Ever since I can remember I have been a larger fellow. I think the last time I could be considered small was when I was 5. Yeah, it’s been a while. Call it genes (my father and extended family tend to be on the plus size as well) or call it habits (I love to cook and eat). I have put this size bonus to use in the past, spending several years on a football team. Those were enjoyable times and I do so miss the thrill of hitting someone as hard as possible without fear of repercussions off the field of battle.
When I started high school I joined the marching band. While good for musical and, some would argue, mathematical advancement, it doesn’t really do much in the form of exercise. True, band camp was strenuous at times–it was at band camp that I first learned the importance of electrolytes. But a Gold’s Gym it was not.
Of course there was the obligatory gym class in high school. I really excelled at the weight lifting aspect of it. It was something I really enjoyed a lot. Sometimes I tried showing off to my detriment. I remember one time There were a bunch of girls in the weight room that I wanted to impress. I was doing squats at the time. My buddy asked how much I wanted to do and I said 450lbs (I was 15 and not even close to half that weight). The first two reps went fine. Then on the third, as I was going back up, I lost my balance. I tried moving my hands out of the way, and very nearly succeeded. But, alas, my ring finger got trapped beneath the bar and the rack. I quickly moved my hand out and gripped my finger. I calmly walked over to the coach–there were girls present after all–and informed him that I needed to get some ice then showed him the finger. Needless to say I didn’t attempt that again.
On my mission I was fairly constrained when it came to working out. Not a lot of opportunities presented themselves to get to the gym and memberships were forbidden. What we did was generally in the privacy of the apartments. Of course there is the “mission addition” to worry about. So, that didn’t help with the whole “being large in stature” status.
Shortly after getting off my mission I started attending BYU. With the prestigious title of Zoobie came access to the BYU gym. It was a nice free place for me to work out. The plan was to go every day. I ended up going every two days for the first couple of years attending. It helped to avoid the “Freshman Fifteen” for the most part. I got a job working in the Activities Support department in the gym even. That kept me close to the gym, making my goals that much easier. Of course life happens and my goals slipped out of reach as I decided to focus more on my studies than pretty much anything else. By the time I graduated I hat hit nearly 300lbs. This was not good.
I tried many different dieting techniques, most failing after a while. Of course, having hypothyroidism doesn’t help. But I have managed to get to a more reasonable 265 lbs.
A few weeks ago I walked into a Gold’s Gym for the first time. I hadn’t been in a gym in several years. I felt inspired after seeing one of my friends’ wife on The Biggest Loser (she is Sarah from the Pink Team). At first I was overwhelmed by all of it. But I’ve grown used to the routine. Get off work, drive to the gym, 10 minutes on the elliptical, 30 to 45 minutes on the routine, then 20 more minutes on the elliptical. I’ve changed my diet significantly, too. Of course, the diet gets hard when seeing people around me eating stuff that I love–my friend Scott offers me french fries nearly ever day, that jerk. I am paying for a personal trainer, so there is more motivation there. He even pushes me harder than I would normally. As I write this my arms are still hurting from yesterday’s work out. But it’s a good hurt. A hurt that brings a sort of morbid joy. Joy in the knowledge that what I am doing is right and good. It’s the joy of work, the joy of weight loss. I know when I reach my goal (211 lbs) it’ll be great. But I have a ways to go before I get there. Hopefully I can find more joy in the journey and more ups than downs.