So here we are. I have been thinking about this day, this race, this post for a long time now. Basically for the entire past year. I am posting this on the morning of Nov 18th. It is officially 1 year to the day since I have started all my efforts. I started all this because I had finally reached my breaking point: I was sick and tired of being overweight and out of shape and knew I had to do something about it, if not for my own sake than for the sake of my family- my amazing wife Jenn and daughter Tessa deserved more from me than what I was giving. Emotionally I was all in, but physically I was severely lacking. I’m not sure where all the build up came from, but my poor physical condition had been playing pretty heavily on my mind for a while at that time just before I began everything a year ago, and my thoughts kept creeping back to what would happen to them if something ever happened to me. That, plus I never wanted my daughter Tess to ever be put in a position where she was held back because I was too damn lazy to make sure that I was in shape for her.
What has ensued in the past 365 days is nothing short of miraculous, and it’s safe to say that this will long be remembered as the year that I changed my life forever.
Ill get into some of the staggering numbers in a moment, but I wanted to take a second to reflect on the fact that at the time this post goes live, I will be lining up in my assigned starting corral right next to the Art Museum in center city Philadelphia in order to take part in my second half marathon of the year. Literally one year ago at this moment I was sitting in a desk chair at my office, contemplating what the hell I was going to do with myself and afraid if I didn’t it would have major negative ramifications on myself and by extension, the two girls in my life I could never bear the thought of hurting.
Looking at things a different way, I have transitioned this day, Nov 18th to two opposite ends of a spectrum. I have gone from 11/18/11: Sitting on my ass, weighing in at 328 pounds, sweating and breathing hard in November because I was winded from walking up a flight of steps to 11/18/12: now weighing in at 205 pounds, being in what can be safely assumed is the best physical condition of my life, and sweating and breathing hard in November because I am running for 13.1 miles straight and completing a Half Marathon.
When I say that the past year has changed my life dramatically, I am not exaggerating. The proof is in the numbers:
Nov. 18, 2011 to Nov.18, 2012.
In the past 365 days I have:
•Lost 123 pounds
•Lost 18 inches from my waistline- I Went from a size 52 to 34 pants
•Reduced my shirt size from XXXXL (yes, that is 4 X’s…4XL) to size L
•Lost 5 ring sizes- I recently had to have my wedding band resized from a size 16 to an 11 (and the thing is still loose)
•More importantly than any number, I have increased my health, my stamina, and the likelihood that I will be around to grow old with my wife and watch my daughter slowly come into her own and develop into the woman I know she will become
I’m not sure what to say that has not already been covered in the 100+ posts to this blog over the past year, except that looking back I never expected a lot of things to happen the way they did. I knew I would lose weight- that was the whole point if all of this, to lose the weight and to get back into shape so i can keep it off. However I never imagined I would drop 100 pounds in 6 months. I never imagined I would fall in love with running. I never imagined that in addition to doing good for my own body, I would in turn inspire others to do the same. I never imagined that the fitness lifestyle (nutrition and activity both) would become so important to me and such a part of my everyday life. And lastly, I never imagined that the hard work and success in this would carry over to so many other aspects if my life and change the way I look at a lot of things (To elaborate a little on that: there’s not much to me that is not do-able anymore. I firmly believe that if you want it bad enough and are willing to work for it: you can do it. No matter what the “it” in question is. It’s really just a question of what the benefit is vs. the cost. What I mean is that I see things now as a matter of whether or not you are willing to do the work required to get it and make the necessary sacrifices. Because let’s be honest, if it’s really worth having, odds are you are going to have to work your ass off for it and that generally means making changes or sacrifices in some other area. The “can it be done?” question is removed and replaced with “of course it can be done, but is the end result worth the cost?”. Just because it’s do-able does not make it free or easy)
Ok, let me take a step down off my soapbox and digress from the high and mighty.
It’s been an amazing year for me and I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to share it with you. I know my story has inspired it’s fair share of people to begin their own weight loss/ fitness efforts, but believe me when I say it has been an integral and hugely beneficial aspect in the process of everything for me. This has been good for others, but I think it’s safe to say it has benefited me twofold. I’ve said it before but I’m fortunate to be in a position to share this all.
I have absolutely no idea what the upcoming year holds for me, but I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next.
Ok, time to go. Race time. Exactly one year in the making. Booyaa.
Till next time when I post my recap, take it easy.