It’s disgusting to me to even say, but I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been. At 6 feet 4 inches, people expect you to weigh a lot more than them, but ever since graduating high school I’ve been battling (or not even trying to battle) a weight problem.
In high school I was about 215 lbs. at the same height. I was pretty wimpy and didn’t have much muscle mass, so even though I didn’t look like it, I was technically a little overweight based on my BMI. Even if you don’t subscribe to the Everybody Fits On The Same Scale School of thought, you have to admit that I was close to overweight regardless of the formula you use.
Basketball practice had long since finished by the summer after graduation and I wouldn’t play anything but some pickup games for the next few years. I lived at home and commuted to my college so I spent a lot of time sitting in the car, on the train, and in 4-hour classes. I ate the same amount of food I had grown accustomed to in high school. Only now, I wasn’t playing basketball two hours a day, so I burned nothing off.
Realizing My Problem
When I first got serious about my weight, it came from embarrassment. I had made a bunch of friends at my new church’s young adult group and I started to leave the house more and wanted to play sports and go to events with them. But I was about 240 lbs. and I felt gross. I had belonged to a gym for a couple years, but it wasn’t until this point that I really tried.
After watching a hundred YouTube videos on lifting and eating for muscle gain and fat loss, I started to turn a corner. People started noticing and it fueled my desire to be fit. I got down to 225 lbs. but now I was jacked. My arms didn’t fit in most of my clothes and neither did my neck. My chest stuck out further than my stomach and I loved it.
Relapse and Rebound
I maintained a healthy lifestyle through the end of college, but after working a ridiculous number of hours for a year at the job I landed in Philly, I had stopped working out as much and started eating more. I don’t remember how heavy I got, but I remember not liking the way I looked. Since my time at work didn’t change I started hitting the gym after midnight – which was awful and not a healthy choice. But it was better than not going. I honestly don’t know how I ate any healthier with being away from home and near so many fast-food options. Somehow I did and it paid off. I didn’t lose much weight but I looked and felt much better.
My Job Tried Again
The location, atmosphere, and time-demand of my job had always been difficult on my health, but then it got worse. There were a lot of heavy, unhealthy people at work. Computer jobs frequently gather or grow that type. So they planned a weight-loss competition. This was a great idea, but they didn’t do the initial weigh-in for at least a week. Myself and a few others took advantage of that time and ate as much as we could, of the worst things possible, up until the minute we got on the scale. I even remember drinking half a gallon of water while waiting to weigh in. That’s four pounds.
I did well in the competition and I lost a lot of weight and was motivated, even at work, to eat healthy and work out frequently. That part of the competition was great. But the beginning was super unhealthy and when it was all over and one person had destroyed the rest of us, almost all of us immediately went back to our unhealthy habits. Nothing really changed – except I had once again fluctuated my weight in a very short, unhealthy time-frame. And before long, I was back to an all-time high weight.
Marriage and Attempted Fat-icide
One of the many reasons I left my job and started freelancing was my health. Initially, it helped a lot. I lost around 30 pounds in the six months before my wedding in 2013. I was in amazing shape. My muscles weren’t the largest they’d ever been, but for the first time ever, I could actually see a six-pack starting to peek out. I got down to 230 lbs. by my wedding and lost a few more over the next couple weeks. My goal was to get to 220. That weight with as much muscle mass as I had would be super healthy for my heart.
Unfortunately I never saw 220. I haven’t seen anything close since. My weight has increased steadily to this day. I’ve tried a few times in the past couple months but I ultimately end up right back where I was. Today I’m just shy of 280 lbs. It’s absolutely disgusting.
Enough is Enough
So why am I sharing all this? Because while I’ve told some close friends and family of the details, I never wanted anyone else to know. But now I’ve had enough. Every time I start to lose weight, I find some excuse, some ounce of depression, or some anger to de-motivate and pig out. I don’t want to anymore. It’s time for me to be considerate to my wife, disciplined for myself, and a good example to my future children. I’m relying on the embarrassment of sharing this with you to motivate me.
I don’t know how long it’s going to take. But I want and need your support if it’s going to work. I’d love to see 220 again. I would settle for 230 because the last time I was there, things were great. But I need to start small. My first goal is 250 lbs. I plan on updating you with my progress (positive or negative) every month. If you have any tips or suggestions for meeting my goals, please add them in the comments. If you’ve had a similar journey, let me know. Maybe we can motivate each other.