It’s time for me to break my silence about my journey. This is a journey that has not been sponsored by random people on the internets. This is not a journey that has been told about in the news. Also, this is a journey that is still going on which will likely only end the day that I die.
It’s also a journey that I have not written about at great length to anyone until now, because I this has been very much a private journey that I have been taking which has been shared with just friends, family and my work mates. Also, I am a very quiet person and tend to not open up much about myself to most people.
I have been extremely overweight since I was a small child. When I was in school, I was the kid who was always picked fun of and singled out for embarrassment, such as the time that an opposing baseball team actually specifically hit balls towards me because they knew I couldn’t field them properly.
Also, when I was in High School, my marching band was invited to perform in a lengthy parade in the winter. While I did some of the exercises in preparation of the parade, but at the end it was decided that I would not march due to concerns over my not being able to make the entire route. Had I not made the entire distance, there would have been no way for me to leave the parade route. Also, for that trip, it was decided that it would be best to buy two airplane seats for me.
Through college, the situation didn’t improve over that time mostly due to the fact that I had unlimited dining in the three meals a day I had access to. A typical breakfast for me would be eggs piled quite high, at least 7 or 8 sausage links and toast as well, plus hashbrowns when available. That was in 2002, and I’ll pick up the story in 2011.
At that time, nobody knew what my actual weight was. The scale that I had went up to 200kg – 440lb, and every time that I would stand on the scale, it would just say “error” meaning that I weighed more than the maximum weight. I estimated my weight at maybe 450 or 460lb, but in hindsight, I think my weight was pretty close to 550 or 600lb. We will never know the truth of that time in my life. But that has changed.
When things changed for me was when I took a trip to Australia to meet my best friend, Snoskred, in person for the first time. While on the way, it was a struggle for me to fit into the airline seats, especially on the long-haul flight from San Francisco to Auckland where the arm rest did not go all the way back up, so I spent nearly 14 hours in a 747 with an arm rest in my left shoulder. On nearly all of the other flights, I had a row to myself, but still was unable to put down the arm rests in those seats.
I didn’t notice the things that were going on during that trip, for example, having to use a specific car because I probably would not have fit into the other car that they had. One thing that I did not see was a group of tourists on an escalator who pointed in my direction, and then decided that staring was not good enough, so they took a photo. Of me. I didn’t know about this for quite some time after the trip actually finished.
Carrying all of this weight around had its complications for me as well. One of which is that I had poor coordination, especially when walking around. When I was in Australia, we were walking along one of the beaches, and while going down a slight embankment on the sand, I fell backwards into the sand, then needed a moment to recover from the fall. Then when I was on my own in Hawai’i on the return trip, I was walking from the airport to the post office. On that walk, I came across a curb and not realising that it was a slanted curb, I stepped and there was nothing there, so I wound up falling again.
Another complication is that the weight affected my posture greatly. When I would sit with my legs up, for example in a recliner, my legs would be splayed in a fashion like this – \_/ (but with the feet quite frequently completely at 90 degrees to my midsection).
Turning things around started in the build-up to my trip to Australia. I joined a gym and began going every day after work, starting with just doing the treadmill and then moving to the elliptical machine and pulling in some weights as well. I did look a little bit at my diet, but was not completely focused on my eating. Because of the exercise I was doing, I did lose some weight by the time I went to Australia, but it was only the beginning–and still no idea of what I actually weighed.
In the beginning of 2012, Snoskred — who I will say has been responsible for the vast majority of my successes in the last 11 years of my life through her encouragement and, at many times, showing me the “tough love” that only a true friend can show — got me to finally order Nutrisystem. That is the time when the weight has really started to fall off. It would be yet another month or two after starting Nutrisystem that I would finally get a number on the scales.
That number was on April 19th, 2012. I was able to weigh in at 201.7kg, 444.7lb.
I’ve been continuing with Nutrisystem and exercising at least 3-5 times per week (at least 30 minutes of good aerobic work on the elliptical, bike or treadmill) for nearly the last 4 years.
In that time, I have not had any issues where I have tripped over uneven surfaces, and while it is something I have to be aware of, I am able to comfortably place my legs in the correct position when sitting in a chair – i.e. the feet pointing upward instead of pointing to either side.
Am I where I want to be? No. Unfortunately, for the last 2 years, I’ve stayed in the range of 330-350lb, with my current weight at 348.2lb/157.94kg. My goal is to get myself down below 300lb/136kg by the end of this year.
I will now share a photo of my body – the one on the left is in Australia and the other is 2 years later in Hawaii.
Considering that we will never know what the starting weight was, it has been a long journey, but one that will keep on.