My Weight Gain and Weight Loss
If you’re anything like me you enjoy eating. But you don’t enjoy dieting. I have always tried to eat healthy but have to admit that I would occasionally indulge myself. If offered a treat I would rarely turn it down. This habit of occasionally indulging slowly progressed to where it was no longer so occasional. My sedentary lifestyle combined with my eating habits resulted in a weight gain of over 50 pounds by the time I reached forty.
In my early twenties I did not worry about my weight. My active lifestyle maintained my weight at a healthy level for my age and height. I went to the gym regularly and rode my bike everywhere. As the years went by, my lifestyle changed. In my mid twenties I started an office job and with that came the ever present food. Offices seem to always have cake, cookies, pop and other treats available.
I got married when I was thirty and by the time I was thirty-six I had 4 children. I started to work more and more and no longer went to the gym. By the time I was forty, my weight had ballooned to 189 pounds. That is way too much for a 5′ 4″ male.
My Wake-Up Call
My weight gain happened so slowly that I hardly noticed it. I had always been fit and this idea that I was healthy stuck with me even though it was no longer true. I convinced myself that I wasn’t overweight; it was muscle not fat. I convinced myself that I wasn’t out of shape; I was tired because I didn’t sleep enough. But every now and then I would see myself in the mirror as I dressed to go to work and reality would briefly sink in. I was not happy with what I saw. My solution was to avoid mirrors whenever possible. This way I could avoid reality.
One day I was on my way to work and while climbing the subway station stairs, I noticed that my knees hurt with every step. Again I went into denial. I convinced myself that it was normal because after all I was getting older.
One evening I suddenly became ill. I developed an extremely high fever. It was like nothing I had ever experienced. I became disoriented and I was barely able to call my wife for help. I felt like I was going to die. I now realized how precious life was and how easily and quickly it can all be taken away. I didn’t want my children to grow up without a father. I vowed that if I made it through the night that I would change. This was my wake up call.
I was sick for over a month but slowly got better. After recovering from my illness I began to make changes in my life. I began with my eating habits. I started slowly. My first step was to reduce the amount of pop I consumed. I then moved on to reduce cakes, cookies and other pastries from my diet. This was not easy but I eventually got to the point where I rarely consumed these items. I found that doing things slowly and in stages helped me to stick to these changes. I then began to reduce the amount of meat I ate and gradually switched to a vegetarian diet. The changes in my diet alone helped me to lose weight, but it was not enough. After losing 15 lbs, my weight plateaued. I was stuck at 174lbs. I soon realized that I would have to start an exercise program if I wanted to continue with my weight loss.
As luck would have it, the local gym (Goodlife Fitness) began to offer a corporate discount to my workplace. I took advantage of this and began to exercise regularly. I started off slowly and gradually increased the intensity, type and amount of my exercises. I now exercise at least 3 times per week.