is muscle but is actually just fat stored up) and my back doesn't have all the loose skin and fat but is tight and strong. The biggest thing is my face. I tend to lose weight in my face at first, but now it's really noticeable. I have no double chin, my strong jaw line is back and my cheeks are no longer rosy red but I have cheek bones again!
- Mind- I am more focused when a task is at hand and can get it done quicker whether at work or at home. I have realized a lot of decisions I made were affecting my mind and my well-being. I still need to use my head to become a better parent and partner to my wife. I say and do things that I immediately or later realize are not going to make the situation better and I am causing more problems by not focusing on the positivities of other things to fix a situation.
- Emotional-I am happier. I joke around a lot more and smile a lot more I believe. I love seeing my daughter interact with her mommy, her other family and myself and realize that showing you love someone is a lot different than just saying it. I love a lot of people in my life from family, to old friends I have not seen in years, to former co-workers that have made me feel loved and fortunate to have as people I can say made my life better but ultimately my family I spend every day with are what I need to show that love to and earn their love most. I still struggle through cussing issues and attacking a problem with that cussing rather than fixing it like an adult and that is my biggest hurdle I need to still clear. I believe myself and others tend to take our issues out on those closest to us because instead of choosing to use them as our support system, we use them as a crutch system and someone to vent frustrations and other issues we have. They should be who support you and listen to your issues but not who you take those issues out on.
- Spiritually-This is a tough subject for me to truly dive into. I believe running and the past year together have made me realize we are lucky to have life even if this life is not that special compared to the ultimate life we seek of Heaven. I am not a full-fledged Christian. My belief is I believe Jesus died for our sins. I believe He is the most divine being ever to grace our planet. I also believe He has others that He has touched who TRULY are followers that allow others to see His beauty. For me, the person who helped get me jump started into this after being kind of skittish about it is Tim Tebow. He helped show me that believing in something someone above what you can imagine is truly what we need to do as good people. I still don't believe every word in the bible is complete fact, nor do I believe I am where I need to be as a father, husband and person, but I believe my life has changed.
I look forward to my life, my family and changing the person I am to be better. It started with this challenge. Happiness is not food, it's a healthy body and lifestyle which include watching what you put in your body and working it off through excercise. Excercise is great for the mind, body and spirit. Be happy, eat better and go for a run. :)