My story isn't anything spectacular. I'm just a normal guy who put on weight gradually over a period of 30 years, with a couple of brief bouts of quick weight loss and regain. But when I was 49 I was comfortably numb. No one was pointing out my obesity and telling me to change. I had a comfortable way of living. Sure I was on medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heartburn. There was also the incident where I couldn't find a suit large enough (size 56) for my daughter's wedding until I sought out a big and tall specialty store. And I couldn't see my feet when I looked down. And a host of other things that crept up on me that I didn't really notice much.
Then my wife started getting nervous about my snoring and said that I seemed to have trouble breathing at night. I went to the doctor who ordered a sleep test and was diagnosed with sleep apnea. The recommendation was to get an oxygen machine to use at night. I then saw a vision of myself as a fat guy who had to use an oxygen machine to keep himself alive at night.
Was that how I wanted the rest of my life to go? Was I that guy? The medical equipment company began to call me about renting the oxygen machine, but I couldn't bear to answer the phone. I knew I needed help but knew I lacked knowledge of exactly how to achieve better help.
Out of desperation I started working with a personal trainer at a place called Total Health and Fitness. Of course I knew that I needed to eat better and exercise more. But I was looking for accountability, knowledge and support. I had always considered personal trainers as a luxury for the rich. But when I compared the cost of a personal trainer to the cost of being overweight and unhealthy for the rest of my life, the investment of a few months was well worth it. He was able to get me going, set goals, track progress, educate me on how to exercise and eat right, and give me some accountability. And since I was spending some hard-earned money on the service, I decided to commit totally to whatever he told me to do - if I failed or made slow progress I didn't want it to be because I was weak.
So for around 8 months I was able to consistently lose about 2 pounds a week for a total of about 76 pounds.
Believe it or not, losing the weight was only half the battle. Then I was in this strange state where I felt like a stranger in my own skin. I bought new clothes...lots of them, as my wife will attest. I got rid of all my old clothes and committed to never needing them. I started this blog. I became a host of the Men's Health 52-day Challenge. I listened to health and fitness podcasts daily. I strength trained and did cardio workouts every week day religiously. I continued to eat healthy. I participated in online weight loss forums. Also a number of other tactics, all aimed at ensuring that I would never put the weight back on. And it all worked, mostly.
My weight has fluctuated a bit over the past few years, but I've managed to keep most of it off. Since I track my weight, body fat and measurements every week, I can tell when I need a course correction.
Many people have noticed and ask "What did you do? How did you do it?" This blog started as my attempt to "pay it forward" by giving a number of tips that helped me through the weight loss. And no, I didn't starve myself or do any crazy or weird diets. Yes, it was primarily eating better and exercising. Over time I've made it my passion to understand all aspects of fitness - weight loss, exercise, eating and anything else pertaining to living a happy and healthy life. Those are the subjects I also include in my blog. Click on the Blog link at the top to view my blog entries.
As for me, I'm married to a lovely wife and have 5 children - two daughters, three sons. I live in the Salt Lake area of Utah and enjoy the beautiful mountains. I'm a software project manager by trade and have a technical background. I use my technical analysis skills to research, learn and write about fitness-related content.
I should make it clear that I'm not a licensed fitness professional. The advice I give should all be used with common sense. Work with a doctor as appropriate.
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