Hitting rock bottom comes in many forms and occurs in many situations for each person. The day after Thanksgiving 2009 a realization came to my forefront , I was limiting my life by continuing with my unhealthy lifestyle. On this day I was skiing in the beautiful rocky mountains. After skiing for an hour my knees were in excruciating pain and my breathing was heavy. The thought dawned on me, “How sad, I cannot even enjoy this special moment with my wife.” Thoughts flowed through my mind: not being able to play with my kids as they become older, not having the physical ability to do what I desired, and having my weight impede me from enjoying life. The antidote was simple, take control!
A collegiate career in football trained me to be big; in fact, big was good. However, I forgot to ask my coaches how to become healthy when I was done playing. My muscle quickly turned into useless weight (aka, fat). Before that day (Thanksgiving 2009), I had not weighed in for several months, I felt uncomfortable and fat, so why would I want a scale to reassure me of this horrible feeling. The last weigh in I remembered tipping the scale at 340 lbs. I wanted to get down to the 200 lbs range. Where was I to start?
First, I had the motivation.
Second, I needed the confidence. In order to have the confidence that I could make a transformation happen I needed a certain amount of knowledge of how to reach my goals. I walked into Max Muscle and talked with a certified sports nutritionist for 45 minutes, free of charge! He explained basic principles of what types of food to eat and when to eat the foods. He gave me choice and knowledge.
Third, I needed the support. My wonderful wife was on board, she learned how to make healthy food enjoyable. She never told me I needed to change physically but supported me in my endeavor. She actually lost over 100 lbs herself in the process and all of this while going through two pregnancies. She supported me by her example. We were a team. As a couple we entered a weight loss challenge and won!
I dedicated myself to finding balance in reaching my goals and not pushing to the side my family, doctoral program, private practice, and religious responsibilities. That could sound overwhelming. To this end, I made the goal to awake and finish my exercises before my family awoke. I have been able to do this the majority of the time. My exercises began with running/walking a few miles and doing some weights. Quickly, I found a passion for running. I found great excitement in running 3 miles in 30 minutes, it seemed a great stretch to run 4 miles in 40 minutes. Soon, I was running a 7 mile run, then an 8 mile run, and before I realized it I signed up for a half marathon. I trained hard for that half marathon and completed it! I then found a passion for running really far and on extreme terrain. Ultra marathons sounded appealing. In May 2011, I completed a 50K (31 mile) mountain trail run. In July 2011 I ran a 60K (37 mile) mountain trail run, which included several thousand feet elevation change. In March 2012 I ran my first 100 mile ultra marathon! In September 2013 I will run my fourth 100 miler!
Confidence increases as I push. If I simply sit back and think about being more confident I do not progress. Instead, confidence is a result of moving. I rarely suffer sickness and never feel physically uncomfortable. I bouncy around 200 lbs and feel fabulous. I can focus better on my responsibilities. The lesson is being learned, movement is healing!
Top pic is current
Bottom Pic is from Fall 2009