My “new” birthday

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.

One yearI 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

  1. I do not wear quite so much food
  2. Booths at restaurants don’t give me anxiety. I fit in them without bruising
  3. I no longer need a seat belt extender on airplanes
  4. I do not spill into the seat next to me on airplanes
  5. Chairs do not get up with me, clinging to my giant ass
  6. Chairs with arms are an option again
  7. My laptop computer actually fits in my lap
  8. I have a lap, ideal for children to come cuddle in
  9. I can cross my legs comfortably
  10. My car no longer smells like stale fast food
  11. My wife’s arms make it all the way around me
  12. I no longer wheeze from one flight (or even several) of stairs
  13. I don’t hang on to walls when going up and down the stairs in my house
  14. I don’t avoid stairs as though there are sharks living on them
  15. I fit through doorways better
  16. My knees almost never hurt
  17. I fit into some cool, old clothes that have been collecting dust
  18. I do not have to shop at specialty stores for clothes. I can go anywhere
  19. I can play on the floor and pop back up without a lot of grunting and the use of nearby furniture
  20. I squat
  21. The back part of my tie (the shorter part) is longer now.
  22. I don’t “sneel” in Church anymore
  23. Small cars are an OK option for driving or riding
  24. I don’t have to find the widest parking spaces possible to allow room for the door to swing open
  25. Hands-free genuflecting
  26. I almost never use Gold Bond medicated powder on my nether regions
  27. The weight limit of my step ladder is greater than my weight
  28. When I say I am going to run upstairs for a minute, I mean that I will
  29. My chest appears harrier
  30. My socks stay up better and don’t wear out as fast.
  31. I tend to glide now when I walk
  32. I am a body in motion – I crave activity
  33. I generate more laundry
  34. I now have a work out drawer
  35. I eat breakfast almost every day
  36. When I go to the gym at 4:00am, I am waved in as a regular
  37. Although I don’t know their names, I have “work out buddies” – other regulars who are at the gym when I’m there too.
  38. I read more.
  39. Far fewer Xs on my T-Shirts and sweatshirts
  40. People ask me about fitness and losing weight
  41. My bed seems MUCH larger
  42. The sheets on my bed stay tucked in at night, and they comfortably come up to my chin
  43. I have no desire to eat a Kit Kat bar
  44. I have replaced fast runs to Wendy’s with packed lunches
  45. On the rare occasion that I have ice cream, I am picky, and I savor every bite.
  46. A pizza is no longer a round (or square) country to be conquered by my mouth. I can have just one slice.
  47. 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)
  48. I know far more about what the front yards of people on streets near me look like.
  49. I cook more often. As I have learned how to make healthy food, I cook sometimes for my wife and myself.
  50. I actually give a darn how I look when I get dressed in the morning.
  51. This summer I will fit in roller coaster seats
  52. 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.


  1. A whole year! What an amazing accomplishment!

    I loved your list. I found myself nodding right along to many of the items, specifically the ones about stairs and your laptop fitting in your lap. My laptop isn’t quite there, but it’s much closer! And while my knees still do bother me, it’s nothing compared to what it used to be… you’ve inspired me to keep working at those pesky joints!

    And you look amazing! That red is a great color on you, and you honestly look younger now than you did a year ago. You LOOK energized. You look as though you have a bounce in your step when you walk – and you earned it! I’m so glad to have met you, and I’m proud to say that I have the privilege of following you on this journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know why, but I have tears in my eyes. This didn’t come easy I know. I am so so so happy to know a real person who has done this on their own!



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