It’s the night before IRONMAN – I cant sleep so what better time than now to write a blog post… I remember the day that I walked into the running store and saw several stickers for sale on the counter. It was a week before my first half marathonThose four stickers might mean nothing to some, but to me they represented dreams. I bought new running shoes and all four stickers that day. I walked out of the store with nothing more than hope, faith and determination to succeed. Those four stickers hung on my office wall reminding me everyday that what seems impossible to yourself can be achieved if you want it bad enough.
It’s almost exactly two and half years to the day my life changed forever. It was late May of 2012 and I walked into the hospital that morning weighing in at my highest recorded weight, 452 pounds. Since then that number has resonated in my mind everyday. After a surgery that nearly cost me my life, I vowed to never again live a life that didn’t make my health a priority. Everyday I battle; some days are better than others and I try and learn from every mistake.
Over the last 6 to 8 months, life has been very crazy. For those who don’t know I went through another major surgery; this surgery was a blessing for sure. I had all the excessive skin removed from my midsection. This was by far one of the most painful experiences I have ever gone through; outside of the physical pain, I didn’t realize the emotional roller coaster this would put me on.
There I was in the gym everyday sometimes multiple hours a day, grinding and working harder and harder to improve my health by getting stronger and faster. I had this image in my head of 6-pack abs and little to no body fat post skin removal surgery. My expectations were way out of line, and while my results have been amazing they were far from my vision. The surgery also caused me to stop working out completely right in the middle of training for IRONMAN. When I was able to get back in the gym 8 weeks later, I remember this overwhelming feeling of fatigue with every session and I had lost a lot of the strength that I had fought so hard to achieve. I don’t know what I expected but I now know and realize my expectations were very unrealistic.
These things caused me to go into a dark place. I was frustrated with my self more and more everyday. I began finding myself eating more and more and slowly adding pounds to my body. I no longer stepped on the scale. I didn’t want to know what I was doing to myself. It was about a month ago that I came to the realization that I was going in the wrong direction. My self-control was gone and my impulse control had taken over when it came to my eating. Like most instances in my life where I felt lost, I reached out to my best friend and biggest supporter – My wife. She had known something was wrong all along, but until I was ready to talk to her about it, it did her little to no good to approach me. Weight loss is a battle that truly lasts a lifetime and just when you feel like you have it all figured out, reality can quickly set in and you can go six months making choices that don’t support any of your goals. I have accepted that the last six months were not what I wanted them to be, and I wake up tomorrow morning ready to accomplish a goal that once was a dream.
I am not perfect. I have an addiction to food. It’s my outlet in life when pressure rises and stress stacks up against me. I continue to work through that and I might have a set back here and there but I vowed to myself when this all started to NEVER AGAIN be 452 pounds – that doesn’t mean 270 pounds is OK either – That to me is a reminder that there will always be a choice to make, one that will get me closer to my goal and one that will push me further from that finish line.
I had a dream to be an IRONMAN and tomorrow if I have to crawl to the finish line, god willing that dream will happen. I plan to come home from AZ more focused and determined than ever. I’m excited for what the future holds and I am certain that I will reach my new goal soon! IRONMAN AZ – I got you right where I want you!
Here are the moments where I earned each of the last three stickers, I look forward to slapping the last and final on my ride when I get home!