For my heaviest, I weighed 317 pounds. The biggest factor behind my weight was that I had a stressful full-time job and also had a part-time job. I was often out on business, ate fast food, or went to breakfast and lunch for several days. I also drank a limited amount of water. During the day there was coffee and Cola Cola, then every evening when I came home, only beer until I fell asleep. I became content with my life, and given my size, I haven’t done much.
In 2015 and 2016, my resting heart rate was always at or above 100. I remember being so scared once, I was just standing at work and my heart was pounding as if it couldn’t pump fast enough. I went to the emergency room from work and my pulse was out of control. I also learned that I had high blood pressure and that I was on medication. Because of this, I also had to see a cardiologist. It was all in my mid-thirties. During this period there were a total of three trips to the emergency room and at least one for urgent EKG care because of the same problem. I knew I had to make changes and I would get serious if I had a health fear.
I’ve done all the right things – low alcohol and eating right – but it was all short lived. I would go back to my old habits in about a week or two, and it would take months to get back on track. Food and beer seemed to be a priority in life until I got another health fear, and the cycle continued until I came to WW for New Years in 2017.
When I came to WW, I made targeted changes to my diet. I started doing all grocery shopping and preparing all meals for my family, even if I had to cook something else. I kept track of everything I ate to make sure it was reflected in my app. I lost about 70 pounds on WW just by tracking my food intake.
I then started training in September 2018. I didn’t tell anyone I went to the gym because I had gone to gyms before and never used the membership. I just started cardio and built on the workouts every month. I told myself I had to walk at least three times a week and I pursued that goal and increased it up to five times a week. I was just getting to the point where I felt better when I was exercising and moving.
I lost 114 pounds in total. Then, in 2019, I broke my neck and wore braces that were unable to exercise for several months. During that time, I was so afraid of gaining weight, among a million other things. Fortunately, I didn’t gain weight during that time. I tracked everything, every bite, every ounce, every sip to make sure I stayed within my points. After I got permission to go back to the gym, I slowly began to integrate cardio and strength training again. When I started strength training again, my shoulder started to hurt. I would push through the pain but later found out I had an AC break-up. That was all just before the pandemic started. I did physical therapy for a few months and when the gyms reopened I joined a private personal training studio to continue strength training, but with guidance to avoid further injury.
My family was a big motivator on my trip. I work so hard to take care of my family and losing weight was necessary because I didn’t want to leave my wife and children without a father. I would wonder what their life would be like if I were dead, mostly from health problems. I didn’t like these thoughts. I didn’t want to leave my family sad because I wasn’t able to change my habits. I knew I had to lead by example, especially as my children got older.
These injuries could have left me dead or paralyzed, but I exercise, run, and try to enjoy life. These injuries keep me going because this is my second chance and I don’t want to screw it up. My life could have been very different, so I owe it to myself to stay active and healthy.
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