In The Begining
I have written about this many times in the last two years. December 27, 2011, my date of awakening. No, I don’t think that is overly dramatic. It was in every sense an awakening. It has been in the last two years in every sense a Journey of discovery, of awakening to possibilities.
I had been depressed in the few days leading to the 27th. I had seen how I was. I had seen my reflection and it shocked and saddened me to see what I had become. I realized I was fat. I don’t know the mechanisms of the mind and how it can make you not see reality but it had cast me blind to the reality that I was a massively large man, more than 100 pounds overweight. This realization took an already dark mood and turned it in to a very deep depression.
On the morning of December 27th, a Tuesday off from work, I awoke and as I sat on the edge of the bed, taking my blood pressure meds before getting up to shower and start the day, I stared at the floor. Trying to gather the strength to power myself to the standing position, I could feel my mood slipping deeper in to the hole.
I have no idea why it clicked but it did. I don’t know to this day what it was that about that moment but something happened. I turned to Missus and I told her “today, I am starting today”. She asked what it was I was starting and I told her I was going to lose the weight and I was starting that day right then.
And so it began. The Journey.
Last year I wrote perhaps my longest post to mark the first anniversary of the Journey. Don’t know if this post will be anywhere near as long but I have much to say today.
The Journey quickly became my central focus. Some called it an obsession and other worried about my mental state. I was never so concerned. I knew what I was doing was saving my life. I
started traveling with a scale so I could stay on top my recording my weight. I have recorded it nearly every day since I started that day in December. I bought a FITBIT to record my activity level and to this day I wear one every day.
I Have stayed focused. Is this Journey an obsession? I guess. I would have to call it a healthy focus myself but you can call it what you want. I enjoy my foods. I still have to resist the temptations to overeat and indulge in sinful delights but I am able to resist. I need to. I know the risks.
Two years now…
I didn’t know it was going to work. When I started this. I was in such a bad place emotionally. I was fighting the Black Dog to begin with and then came that moment of start realization that I was FAT. If you haven’t been there you simply can’t understand. How could I have not known I was fat? It seemed obvious to everyone around me but I didn’t realize it. Not the way others did. I would joke about being fat. People would say that I wasn’t really THAT big. And that was what I heard. That I wasn’t really big… I was just large, a little overweight..
I started this Journey in a very deep and dark depression. Maybe that is why it clicked. Maybe that is why I was able to grab on to the so tightly. I needed something to pull me up.
I don’t know and I suspect I will never know what made it work and why it started that day two years ago today. I only know that something clicked.
It took me 8 months to drop 95 pounds. Another couple of months to get to 105 pounds. I have maintained my weight below 210 pounds since August 8th 2012 with only a small handful of days above 210. I am 209 as I write this.
Two years now. I am at this for two years. Two out of what I hope will be another 30.
2013 was a year of learning to maintain. Maintain my weight of course. Maintain my fitness. Maintain the activity, the focus, the drive. 2013 was learning to be a lean person. 2013 has been about learning my capabilities even as those capabilities increase.
I didn’t know I was a good rider. I have learned that at the boot of NP, CB and BP and many others at the shop who have encouraged me and lit a fire under me and kicked me hard when I have needed it. CB has told me to shut up about riding badly more than once.
2014 will be, I hope, a year of expanding my capabilities, improving on the distance I have come thus far. I am committed to never being obese again. I am also committed to worrying about a pound or two weight gain less because I know how to keep it in check. A pound up should not be cause for panic as long as it is followed by a pound down soon thereafter.
Two years in to the Journey. I am still learning a great deal about myself. I am learning more about the issues and emotions that drove the eating that created the weight gain.
What I have learned so far is more than enough to fill a book, or a blog for that matter. I and certainly a happier person. I am certainly “better adjusted” now that I have come to understand so much about myself. I am enjoying things on face value now, no longer so suspicious so suspicious of the motives of others.
I am learning that good things can happen for good people and I am learning that maybe I am one of those good people.
I love cycling. I have made that plain. I ride whenever I can and where ever I can and with whomever will ride with me. I Love hiking but I don’t get to do it nearly as often as I would like. Life gets in the way. Part time and
full-time jobs get in the way. I can cycle to the Bike Shop and I ride with the folks at the shop. Hiking does not have those opportunities attached to it for me.
I love my walks. Those are easier to get in then the hikes but I only really walk when cycling is not available for some reason.
I love Cross country Skiing and I got back to it this past winter for the first time in 10 or 12 years. It was a blast!
I love writing this blog. I hope it has not grown tedious for everyone to read but I still enjoy writing it.
I love cooking. The way I cook now, lighter fare, is enjoyable for me. I love the way we eat now. Not quite a vegetarian, I do eat 90% vegetables, grains and fruits and
about 10% dairy and fish or poultry. Poultry is actually very rare….
I love the way I feel and, yes, the way I look. I no longer expect to see a fat man when I look in the mirror. I am growing accustomed to seeing the me I am not. I am less surprised when I don’t see the old me.
I love my family and it is a joy to be able to enjoy them more. I can go for walks with the Younger One, I can goof around with the Older One and I can walk with Missus. I can enjoy their company because I am not always exhausted.
I love the feeling that I may actually stick around for a while and not die suddenly of a heart attack… This is a good feeling.
AS I enter my third year on this Journey I have goals I need still to reach. I want to get to and stay under 200 pounds. I want ride a Century. I am aiming for 4000 miles in 2014.
I want the visits from the Black Dog to become much fewer and farther apart. I would like the duration of the visits to shorten as well.
I am thinking of going vegetarian but I am not sure I am ready for that.
I want to see my friends more often, read more books, sleep better at night
I want to be sitting here in one year writing about the third anniversary.
The Coming Year
As I stated above, I am looking to improve on all things in 2014.
I also have some plans.
I have several rides planned for the coming year. Most of them are Charity Rides. None of those are the kind where you have to solicit donations.
Here is my list of planned rides:
- Five-Boro Bike Tour, 40 miles
- Ride of Silence (a memorial ride to honor cyclists killed by motor vehicles)
- RIDE FOR AUTISM, 100 miles (Lincroft, NJ)
- Discover Hartford, 40 miles
- Hub On Wheels, 50 miles (Boston)
- NYC Century, 100 miles
- Tour of Bergen County, 50 miles(Bergen County, NJ)
- Ashford Century, 100 miles (Rural Ct.)
- Fall Foliage, 50 miles (Rural NJ)
- Turkey Bike, 25 miles (North Jersey)
That’s the plan… There may be others. I may not do one or two of these but that is the plan.
I have started a team for the Ride for Autism. It is called “Danny’s Team for the Ride For Autism” and it is named for my Older One. The link will take you to the Facebook page and I hope you will LIKE the page. You don’t have to ride and you don’t have to donate. Just knowing you are supporting the team and encouraging the team is more than enough. Our goal is to get as many people to ride as Danny’s Team as possible and to raise as much money in entry fees as we can.
I also have a dream of raiding from New York City to Miami Florida to raise money for Fragile X and Autism Research. That will be harder to pull off but I am working at it. Just not sure how I would get the time off work or pay the bills while I am riding to Miami……
Giving back to the sport I love for all that it has given me.