From FAILURE to CHANGE: A new beginning and a new site

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I would say that I have learned to fail more in the past year than any other period of my life.

It’s true. Though I don’t have time or space to tell you (and surely you don’t have the time either), this year has been one that has challenged me in nearly every facet of my life. So, where have I been?  Certainly not here, and certainly not losing weight.

I have lost the battle…but the war goes on.

I would understand if people have written me off. I would understand if people have decided to stop following my progress (or lack, thereof). However, for the handful of you who have stuck it out with me: thank you. I hope you’ll follow me into a new phase of this journey of mine.

www.fitlanthropist.com

That is where you can find me now. I know the title is a little silly…basically just adding “fit” to “philanthropy.” But what a portmanteau, eh? So, surely you have a question or two about it.

Somewhere down the line, I lost my motivation. It happens. I’m not happy that it happened, considering my wife and son should be plenty for me to get motivated. But nevertheless, it happened. I have always been a proponent of charitable giving and service, so I thought to myself, “Why not go one more step and tack on some additional motivation?” So, beyond myself, my wife and my son, I am going to challenge myself to lose weight for charity. For every pound I lose, I will pay $1 (US) and solicit others to match my amount. That’s the crux of it, but you can read more about it here. It’s a work in progress, but I’ve got to start somewhere. And for those of you who are part of the Twitter craze, I’m here too: @fitlanthropist.

It’s time to transition. I’ve slipped, yes, but given up I have not. I look forward to catching up with you!

Hey. Remember me? Yeah. I’m that guy.

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I’m not dead. Heaven forbid I should become one of those teeny-bopper rumors we all heard in high school (I think the big one that really impacted me was that Mark-Paul Gosselaar had died…if you know me at all, you probably know that I’m a huge Saved by the Bell fan. Go ahead and make fun of me, but there’s no way you’ll EVER beat me at SBTB trivia).

So, it’s been a while. A LONG while. And, frankly, I don’t have much to account for my absence other than the semester from hell. I’d tell you about it, but it would only throw me into a foaming-at-the-mouth rage witnessed by few, and only comparable in nature to the time Sarah Palin mocked community organizers at the Republic National Convention. Well, either that, or the time FOX cancelled Arrested Development.

I have, no doubt, lost readers, but I want to thank those of you who’ve kept up with me from time to time. Your support has not gone unnoticed!

However, I am back to regain my journey. I made a significant dent by losing 30 pounds. I haven’t stepped on a scale lately, but the fact that I don’t want to should tell you something. The time has come to re-engage my goals and get serious about them.

When I started this, I realized that I might fall a couple of times. In fact, of the stories I had read of really successful weightloss, many had to lose and regain several time before the true success took place. If this is one of those times, so be it. I’m ready to get back to it, and I’m ready to share my endeavors with you again.

I went for a run last week and it felt really great. I need to remember the fact that I can do it. That the despite the fact I weigh…what I do…I AM A RUNNER. I need to be grateful that I can use my legs to carry my corpulent body a few miles in under an hour…and I need to use that to get me back on track.

Who’s with me?

Inspiration and Influence

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In the past six or so weeks that I’ve been blogging my health and exercise updates, I’ve become keenly aware of the people and things I have been influenced by, for better and for worse. In 27 years, I don’t know that I’ve been involved in anything so life-transforming as the past six weeks. Surely, some might doubt that, and that’s okay, but let me break it down in terms of some ‘causality’ that my little journey is experiencing…

I am happier than I’ve been in a long time. I have more energy. I have a more positive outlook on life. I have spent years being skepitcal and nonchalant about exercise.  But let’s face it…the hardest thing I have had to admit is this: I am was lazy. Nobody ever likes to admit that.  Now, that’s not a universal laziness…there were some things that took a rather high priority with me that I ensured never fell by the wayside. Such an example would be my schooling, which, for the most part, I have always taken very seriously. Some time ago, a friend of mine asked, “Why can’t you apply that same drive you have for knowledge to your health?”

Sadly, I never thought about it before, thereby making me realize it had never been that important.

What?!

Seriously, I needed to change. And the time was then, is now, and will be in the future. This is not a fad diet. This is not me slimming down to look good for a 10 year reunion. This is for life.

Having more energy will allow me to work more efficiently and will allow me to accomplish more, and in turn will hopefully make me a better husband and father, a more productive scholar, and hopefully a better friend. Losing weight and exercising…let’s face it..the more of that I do, the longer I have on this earth. I really do believe it to be that easy.

I have had so many inspirations and good influences that it would be nearly impossible at this point to stop and ever go back to my old self. You — readers, friends, family — have all been of tremendous positive influence, and I can’t thank you enough. My initial design was to keep this blog on the down low and not share it with any friends and family. Believe it or not, I was embarrassed…only of myself…because so many people have seen me fail, I didn’t want this blog to chronicle yet another flop. But I’m invested.  I’ve heard from many of you through comments, blog posts, e-mails, etc. on how I’ve inspired you in some way…and it is so very humbling. All I can say, is thank you for believing in me, but more importantly, thanks for believing in yourself and recognizing that you too…anyone…can make these changes. I promise you they will be well worth the challenges, pain, tears, frustration, anger, difficulty…and sheer joy of what you can accomplish.

You will not see me flop. You will see me succeed. I will be challenged, but I will seek creative ways to overcome obstacles. I will move more, eat better, improve, and dammit, I will endure like I never have before.

Thanks to all of you who have inspired me and influenced me for the better. Thank you for not giving up on me, and for continuing to cheer me on.

And even those of you who lost track of me, who aren’t reading this, who made fun of my weight as a kid…thanks for your juvenile remarks and cowardice. They only made ME stronger.

The time is now 3:04 EST. Who’s up for a run?

The Bottom Line

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About four years ago, I went to see a new doctor on the referral of a friend. “He can help you, I know he can,” was her earnest testimony of a man who evidently had a knack for curtailing obesity. Reluctant as I was, I was unsatisfied with my doctor at the time who was much more keen on flirting with the geriatric girls than helping an overweight kid salvage some of his life.

This new doctor – we’ll call him Dr. Genius – seemed to be nice, but was relatively quiet and didn’t talk a whole lot. After the usual BP, pulse, temperature, deep breaths, etc. he took a seat opposite me, paused a second and said very convincingly,

“You’re overweight.”

Now, while I tend to be quite the smart alec around those with whom I’m very comfortable, I could not help but to blurt out, “Uh, did you go to Harvard for that?” The look on his face didn’t change, and I apologized quickly and went into a five minute diatribe about how my weight problem was evident and that the stress I’d been dealing with at the time had more or less pushed me over the edge. He was gracious and understanding and after the appointment, I determined that Dr. Genius was not the one for me.

His statement, though true and completely obvious, was also a wake-up call (one of many). Was this something I had actually accepted? Did I look in the mirror and see something other than the reality of a pudgy body that only fit into 52″ jeans and 3XL shirts? Was I in denial?

It would probably be easiest to answer ‘yes’ to all of these questions despite the fact that I really don’t know. What I do know is that Dr. Genius was right. I am overweight. I am fat. And as much as I absolutely loathe this word, I am obese.

More than anything, I am using this blog as a tool to hold me accountable. There is a lot to establish in terms of my past health history. I can only assume that after reading this introductory post (if, in fact, it will be read), that some will form various assumptions. That’s fine by me. My only request is that you continue to read what I have to say and get to know me, my body, and what “we’ve” been through over the past several years. If I can use this as a way to get myself healthy, then I’ll have been grateful for doing it.