I remember vividly the day I decided to get back in peak, physical shape. I was walking into a store one day and I remember on two separate occasions when a woman looked at me in disgust. This was a shock to me, because all my life I’ve gotten compliments for the way I looked. I’m not saying this to be arrogant, because I never let it affect my ego, at least until that day.
I’ve been disliked by some women for other reasons. I’ve been accused of being conceited, mean, and having no tact. Women have disliked me for a lack of finances and sometimes for the clothes I wore. I’ve been disliked for how I allegedly treated women, regardless of whether the allegations were true or not. But I have never been disliked by women for my physical appearance until I noticed it in the store that day. People that knew me probably noticed it before then, but it was the first time I noticed it.
That afternoon, I went home and took a long look in the mirror. Despite being only 5’10 and weighing at the time two hundred and seventy-five pounds, I still thought I was in decent shape physically. I lifted weights and I did not look fat, at least that’s what I thought before I looked in the mirror.
I looked at a picture of myself that at the time was taken recently and noticed how fat my face looked. I couldn’t believe it! I looked like I gained twenty pounds from the previous year.
However, this shouldn’t have surprised me. I ate like a pig! There were times when I ate two double quarter pounders from McDonalds in one sitting. I ate whole large pizzas from Pizza Hut some nights for dinner. One of my favorite fattening combinations was a foot-long meatball sub from Wawa’s and a forty-ounce beer.
I was about thirty-two years old at the time, and the only reason I believed my body held together so long was because I lifted weights and my genetic makeup. I took blood pressure and cholesterol medicine. Since high blood pressure ran in my mother’s side of the family, I assumed I had it because of genetics, not because of my diet. I was stupid, and my health got worse.
I noticed at the time, when I walked, my knees would hurt me for no reason. I didn’t run, except for the annual military fitness test, and I never had knee surgery. I eventually realized that they hurt because of all the upper body weight I was carrying around.
The worst thing, the thing that finally made me realize that I had to lose weight, was when I stopped breathing in my sleep. My wife at the time would tell me about it when I woke up. Sometimes, she said she had to tap me a few times before I started breathing again. Thank God she was there! Who knows what would have happened to me if I was living by myself.
When I found that out, I would not go to sleep right away because I was afraid of what would happen to me if I did. I made the decision shortly after to get back in shape. I was weighing about two hundred and seventy-five pounds, and my goal was to get my weight down to two hundred and twenty-five pounds. But would I be able to do it?
Anyone that have tried to lose a lot of weight before knows how hard it is to stick to a weight-loss regimen. Before I created one, the very first thing I did was prayed to God for the strength and determination to accomplish my goal. Since it was so long ago, I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I know that it was similar to the prayer I have here:
Give me the strength and the ability to get myself back in shape. Give me the discipline to eat healthy and exercise so I can lose this weight. Dear God, please don’t let me lose my life because I failed to live a healthy lifestyle. Lord, please give me a second chance. Please give me the will and determination to change my gluttonous ways, for me and my family.
In Jesus’ name,
After that prayer, I did not eat anything unhealthy other than once a month. I stopped going to the fast food restaurants. All I ate for dinner until I reached the weight of two hundred and twenty-five pounds was chicken breast and oatmeal. I stopped eating whole pizzas, footlong meatball subs, double quarter pounders, or anything with a lot of fat in it. I also stopped drinking sodas after a meal.
I learned that the fattening foods I ate in the past slowed my ability to burn fat, so I started eating foods and drinking liquids that would speed up my metabolism. I would put cinnamon, a metabolism booster, in my oatmeal and cereal. Instead of drinking sodas, I started drinking coffee and green tea, which are known metabolism boosters and appetite suppressants.
I also changed my workout routine. Instead of only lifting weights, I implemented a cardio routine into my workout. I started running for two miles and working out on an elliptical for thirty minutes. The elliptical wasn’t that hard for me and I worked up a sweat. The running, however, was brutal when I first started. I would get so tired; I would have to stop running every thirty yards in order for me to catch my breath.
Oddly, it did not discourage me from running because even though I thought my running was pathetic, I immediately felt my body getting back in shape. So, I continued the routine of eating healthy, metabolism burning foods, and doing a workout routine of weightlifting and cardio.
Over time, I saw the weight coming off. I felt a lot better and I started looking better too. My knees stopped hurting and my breathing didn’t stop in my sleep anymore. And a year and a half after saying that prayer, I finally reached my goal of two hundred and twenty-five pounds. I continued my routine since then (with the exception of chicken breast and oatmeal, I got sick of it), and as of this writing, I weigh a healthy two hundred and ten pounds.
A very thought-provoking post, and may I add, very inspiring. I too know the struggles when it comes to weight loss. Having three kids four years apart hasn’t been an easy feat. I would start an exercise routine and try to stick with it, but then a kid would come along. And don’t get me started on the food, since I’m such a foodie, it was so hard for me to stay on these diets I would print for myself. So, yes, I can totally relate. Congratulations to you for sticking to your guns and fulfilling your goal of staying healthy and fit.
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Thank you for reading my blog. I can imagine it being extra hard trying to stay in shape as a mother. We can only do the best we can giving our circumstances.
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