My new after pic from July 2009
From the SparkPeople Cookbook!
Shared Food & Fitness Trackers
KSIGMA1222 is a SparkPeople Motivator!
I started in January 2007 at 370 pounds the highest I ever weighed in my life. I had a huge IBS problem which left me feeling horrible all the time since I refused to stop eating those foods which caused it to make me feel so bad. I said to myself that I give up the IBS wins I will stop eating these foods and I did.
So by May 2007 I was down around the 330 range just by not eating these foods and trying to eat regularly, especially breakfast. I was not really into it but I felt better, so I stuck with it.
Then that May 2007 my best friend from high school's dad suddenly passed away. He was like a second father to me and his death hit me hard. It forced me to go back to my hometown of Omaha, NE for the funeral and to see so many people I had not seen for 15 years, many of who I did not think I wanted to see. The funeral was really inspiring for my 2nd father had come from a very large family and was the oldest boy who became a doctor and a lawyer. His brothers and sister spoke of how he always saw the potential in people and how he always wanted to bring that out and see people succeed in life. They said if you were a friend of the family you were part of the family. I also ran into many people I went to high school with and they remembered me for the person I was in high school, still overweight but a great athlete and person. They spoke stories about me that I thought no one knew about or even cared, but all these guys did! And it was like it was my funeral for who I was and what I had become trapped in.
I returned home deeply hurt and inspired and then something clicked in my head. I focused my pain and mourning into the inspiration and told myself I was going to do it. I did not know how but I knew I was not going to let this pass me by, like I had done so many times before.
So I started off by eating healthy, making sure I ate breakfast lunch and dinner. This was something I had not done since I was a 15 years old, mainly for 15+ years I would never eat breakfast, hardly ever eat lunch and then especially in the past 6 only eat after I got home from work, and by then I would be so hungry that is all I would do until I went to bed.
So after eating regularly and healthy for a month I lost 30 pounds and was down to 300 pounds, which really was my goal to get to and then stay at or below since I weighed 290 when I played college football. Then on July 4th 2007 my family and I went for a walk and I was not winded, so I said to myself "I can do this!" so I started to walk every day. And my friend whose dad had passed away was also a doctor and I asked his advice on how long I should walk and he said for a guy my size I would hit the real calorie burning "gravy" time until after an hour of continuous walking.
So I worked my way up to an hour then 2 then 3. I was losing weight at 5-10 pounds a week and at first it was pretty cool. I kept setting goals and reaching them so fast that I started to worry. Another friend had warned me about going to far as he had and I thought "Yeah right I will never have to worry about that! I wish!" Well I could see that I was rapidly reaching that and had no idea where the breaks were!
So now in October of 2007 I was down to 240 and had no clue to what weight I should be at. So I did an internet search for ideal weight and found SparkPeople! I signed up and started using the nutrition and fitness trackers to see how I was doing. Boy was I ever off! I was eating 1200 or less calories a day and burning 1000 or more just by my nonstop walking 7 days a week. So I started adjusting and adjusting fast. And I had many many unanswered questions that I always found the answer on or through SparkPeople. The coaches awesome, the site amazing and the SparkPeople community to incredible and I can never thank them enough!
I found SparkPeople late but just in time for me to pull a "Hail Mary" in my quest to be healthy. How I got to this point was not the healthiest way to do it and I really needed help evening it all out. SparkPeople was my great leveler.
By November 2007 I was at 225 and my doctor told me to stop losing weight, to eat more and maybe exercise less! He could not tell me how to do this, especially with the way I had reprogrammed myself to think and act when it came to eating and exercising. So I again turned to SparkPeople and they helped me find the balance that I was set adrift to find in an unknown world to me.
Now mind you the bulk of my transformation happened in mid-May 2007 to Mid-November 2007. 330 to 225 in 6 months, and for the year 370 to 215. During this year I had trained myself to plan my meals, cut out unhealthy and un needed foods, learn the real reason why I was turning to food all the time and then find a way to fill that void.
I would ask myself "Are you truly hungry or is it something else?" "Are you bored, stressed, mad, tired or something else?" Then I would usually figure it out and try and address that issue or at least recognize that it was what was causing me to want to eat. This did not stop me from wanting to eat, so I came up with diversions. Diversions I had learned from my wife on how to handle our infant and toddler daughters when they would start to do things they shouldn't. They did know right from wrong only that they wanted to do what was in front of them and on their radar, so my wife would divert them with something so as not to have to yell or have them cry but just make them forget about it and think about something else. So I did that with them and then learned to do it to myself when I wanted to eat.
I would have things already set and easy to do to quickly divert myself during the start of my journey especially to get over the initial withdrawal I would feel from going so cold turkey with eating, pardon the pun. Same could be said about having my meals already made and easy to warm up and eat, especially at work! And also always have a backup plan in case something fell through. Mine was to go to Subway to eat.
But now here I was at seemingly the end of my journey, weight gone check, eating right check, exercising check and so what could be left to do but just sit back and enjoy my new life!?!? Nope, this is just the start of a whole new journey, you know the one you never knew about and never thought you would have to think about, yeah that one.
I had this "new" body, clothing and general way of life. When did I adjust to all of this? When did I get use to or comfortable with who I was seeing in the mirror? Frankly I would hate going to the Mall because they had so many mirrors and I would be pushing my daughters in a stroller and see that weird guy looking back at me and be completely freaked out for months!
I also still had a lot of catching up to do on slowing my body down and healing from my rapid weight loss before I found SparkPeople. And again SparkPeople was there for me! Especially the people! SP gives you the information you need but I need someone to actually help me make sense of it all and then make it work. I had flown blind long enough by doing my own research and experiments but now I needed to be serious and make the right choices or really risk hurting myself.
So with SP I got into a healthy routine of eating and working out and I had a community of people to talk things over with, for guidance and to just not feel so alone in what I was going through.
But then I started to overdo the exercise thing and upon going in for a regular physical I had some odd things come back on my blood tests. My liver enzymes were a little high, then higher then higher again. With the help of SP and some friends I had to figure out what was wrong with me because I knew that this was not a normal thing and could not be treated normally. The normal way was to do a liver biopsy (poke into my body and liver and take a chunk, that I could bleed to death internally from). But I had read that strenuous exercise could also cause this and I repeatedly ask my doctor this and he said no that can�t be it. It was it I went to a second doctor, adjusted my workouts after seeing a professional trainer and 3 months later liver enzymes back to normal without being poked!
Now it is the summer of 2008 and the newness to people over my transformation is pretty much over. And that feeling is a bit addicting, you like the surprise reactions and attention, even though you may not realize it. Down side is you start to miss this reaction and amazing changes, so just a warning be careful you do not continue to seek this too much or in unhealthy or otherwise bad ways. Feel free to ask me more about this if you would like.
The other thing that starts to happen is people start to turn a bit on you and it is different. Again it will be different for everyone and again feel free to ask me about this part of the journey.
The maintaining phase is harder than the losing part of the journey but they are both worth it and are some of the best things you can do for yourself. This also helps you in the rest of your life. You look back on how you achieved this goal or lifestyle, break it down into it key elements (especially the ones that work best for you!) and then apply that to an obstacle, challenge or goal/dream you ever had and you will do it. For I have learned that this is not just a simple weight loss/healthy lifestyle thing, but a whole life keep your head up and you can do it if you want to do it thing that applies to your entire life and those around you!
I really want to thank my wife for being supportive and enabling me to do this. She has had to adjust to all of this as well and put up with me through my moods and highs and lows, which is not easy at all.
It is all about find the balance and maintaining it, and that is a never ending task that is so rewarding! If you have made it this far thanks for reading and feel free to ask me any questions or say whatever you would like. Just thought I would update this whole thing as best I could in one sitting and I will admit that when I had to type my turning point I got so choked up I had to stop and regain my composure.
Enjoy your journey, do it because you want to do it and you are doing it for you. Have a plan and keep it simple with backups. EAT BREAKFAST EAT BREAKFAST EAT BREAKFAST! And that I and the whole SP community are here for you! So spread the SPARK!
To maintain my current weight and try and tone up and maybe put a little more muscle back on. Keep the balance in my life at work-home-general. Continue to plan ahead to do things with my wife, daughters and other family.
Workout 5 days a week.
Eat every 3 hours until 7pm.
Eat healthy and in moderation.
Make sure I eat enough.
Time management, especially when it comes to family, do not let work overrun my time.
Hometown: Omaha, Ne
Live in Topeka, KS for pretty much past 17 years.
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