A Fat Man's Journey (Working my way back…)

An Attempt to Journey from Fat to Fit in a Lifetime. Eat right, Eat less, Move more

Five Years on the Journey and No Closer to the End

5 Comments


Happy Anniversary

fat mark

August 14, 2011 310 Pounds

It was five years ago today.

I struggled to sit up in bed, getting my 300+ pounds moving in an upward trajectory was not easy.  I sat there and pondered getting up to walk to the bathroom.  Pushed myself to standing and turned to Missus and told her that I was starting that day to get healthy.

I was 50 years old and I felt much older.  I felt weak all the time.  Tired and out of breath all the time. I took my two blood pressure meds every morning.  I got winded on the flight and a half from the first floor of our home to the second.

Bending over to tie my shoes was exhausting because I couldn’t breathe when bent over

310 with Santa

It’s bad when Santa thinks you are chubby…..

like that. I had any number of adaptations to my size. All of which only slightly mitigated the difficulties caused by a 48-inch waist and 52-inch chest.

Finally, on December 27, 2011, I reached the breaking point. I finally had enough of being
fat, being physically unfit and being tired all the time.

I finally got tired of waiting to have the heart attack and decided it was time to start living.

Trust me, I am not being overly dramatic here.

Considering the Reasons

Over the five years since I started on my Journey I have thought about this many times,

thought about it deeply and in detail and I have come to the conclusion that I had simply accepted that I would have a heart attack one day and it would take my life and I would be the latest member of the family to succumb to the family curse of heart disease.  Having accepted that, I gave myself permission to eat like a ravenous hog and to eat anything I desired.  And I desired a lot.

On December 27, 2011 I made a different decision.  I decided I would fight against the family curse.  I would do what my father and his father and his grandfather before him didn’t do.

I would eat right, I would eat less and I would move more.

I still don’t know what triggered it that morning. I know that a few days before, on Christmas Eve, I had caught my reflection in a floor to ceiling window and I was aghast at what I saw, but that had happened before and it never triggered such a life-change before.

Whatever it was that happened in my head that morning in late December, it stuck.  I started to walk, to eat less, to eat right.  I learned to cut out snacking, decrease portion size, stay away from fast food, watch my calories and balance my diet.

I had many issues to work through. I still didn’t know what caused me to be the family

736280-1013-0002s

At the Start Line at 6:40 AM and ready to ride. Trim. Fit. Ready.  200 Pounds, Summer of 2013

member who got fat, why I used food as comfort and security, why I needed food from an emotional level. All of that self exploration and discovery was ahead of me as I sat on that bed that December morning. I had made the decision. I was going to lose the weight. I was going to live a healthier lifestyle. I didn’t know where the Journey would take me. That was many painful lessons to come.

Progress was rapid.

By March I was back on my bike for short rides.  I gave up red meat in April. By June I was riding 50 miles at a clip. In November I gave up poultry.

And I kept walking and riding and hiking. In October of 2012 I bought a new bike, in November I climbed a mountain with PGB and MT and there is a picture of me exultant at the top.

And I have kept doing it.

I kept walking right through a torn meniscus in the summer of 2012.  I couldn’t ride but I could walk.

I kept riding (foolishly) through a broken clavicle in 2014.

Through the holidays and cookouts, parties and celebrations I kept eating right and I ate less even when confronted with favorite foods.

Where I am Now.

Yes, I have gained a bit of the weight back.  35+ pounds. It is coming off again.  I look at 12359861_10153295089061593_7166576622616161929_nthat as a step back, not a failure.  I am beating the odds.  The Odds say I should have gained back ALL of the weight I have lost.  I lost 120 from my absolute peak.  I have gained back 35.  I think that is a victory all by itself but I am not sitting back and basking in the glory. I understand the risk.

I still do not eat red meat or poultry.  I do eat some fish.  My preference is to stay with a vegetarian diet but sometimes fish enters the equation.  When at a restaurant with friends and no true vegetarian dish is on the menu and faced with making a dinner of vegetable side dishes or a piece of fish, I will have the fish.

13151897_10153624367271593_7155433025825374062_n

May, 2016 with my friend & riding partner, NI.  I am about 245 pounds here, nearly five years into the Journey.

 

 

Last year I only rode about 1200 miles on my bike.  Next year I am aiming for 4,500.  I may not get there but I have set the goal and I am determined to give it all I have.

I also plan to get back to 210 pounds.  I am certain I will do that.

I am determined to continue to, Eat right, Eat less, Move more.

I will continue to write this blog.

I am 55 years old now.  I started this Journey at 50.  I said then that this was an effort to get lean and fit for a lifetime.  Not for the High School Reunion or a nephew’s wedding.  Not so I would look good on the beach (that ship sailed a long time ago).  This is to stay alive as long as I possibly can.

And there are no dramatics there.  Just fact.

Thank you for joining me on the Journey.  Your encouragement has kept me going more often than I can tell you.

 

Peace

5 thoughts on “Five Years on the Journey and No Closer to the End

  1. Dear Mark,

    You are a true inspiration to many people.

    Sincerely,
    Rich

  2. I. Love. This. Post.

    You are an amazing and honest man about the process. I have followed you for years and it has taken until recently for the lesson to actually stick. I am not as diligent as you–but for the first time I can actually see myself thinner again. For the first time ever. Since I was anorexic and bulemic in HS and college. I want to join you on this journey–but I am suffering from rotator cuff surgery and was finally released to just ride an upright bike. That is all I am allowed to do. Please do keep posting. They are so inspirational to me (and to others I am sure). You look amazing. Keep it up!

  3. FYI–I love how you say “and no closer to the end”. That made a huge impact on me.

  4. Thank you Sandra. I find your blog inspirational as well.

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