This one is a tough story to tell. You may wonder what it has to do with fatherhood or dads or kids – I’ll get to that.
The reason I first started this blog was to have an outlet – to be able to share mine and my wife’s story through all the infertility issues and then through parenthood. This story has been interwoven in there all along the way as well. Take a look at this picture:
This was me, and my family of course, at my heaviest weight of 361 pounds!
Several things about that. I never told anyone – and I mean anyone what I weighed. For that matter, one of my previous doctors offices wasn’t even for sure what I weighed because their scale didn’t go above 250. I laughed the first time I walked in there and the nurse asked me to step on – I said, I know I’m over that! I was actually inspired by an old college friend that is on a weight loss journey himself right now and has posted his numbers. It’s hard for me to put those numbers up there,but it’s a reality and one I can’t hide behind anymore.
I never even told my wife what I weighed. I didn’t want her to know the number. She always told me she never cared about my size; she wasn’t concerned about the number. I remember her saying that, “I better stick around”. She loved me for who I was, not what I looked like and I believed that.
I had dieted before. Many times. Failed many times. Before the birth of our oldest daughter I had gone on a diet, lost somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 pounds only to gain it all back. I went to the doctor recently – my numbers were all out of whack – high blood pressure, cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. I knew it was coming. It’s like anything in life – you play with fire long enough, you’re bound to get burned. I decided that day things had to change. I would have to change the way I was eating. I would have to lose some weight and plan to keep it off this time. That was November 14, 2013. As of today, I weighed in at 278. I can not remember the last time I saw a number that low on a scale! I bet if I got my hair cut I could drop a couple extra pounds too!
Someone asked me today what keeps me on this way of eating and I really didn’t have a clear cut answer. All of the health issues certainly. Seeing the results that I was having as you can see in this picture was part of it as well. I had tried to fool myself for too long that I was okay with being fat – that I was comfortable in my own skin, this was who I was and I’ll just be a big guy for the rest of my life. I always had plenty of jokes to cover things up. I finally had to make a decision for myself that I was going to do it and make a change for myself. Of course, all of the health issues did up the ante for me a little.
Ultimately, the real reason for doing it came down to something bigger than myself – geez, did I really just type that! Everyone says that you must do something like this for yourself and that is true. Only you can decide to do something like this – to change the way you are eating, to turn your entire life upside down, and to fight a constant battle every day. In the end, the decision was about me, but it was about those three in that pic over there. Liz’s words of “make sure you stick around” rang in my ears.
This is where the fatherhood, the manhood, issue comes in. It was time for a change. It wasn’t about me anymore. I had a wife and two little girls that were counting on me for so much. There was no food in this world that was more important than them. I want to be able to do all the things I’m supposed to be able to do as a dad and not have to give excuses that my feet hurt, or I’m tired, or daddy can’t do that because he’s too fat! I’ve still got a long road to go to reach my goal weight and then the journey of simply keeping it off. I think this time I’ve finally found the motivation to do it. I hope by sharing just a little of my story it my help someone else who might be struggling!