I had two choices; I could walk out and continue life as it was (which was miserable) or step forward and take a step towards a better future. So I decided to take the step forward. All I knew was that a raised heart rate for long stretches of time and sweat helped burn calories – and my goal was to burn as many as possible. So I figured I’d do the machine that looked like the least bit of effort (but with the most output) – an elliptical. 15 minutes go by, and I’m drenched in sweat, my heart is pounding and I can’t take any more. I’m done for the day.
My diet also became a 1200 calorie-a-day diet as of January 1st as well. It was compiled of Smart Ones, Clif Bars, and Salads. I did this for months. Every day, the same routine, eat, work, eat, elliptical, eat, sleep. From day 1 on the elliptical – where 15 minutes was all I could do, to 6 months later – where I could do up to 60 minutes. The weight was pouring off of me, my energy levels were up, and I was super motivated to keep going. I started to get encouragement from the gym employees because I was becoming a regular. I never missed a day, same time same machine, every day. For over a year this went on and I lost over 100 lbs the first year. People were now talking about me again, but instead about how large I was, it was about how quickly I was shrinking. Finally I was starting to feel a little better about myself. I was no where near where I wanted to be, nor was I anywhere near healthy yet… but I was sure on my way.
After years of this, I started to incorporate other means of fitness into my regimen. I also started to change my diet. I started playing basketball after being invited by an old friend, and also got into Jiu Jitsu. Fitness was now becoming fun, and I was addicted. I was feeling better, looking better, and having fun. What else could you ask for? All this while though, I never forgot my real driving force, which was and has always been my daughter Avery. I was now sweating away the pounds and doing it with a smile on my face which I NEVER would have thought possible.
After a few years went by, I ran into an old friend at a coffee shop which turned out to be one of my biggest life changing events. She saw that I had lost a ton of weight and invited me to run with her running group. I had never been a runner and was definitely scared and nervous… but I thought “what the heck?” – my weight loss had kind of hit a plateau at about 260 lbs, and this could be something to get me over the hump.
I showed up on a Saturday at 7 a.m., after they had run 6 miles, and I was going to go for the second loop of 6. We started off and it wasn’t so bad, but by a few miles in I was dying, covered in sweat and out of breath, but it felt great and embarrassing at the same time. I was able to finish the 6 miles on my own two feet and was asked to come back – I said I’d let her know.
I decided to run a few weeks on my own to build up some endurance before going back, but I did go back. Turns out I had a great reason to go back, because who knew that a few years later, one of the members of the group (Lisa) would go on to become my wife in Hawaii on 10-15-2014. That day in the coffee shop was life changing – we have become running and workout partners, as well as best friends. Since becoming a runner, I have since completed 3 marathons, 6 half marathons, 2 tough mudders, and a handful of local 5Ks and 10Ks.
As of late, I’ve incorporated weight training into my routine. I’m down from 425lbs to my current weight of 190lbs. I have now met with a nutritionist as well as a trainer (Joey O’Mullen) who suggested Quest to me. My goals have gone from losing weight, to getting super fit and toned.