I’ve always struggled with being heavy. It started in the 5th grade. I had to get allergy shots every Wednesday for 2 years, they did nothing, but as a reward I got a candy bar. I also started eating the cafeteria food at school. Fries, pizza, and those nutty bars. I started to pack on the pounds and they never went away. In high school I remember going from a size 34, to a 36, then I left for college at around 200lbs and a size 38. At college I really started to put it on. Freshman year I hit 210. With all the available food and no real structure (outside of class), it only got worse. Food was a communal thing. My friends and I were always eating together. We’d have study breaks and eat, we’d watch movies and eat, we’d play video games and eat. I got a part time job at a pizza place and would bring home pizzas every night to eat. By the time I graduated, I peaked at 260lbs and a size 42 waist. It was disgusting. I’ve always viewed my weight as my deepest personal failing.
When we moved down to South Carolina and I was suddenly without friends to eat with, or copious amounts of food, the weight started to slowly come down, but not by much. I would still drive out 15-20 minutes in the middle of the night to buy chocolate bars from the grocery store and eat them in front of my computer. I had no friends, no job, and nothing to do but sit, eat, and play video games all day and night.
I lost 20 pounds when my family moved across town. Carrying load after load of heavy boxes in the scorching SC summer really helped shed the pounds. Still, I was 240lbs. When we finally got settled in the new house, nothing changed. I went back to video games and candy. I managed to keep it level by driving to the gym and running for an hour, but other than that I made no progress.
My big break came when I got a job and an apartment. Again I had to move heavy boxes, this time up three flights of stairs. That helped me lose 10lbs and brought me down to 230lbs. When I started work I suddenly had structure to my life. I would get up everyday at 8, be at work by 9, and home by 5. I didn’t have time or money to eat a lot. The best part was that now that I was in my own apartment, buying my own food, I was the master of what I ate and what food I kept in the house.
I couldn’t get fat off of it if I didn’t buy it.
I started a regiment. 2 packs of oatmeal in the morning (210 calories) a snack bar around 10:30 (90 calories), a can of light soup for lunch (200 calories), and a snack bar around 2:30 (90 calories). This would keep me relatively full throughout the day, and by the time dinner came around, I had eaten under 600 calories. I could then eat whatever I wanted for dinner and have a beer and still be under 2000 calories. I tried to stay away from baked goods and chocolate. After a while I lost the urge to have them. I added going to the gym for half an hour or so to my routine and this brought my weight down to around 225-220lbs.
I was thrilled when I tried on a pair of size 38 pants and found they fit, though snuggly.
A week ago I decided to change up my diet and dump the massive amount of carbs I had been eating with my oatmeal and snack bar routine, and I’m now down to 215lbs. I’m only 5 pounds away from what I was 5 years ago. I’m starting to see results and this only spurs me on further. I went out and got some exercise equipment to start trying the p90x workout routine and was further thrilled when I found I could actually do chin-ups for the first time in years! I’m now sore all over, but I love it.
I have already lost 45lbs since when I graduated a year ago. Ideally I want to get down to 170. I’ve just got another 45lbs to go. My short term goal is 200lbs. I think that will be easier to manage for now.
It’s true when people say losing weight is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Just look around. Cheap trash food is everywhere. How many commercials a day do you see for crap food? How many hours a day do you spend sitting on your butt? For me it really did take a life style change. If you think to yourself “oh, I’m just exercising to lose weight, or I’m going on this temporary diet to lose weight” it won’t happen. I had to forget about losing weight and just changed how I lived. The weight loss just happened to be a side effect of that lifestyle change. (That way I also don’t focus on it all the time or obsess about it; it’s just something in the background)
So here’s to losing my next 15lbs, and then my next 30. I’m only 23 and I’m tired of waisting the best years of my life being fat.