Monday, June 11, 2007

It's Time To Let The World Know

So here's the deal. I am 33 years old. I am married to my soul mate. I have two beautiful twin girls. I have a great job, a perfect house, a loving family and lots of friends. It's pretty much the perfect life. I have every thing I could every want, except one very important thing, self-control; at least when it comes to food.

Here is the big reveal. I am 5'11 and as of this morning I weigh 280 pounds.

Well that's a weight off my chest. (Pun intended)

I have struggled with my weight ever since graduating from college, but over the last two years things have really gotten out of hand. While my wife was pregnant with our twin girls I sort of adopted her diet. A diet that was fine for a women who was eating for three, not so fine for someone eating for one.

The weight gain didn't end with the sympathy pregnancy weight though. During the first 4 months of being new parents we ate pretty much straight starch. And with no sleep and no exercise the pounds just kept piling on.

As of this past January I had reached 288 pounds. Suddenly I was starring down the barrel of 300 and it scarred the heck out of me.

So, last January I made a decision to change my lifestyle. I started watching what I was eating and a made a real effort at portion control. Things went great for a while. By mid March I had dropped down to 274 and was starting to feel better. And then I fell off the wagon. I couldn't tell you when or why. I think I had a busy week and so I hit McDonalds one day, and since I had already eaten McDonalds yesterday I might as well have an Ice Cream Sandwich and a candy bar with lunch today.

Before I knew it, I was back to my old eating habits... and worse.

Lately I have been noticing my clothes aren't fitting so well again and my back has been really sore and my feet have been killing me. My softball game, which was never great to begin with, has pretty much disappeared. And this weekend I found the final straw.

I spent Saturday at the community pool with my daughters. We live in a part of town where the community pool still attracts a lot of beautiful people. And as I sat there with my little girls looking around at all the slim housewives and good looking dads I had a vision of my 7 year girls being embarrassed to go swimming with Dad because of his big tummy and saggy swim suit.

So I made a new promise to myself to get in shape. The promise was full of resolve and I was convinced this was going to be the time. But then I started thinking to myself. How will this be any different than every other time that I have lost ten pounds only to gain 20 back three months later?

The answer hopefully is going to be accountability. In the past I have tried to hide my weight and my weight problems. Sure it's obvious just by looking at me that I am grossly overweight. But I have never admitted just how much I actually weigh. The number is simply too embarrassing.

Same with my diets. I love to tell people when I am doing good and losing weight. But I never talk about my failures or about the times I eat 5 king size candy bars in one day.

So that's what this blog is for. There is nothing original in the idea. Thousands of people have done the same thing.

In a moment I will press this little orange button that says publish and my secret will be out. Then I will hopefully have the courage to send an e-mail to all of you my friends and family with a link to this post. If I do it, it will be the first step in coming to real terms with my weight problem.

The plan is to use this space as a journal to keep track of what I am eating, how much I am exercising and what happens to my weight. I will weigh in every Fri. and post the results.

I have no clue if anyone will follow this blog or not. I am not looking for encouragement or advice, although those things are most assuredly welcome. My hope is that knowing someone could be watching my ups and downs will help to keep me honest about what I am eating and how I am living my life.

Here is my one request, if I stop blogging someone or everyone give me a little nudge to get my butt in gear and keep going.

And I promise, future posts will be a lot shorter.

6/11: 280 lbs.


DC Viking said...

Good for you hermano. You have my full faith, support, and sympathy. Quitting smoking has gone pretty well, only one cig in the last week, and that one while drinking.

Keep it up.

Scott said...

Nice work Tony. You did have the courage to send this out; you will have the strength to stick with it...

- Scott

Anonymous said...

WOW! I am very impressed that you are taking this leap. I cried when I read your first entry and you can bet your bottom dollar that I will keep you accountable. I always wanted to but now I have actual permission (in writing and on the internet - saved forever). I know that your girls would never be embarrassed by you because you are a great dad but I do want to make sure that you are around to enjoy them for a long time to come. I am also at an all time high- back to where I was when I started WW's the first time and am starting over. It is easy to start but hard to maintain so we just need to all work together to get to where we want to be. Let me know if you need anything from me. Congratulations on your new life!
Sister Sarah

Anonymous said...

Wow Tony! I am totally impressed by your courage and your ability to share your goals... Good luck to you, I know you can do anything you put your mind to!

~ Teresa

ElleTeeJay said...

I am so proud of you, sweetheart. Don't worry...I've got your back. Go, Team Tony! Love you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony,

I must apologize for not getting a comment back to you on your brave new project. I had a long one written on Tuesday when I first went to the site.. (thought it was a joke email at first until I got there) but my dang browser crashed mid response, and I was so pissed off, it has taken me a week to work up the emotional energy to try again.

Sufficed to say, I was in denial that you had reached this point, but also that I am very proud of you for tackling the issue head on. I know your successes will snowball, as you regain your confidences and enjoyment of your active hobbies (boarding (warm and cold), and softball (don’t worry about the hitting, that’s psychosomatic anyway)).

I truly believe that pilling on weight is the body’s goal. It is an indicator of success (in obtaining sustenance). When the weight becomes an issue for a body, it historically becomes less successful, and starvation brings the weight back down. But our bodies are also optimists. As my favorite college professor mentioned; long term starvation victims (where death was not sudden, but from prolonged starvation) there is often still fat on the body. I think it is like the old math problem of dividing something in half infinitely you will never reach zero. The body will always prefer to keep it’s fat reserves for tomorrow, in case the food shortage continues. This is why dieting is so frustrating.

While this may seem depressing on the face of it, I think it is liberating to feel that by dieting you are fighting nature. Thus, miss-steps and less than desired results are not morale breaking failures, but owing to the strength and tenacity of your opponent. Therefore it is not “this is too hard, I just can’t do it”, is less relevant than “damn my metabolism is kickin my butt, I gotta step it up more to tell it who is boss”

The other thing to take from this is that your body is going to equate better food with better odds of survival. So that big candy bar looks like a life saver in the water, and a rice cake looks like a cinderblock. But your body instincts don’t know about medical science. So take your new parenting skills of saying “no, cookies aren’t a dinner food” and apply it to your tummy. [But don’t talk to me about that, cause I’m still in denial about that]

Anyways, way too long and preachy. But if you like, I would be happy to follow your progress, and ‘weigh in’ as it were with well intentioned blatherings.

As a piece of real advice (from one who has no authority to give it): Look into the concept of “Volumetrics” I think it is a successful strategy from Europe that guides your diet based on calories/volume. I think those diet shakes sort of mimic it, where they try to fill appetite with a gas filled low calorie drink. But the gas escapes quickly, and you are hungry quickly again. I thought that when I got around to fighting my growing gut, I would start there.


[The Volumetrics Eating Plan focuses on the scientific principles of satiety - the body's signal that it's full - by enhancing the feeling of fullness while simultaneously consuming fewer calories. Foods with higher water content have fewer calories but control appetite better, i.e., fruits, vegetables and soups are 80-95 % water whereas oils are 100% fat, 0% water. For instance, 100 calories = ¼ cup raisins (low water content) or 1-2/3 cups grapes (high water content). The larger volume of grapes provides greater satiety than the dried fruit without increasing caloric intake.]

Bo said...

Hey Tony,
Thanks for your blog and your inspiring story. I once failed publicly on my blog and I'm at a point where I have to restart.

Your awesome story just fueled my soul to get through the day.