This is has been something I have thought about doing for a long time, but haven’t because of embarrassment. Part of me thinks I look pretty good without a shirt on, and the louder part sees the imperfections. The “saggy skin” from being overweight for the better part of 20+ years.
I look at myself from when I played Little League Baseball and I was chunky. I have had kids on my son’s team that I thought were fat. That was me when I was eight. I wasn’t really large or wouldn’t even call myself obese, but I was fat.
In High School I was totally sheltered and shy because I was overweight and was picked on.
It only got worse after high school when I moved out on my own and really started eating shitty. I started playing way too many video games and the combination of never moving and eating like crap really piled on.
I would start going to the gym after I turned 21 and went to Las Vegas – it was the first time that the idea of a girlfriend was enough to get me to do something about my weight.
I was doing the basic globo gym routine, though. Lots of sets of 10, lots of rest between sets and little sweating. No plan around getting stronger. Sure, I got stronger, but it was because before the gym I didn’t do a thing – of course I was going to get stronger just by going. But plateau’s happened all the time. I didn’t really care, I just started to look at the gym as a reason to go eat a big pile of horrible food afterward.
“Hey, I was just at the gym so this big burrito covered in cheese is totally OK.”
The knowledge of not being able to out-work a bad diet was not in my head. The scale didn’t change, but I never really got on the scale.
Fast forward another 5 or 7 years of occasionally going to the gym and now I am wearing XXXL. Yes, three x’s. I shopped the Big and Tall sections only. Stores that didn’t carry anything bigger than XXL or size 42 inch pants were off limits – they didn’t have anything that fit me.
Fast forward a few more years and I have actually got myself down to about 230 pounds. Probably the lightest I had been in a number of years. I meet my future wife, we get married and I get comfortable again. Bam, back to 290-300 pounds.
This gets me to the picture on the left in the set of pictures below. That picture was taken at my son’s first birthday party, so about February of 2010. That’s me. Large, red cheeks and I am out of breath when I tie my shoes.
Later that summer I would have a few events that smack me in the face. That would start me down the path to a healthier life. At that time my heaviest recorded weight was 282, but I am sure that I weighed closer to 330 at one point in my life.
It is now over six years later and I own my own CrossFit gym, weigh in around 209 at the time of this writing and have a visible six-pack. I can now fit into medium sized shirts, 30 inch pants (although I prefer 34 inch pants because of the extra room for my thighs – that squatting tho!!) and run and play with my kids – and they get tired before me (sometimes)!
So, on to the picture…
Why I took the pictures on the right
These were taken at about 4:30 in the morning as I was getting ready to go to the gym. No pump from 100 sit ups or any other kind of work. Just a shower. No filters – if I had a filter I would make my bathroom counter look cleaner!
I was just pretty happy to look in the mirror and see abs staring back at me. Even when I weighed close 200 at my lowest after my first Whole 30 there weren’t any abs. Constant CrossFit and weight training has created those.
The only change in recent months was a cut in calories and I have also started regularly taking Isagenix shakes at night as part of my daily nutrition. I take one in the morning right after working out, but don’t count that towards my daily caloric/marco goals. The one at night I do count and make it fit.
So, here I took two pictures and feeling pretty good….but….
I didn’t post them right away because there is the sagging. The sagging that I am not sure I will ever get rid of. Doesn’t mean I am going to quit trying, just not sure it will ever go away. I have seen quite a few people post pictures of themselves after losing a bunch of weight that have a lot more saggy skin than I. If they can post these pictures than so can I, right?
Here it is:
That’s six years of constant work. Spending 5-7 days in the gym on a regular basis. Watching what I eat and using several different eating plans ranging from Weight Watchers at the beginning to Paleo in the middle to currently watching my macro counts. My diet isn’t nearly as strict as it used to be – I allow myself to cheat and allow myself to cheat more frequently. The flexible dieting plays a large part in that, but I think in the long run that is better for me. I feel like I am not afraid of food or gaining 20 pounds anymore. If I want Chick Fil A for breakfast (as I had this morning) I have Chick Fil A. I just make it fit my marcos.
Figuring out what are the correct macros is another story. That is still a work in progress, but I feel like I am getting closer. I currently eat 2,700 calories a day (plus the Isagenix shake in the morning after working out). The macros are 304/90/169 which is 45/30/25 of carb/fat/pro. I’ll keep at this for a while and will try to get my body fat tested towards the end of this month to see how the last year has treated me.