One year. One, magnificent, amazing year.
Exactly one year ago today, I started on this journey toward better health. That same day, I launched this blog with this first post. I honestly had no idea whether the resolve to get a hold of my health, and to lose some weight would last a day, a week, a month or a year. To be completely and brutally honest, if you asked me to lay a bet that day as to whether I’d still be maintaining this blog, and working to be more healthy in one year, I’d have likely bet against it. Thankfully, I would have been wrong.
Today marks exactly 1 year since I started this journey. In those 12 months I have had some incredible success. Here is a progress picture. The photo on the left is from Christmas eve, 2013. The one on the right was taken last night.
I honestly can’t believe how bad I looked a year ago. And, don’t ask me why I had such a bewildered look on my face, because I haven’t any idea. What I do know is that the guy on the left was always uncomfortable. He had bad knees, an achy back, high blood sugar and a crappy outlook on life. The guy on the right is still obese, but he is only 6 or 7 pounds away from shaking that stigma (hopefully forever). The guy on the right is confident.
Over the past few weeks I have been working on a list. It was going to be a list of 100 things that are different for me since I started this journey, but that was too ambitious. Instead, with 52 weeks having passed, it seems fitting that it be a list of 52 things. So, here it is:
52 Things that are different for me since I started this Journey toward better health
- I do not wear quite so much food
- Booths at restaurants don’t give me anxiety. I fit in them without bruising
- I no longer need a seat belt extender on airplanes
- I do not spill into the seat next to me on airplanes
- Chairs do not get up with me, clinging to my giant ass
- Chairs with arms are an option again
- My laptop computer actually fits in my lap
- I have a lap, ideal for children to come cuddle in
- I can cross my legs comfortably
- My car no longer smells like stale fast food
- My wife’s arms make it all the way around me
- I no longer wheeze from one flight (or even several) of stairs
- I don’t hang on to walls when going up and down the stairs in my house
- I don’t avoid stairs as though there are sharks living on them
- I fit through doorways better
- My knees almost never hurt
- I fit into some cool, old clothes that have been collecting dust
- I do not have to shop at specialty stores for clothes. I can go anywhere
- I can play on the floor and pop back up without a lot of grunting and the use of nearby furniture
- I squat
- The back part of my tie (the shorter part) is longer now.
- I don’t “sneel” in Church anymore
- Small cars are an OK option for driving or riding
- I don’t have to find the widest parking spaces possible to allow room for the door to swing open
- Hands-free genuflecting
- I almost never use Gold Bond medicated powder on my nether regions
- The weight limit of my step ladder is greater than my weight
- When I say I am going to run upstairs for a minute, I mean that I will
- My chest appears harrier
- My socks stay up better and don’t wear out as fast.
- I tend to glide now when I walk
- I am a body in motion – I crave activity
- I generate more laundry
- I now have a work out drawer
- I eat breakfast almost every day
- When I go to the gym at 4:00am, I am waved in as a regular
- Although I don’t know their names, I have “work out buddies” – other regulars who are at the gym when I’m there too.
- I read more.
- Far fewer Xs on my T-Shirts and sweatshirts
- People ask me about fitness and losing weight
- My bed seems MUCH larger
- The sheets on my bed stay tucked in at night, and they comfortably come up to my chin
- I have no desire to eat a Kit Kat bar
- I have replaced fast runs to Wendy’s with packed lunches
- On the rare occasion that I have ice cream, I am picky, and I savor every bite.
- A pizza is no longer a round (or square) country to be conquered by my mouth. I can have just one slice.
- I go to bed and get up earlier, and I feel fully rested every day (my children would say this is just a sign of being an old guy who goes to bed early and gets up with the birds, but it is still more noticeable in the last year)
- I know far more about what the front yards of people on streets near me look like.
- I cook more often. As I have learned how to make healthy food, I cook sometimes for my wife and myself.
- I actually give a darn how I look when I get dressed in the morning.
- This summer I will fit in roller coaster seats
- I love life much more!
I will have more thoughts on my journey in the coming days. One thing I know I want to write about is how my food choices have changed, and how I see food much differently than I did on March 1, 2014.
When I started this a year ago, I wasn’t shy about telling people what I was doing. I am sure there are those around me who were hopeful of my success, but skeptical that I could do anything meaningful. As I said above, I’d be one of the people in that category. With one year under my now-smaller belt, I can say that I am far more optimistic than I was then, but I am also a realist. I know that if I take my eye off the ball for very long, I will slide right back into my former ways. I still carry a healthy dose of skepticism with me as I approach each day.
Last night i did a bit of celebrating, I even had a tablespoon of ice cream. Today I plan to enjoy this Sunday with my wife, do some reading and writing, and think about how much I am looking forward to a very active camping and outdoor season.