Treadmill Tragedy Avoided and What Scared Me The Most
I made the mistake this evening of not wearing a belt to the YMCA for my treadmill workout. I spent the entire time pulling up my size 50's. They're just too big I tell ya! What a wonderful feeling to write those words about a size twelve sizes smaller than I had to wear 177 days ago. Every time I would pull 'em up, I'd feel like I was almost falling. My choice was simple: Risk falling by pulling up my pants or having my pants drop to my ankles in front of everyone. I think I would rather fall, because if I lost my pants they could get caught up in the belt moving at 4 mph. I could just see me laying on the floor in my underwear stuck to the machine because my pants have been sucked into the treadmill. I better make sure I wear a belt from now on. Oh the joys of losing weight!
It's amazing to me how hard it was to lose weight for all of those years. I knew, even at my largest, that losing weight would make me feel better than ever, but sometimes that's just not enough to get it going. Having a doctor tell me that I could die anytime and it wouldn't surprise her, still wasn't enough. If death isn't motivation enough to get busy, than what could possibly motivate me? It sounds crazy to say that I feared losing my family more than I feared death. But here's why: In my mind, dying was something tragic that happens to other people. Even though I believed the doctor when she said at over 500 pounds, it could easily happen to me too, I somehow was motivated more by the fear of my family falling apart. The mind is a complicated thing isn't it? That's why it was so important for me to not only change my eating habits and activity, but I had to change my mind about food and exercise. I had to stop making excuses and thinking that I had all the time in the world to right the ship. I had to realize that at the rate I was going, I would have been making excuses and rationalizing bad choices right up until my dying day, all the while convinced I had time to get it right. The dangerously deceptive and optimistic thought of “I have plenty of time,” is exactly the thought that would allow me to remain out of control with food and lack of movement for all these years. My entire life I've been a procrastinator. Irene has recognized this for years. About my weight, she would ask me “you're going to wait until it's too late aren't you?” How could I have blamed her for not wanting to stick around to witness the very sad and tragic pattern that was slowly killing me? She loves me too much to stand by and witness my slow and tragic suicide by gluttony, oh how she felt completely powerless to stop the inevitable outcome. I wish I could remember the exact words we shared on the night of September 13th, 2008. I thought we were happy and loving life until that night, or at least that's what I convinced myself we were doing. But there we were, in the guest room of my oldest daughters boyfriends parents house, just miles from Amber's college campus, having a conversation more powerful than all of the “death speeches” ever given me by doctors. My lovely wife, my high school sweetheart of nearly twenty years had reached her limit. She was reluctantly done. I say “reluctantly” because even at that moment, I knew she loved me deep. She loved me enough to leave me, in hopes that it would spark a life saving change in me. That's serious love my friend. I remember thinking, “why here and now?” “What if they can hear us talking?” “Aren't we suppose to pretend to be perfect in front of other people?” “What are you doing Irene?” It was like she had zero control. She had reached her limit, and like a car out of fuel, she couldn't go another mile down this tragic dead end with me. My out of control obesity was like a senseless killing taking place right before her eyes, and she wanted no part of it. That was it. So I started pleading and begging for one more chance to get it right. I remember trying to make her feel guilty by saying “So we have one off to college, but you don't want to stick it out and get the other one raised?” Then I stopped and realized that I was wrong. She wasn't crying mad/selfish tears, those were hurt/lovingly painful tears. At that very moment I had to accept 100% responsibility for the cliff my obesity had us hanging from. I must have given the best “I'll really do it this time” speech of my life, because it worked. The tears I cried while trying to talk her into giving me a 297th chance, were stinging far worse than any I cried on June 10th in the doctors office of doom and gloom. I meant every single word. I didn't know how I would do it, but I knew that I had to do it differently than any other attempt. I had to do it right. I had to truly make a lifestyle change that would last a lifetime, not just a temporary change with temporary results. The decision I made that night was iron clad. And I knew that I couldn't let any excuse or rationalization get in the way...the risk was just too great.
I'm overjoyed to tell you that my marriage has never been better than it is right now. Sometimes we look at each other like we did in the hallways of Stillwater High School. I have more love and respect for her than I ever have, and her love and devotion to me has never been so clear in all our days. So as my weight goes down and I experience all the joy that positive results bring, just know that I'm feeling it on two very different levels. If I could bottle the positive feelings that losing weight and getting my life back brings me, it would be more popular than Coke-a-Cola. Watching Irene, Amber, and Courtney come along, enjoying their own weight loss success right along side me, I can't help but beam with pride. We're all authors of our own life story. We have the power to make it as great or as gloomy as our actions and choices determine. We just have to decide what kind of story we truly desire, then make the changes necessary to achieve the desired outcome. And never, never, never give up the pursuit of happiness.
I'm severely behind in replying to messages and comments about this blog. I sincerely thank you for reading and taking the time to respond with private messages and public comments. You never know what you'll find here. Some post are completely humorous, some are really deep, and some are a mixture of both. I'm excited about the road ahead and what continued success will bring. When someone tells me that my journey has inspired them, well, that's just icing on the cake! Yes, I said cake! And not Angel Food cake, I'm talking cake with icing on top and all around and in the middle, no, no, no, let's put ice cream in the middle of this cake! That's it! An ice cream cake, yeah, there we go, nice little cake...Good night and...