Geez, before I start, I almost feel like I should change shoes and put on a cardigan (ala Mr. Rogers)…

Perhaps one of the more redeeming things I have gained from this brief weight loss experience along with the desire to become a runner is the fact that I have found so many amazing and supportive people along the way.  I know I’ve said things akin to this before, but it astounds me how I can make personal goals, open up to the world about it, and have a blogger friend or two cheer me on.  I love it. There is much kinship and camaraderie to be shared, and I have been the benefactor of much of it…and to all those who’ve given me ‘virtual’ pats on the back, I sincerely thank you.

Some time ago, John wrote an open letter to his wife in which he revealed his fantastic weight loss blog. It was earnest, honest, and touching. I am a big fan of John’s and try to read his blog every day.  I’ve never met John, but I look forward to reading all that he does. I have high hopes for his goals and am thrilled when he succeeds.  The same goes for numerous others like Andrew, Annette, Matt, Courtney, Will, Elisa, Sharon…basically my entire blogroll. We’re all very different people…some of us have similar motives, while others differ, yet we have one thing in common: GOALS. We all have goals–more or less–to become better people.

I often think, then, why do we have a hard time applying the well-wishes we so freely give through cyberspace to real life, face-to-face interactions?  Maybe I should back up…you all might already do that…you probably do…but I will be honest…sometimes things like envy, jealousy and even depression get in my way. And, unlike John, I haven’t exposed my goals to most of my family or friends.  I haven’t tested the waters to see if I’ll get encouragement that I believe I so desperately need. The family and friends who do know about this blog have been extremely supportive…so why can’t I man up and tell everyone else?

Honestly?  It’s because I love you all too much.  My readers who give me what I need to keep going. The simple compliments, the amens, the mad props…whatever it is…keeps me going. Friendly strangers, blogging friends who have come through in the support area…I’ve tested the waters here, and it feels safe and secure (believe me when I say this isn’t an invitation for current readers to turn on me 😉 ).

It addition to readers here, I’ve joined other online communities that I really love (some of which I’m going to profile in the near future). My online communities have been fantastic…but I need to springboard a little more into reality.  I need to open up the desires of my heart to be a healthier me to my family and friends. The time has come to reveal some big plans to them. I may get doubt from some…but in November or December of 2009, or maybe January of 2010 when I cross the finish line of whatever marathon I run with my friend Aaron and I lose the remaining 5/6 of my weight goal…hopefully I will give the doubters a reason to believe in me again.

At my most recent weigh-in, I discovered that I have now lost just over 22 pounds. I now weigh just over 347 lbs. I will never (and don’t think I’m going to recant or think about slip ups here), never weigh 350 lbs. again. I have spent more time running in the past three months than I probably ever have at any one point in time.

As I watched the Women’s Olympic Marathon with my wife, we learned that one of the Chinese runners favored to medal supposedly ran over 700 miles a month. To me that’s amazing…nothing short of a miracle.

But then again, so is someone who used to weigh 370 lbs. who finally got off his ginormous butt to do something about it.

I might only run 30 miles a month right now, but I can honestly say that for the first time in my life, I have finally impressed…myself.