Bill owns five health clubs and has a gym in his basement...but he can't manage to lose weight. "How can I motivate others to take charge of their health if I do not care enough about myself to take care of my own health?" he asks.
He says he has been on just about every diet there is, but his food addiction always leaves him worse off than before.
Bill's weight issues are starting to take a toll, both physically and mentally. He says his relationship with his wife is suffering. The father of two, with a third due in March 2007, Bill recently started sleeping in the office because his weight-induced snoring is preventing his wife from sleeping.
Week 1: One Week Down, A Lifetime to Go
Day 1, Wednesday evening, I walked out of work, stepped into my car and was instantly hungry. I don't mean I thought I was hungry—my stomach was growling and I had just eaten the turkey wrap I had brought for dinner. It is amazing how we can condition ourselves and how hard our minds will work to continue the pattern. This week has been great. From a health and fitness perspective, I have stopped eating at least two hours before sleep, have eaten a healthy breakfast every morning and have exercised five days for 45 minutes or more.
The greatest challenge this week has been finding the time for work and exercise, as there has been a tremendous amount of what I am calling "over communication" about the show with friends and family that are close to me, friends and family that I never talk to, staff and members at work, and complete strangers. The response has been overwhelming, exciting, encouraging and draining; in a nutshell, I have heard that I am courageous, inspiring and, from the male population, I have heard a lot about "big balls"—whatever that means.
The show aired on my 37th birthday and the next day Kerry (my wife) surprised me and took me away for the weekend. We had a great time spending some one-on-one time, but, no big surprise, we didn't get much sleep because of the snoring—the other guests at the B&B must have thought there was a train station nearby. The getaway was much needed and really gave us a chance to connect and talk about things other than the Best Life Challenge, like the baby who should be arriving in about two weeks.
Anyway, the switch has been flipped and I am determined to succeed at this challenge and change my life. I know soon the "bubble" is going to burst and some of the excitement and buildup will go away, and that is when reality will set in and the real work will start—BRING IT ON!
Week 4: It's a Girl!
Ella Corinne arrived at 11:34 p.m. last Thursday night; she is our beautiful little cinnamon.
The last day (120 hours) has been a blissful blur watching the bonds that Julia, our 8-year-old, and Liam, our 4-year-old, are creating with their new little sister that will last a lifetime. They are both so interested, excited and willing to help anyway they can. Kerry is amazing, delivering our third child naturally—just like the first two—only two hours after returning from her Thursday night yoga class. We arrived at the hospital 45 minutes before the Ella's arrival, and were home 10 hours after the delivery.
I have taken this week off from work to help out with the new baby and to make sure our two other children do not feel neglected with all of the attention focused on the newborn, the extra time and effort a newborn takes, and having two zombies for parents. My diet this week has been good with the exception of the sweets that relatives brought over. My exercise program this week has been poor, back to the bottom of priorities with my focus on the new baby transition, my wife and children. My early morning workouts have been not happening due to the fact that we are getting so little sleep—no excuse. I need to get up early and get the exercise in early; otherwise, it is next to impossible to find time later in the day.
I am soaking in this very special time with my family, and will right the exercise ship tomorrow morning at 5 a.m. even if that means I fall asleep on my elliptical. Oh, and I weighed myself this morning four weeks after the show was taped—I am headed in the right direction and happy with the results, but still have a long way to go.
Keep moving forward,
Week 11: Celebrating Weight 'Gain'
Ella went for her checkup with the doctor, and in her first two months of life she has almost doubled her weight. She is now starting to sleep for larger chucks of time at night so we are able to develop and schedule. And Kerry and I are becoming more functional human beings; I think we have moved out of the "new parent zombie" phase. Julia and Liam are fantastic with their new little sister, always wanting to hold her, kiss her, and even help change and bathe her.
I feel so blessed to have so many people following my journey and encouraging me. I am shocked that on a daily basis I always have someone approach me and start quoting my blog, and how it has helped them focus on their own life and challenges they are facing. Most people make comments about my weight loss progress, but more surprising—just about everyone comments on my mood, attitude and happiness since I started the Best Life Diet. I didn't realize I was unhappy before, but I am realizing there are many people who thought I was unhappy.
This is real life—no controlled protective bubble that we are able to solely focus on losing weight. I am excited to be part of this Best Life project to show viewers real life solutions instead of the reality show weight loss, which is completely contrived and fabricated. "You would have no willpower if you cannot stick to a diet knowing you are going to appear on national TV with the results." I have heard this many times, including from close friends. There is a reason why I let myself get to my current weight and poor health, and baring all in front of millions is not going to magically solve the problem.
I would love to be the perfect role model, but the reality is that being part of this show makes the weight loss experience much more stressful and challenging. I am proud of myself that I am consistently losing weight during an extremely busy time in my life, plus the show pressure. It can be done if you really want it. I am breaking patterns and habits while attempting to understand the "whys" to make profound changes that I can maintain to live my best life.
If you are reading this and are overwhelmed and do not know where to start, commit to moving 10 minutes a day to start. I know you are busy, but are you worth 10 minutes out of the 1,440 minutes in each day! Next week, commit to 20 minutes. Then 30, and then see what happens. It is all about chipping away by making the small changes that are maintainable for the rest of your life.
I know it sounds trite, but we are creatures of habit. The more pizza I ate, the more I craved pizza. And believe it or not, the more healthy food I eat, the more I crave it. I have broken out of a "food coma" that helped me balloon to a high of 296. With small manageable changes I am creating a new life for myself.
Keep moving forward,
Week 12: A Whole New World
I truly feel that a whole new world is opening up to me because I am ready to be honest with myself and experience and process my emotions instead of burying them. I am not talking about huge life changes but opportunities to connect with myself and those around me on a different level because I am taking care of myself. The experience of the show last week was exciting, enjoyable and overwhelming. I felt mentally and emotionally clear and focused. My 100-pound goal has seemed unfathomable and just too daunting to focus on, but now that I have lost 37 pounds in the first three months, I know I can reach my weight loss goal.
More important than reaching my goal, I am confident that I will be able to maintain the weight loss after my experience with Bob and Oprah is finished. Bob has done a great job identifying a number of small changes that, put together, are powerful and lead to significant and steady weight loss. I love Bob's simplistic approach to weight loss and his focus on making a better life for yourself—this not really a diet but a lifestyle change. Slow and steady wins the race.
My next short-term goal is to be able to comfortably wear my wedding ring. I am probably about 15 to 20 pounds away from this goal. About three years ago, the sausage links attached to my hand became so chubby that I needed to remove my wedding ring, fearing it would cut off the circulation. Not being able to wear my wedding ring has depressed me from a weight standpoint. But much more than that, the ring symbolizes the commitment I made to Kerry on our wedding day, and not being able to wear it for so long hurts. Being able to put that ring back on will be a symbol to Kerry that I am just as committed to her and to us as the day we took our vows. "The old Bill" is back!
I am also motivated by everyone who has told me that I have inspired them, and some of those people have surprised me. Brian, one of my business partners, who is already in great shape, is now training with me twice a week. He is now inspired to take his fitness to the next level and make sure that he takes the time for his workouts. I know that my twice-a-week trainings with my trainer Lee are now going to be that much more productive with Brian and me pushing each other further than we would on our own.
Keep moving forward,
Week 13: Sidelined
Yup, my new twice-a-week workouts with Brian are so great, I took myself out of commission for the next four or five days. In yesterday's workout we focused on interval training on full-body weights (low weight, high reps), engaging mostly legs, abs and back, followed by three-minute intervals on the rower, treadmill and bike. It was a difficult and rewarding workout. I definitely pushed myself.
Five hours later as I sat at my computer, I made a slight turn to look at something and my lower back seized up. The pain was so intense it took my breath away, and I felt like I was going to throw up. So, I am off the exercise for the next few days until my lower back muscles recover. Pushing hard during my training session feels great, but I need to be more aware of my limits to avoid sidelining myself for days—I am in a good amount of pain just sitting and walking.
Aside from the back issue, all is well. I feel the new habits settling in and evolving from new habits into new desires. I have the same feeling of craving and satisfaction for a workout or a great salad as I use to feel for a pizza or bag of chips.
Bob—thank you for the delivery of health foods. We are really enjoying the Flatout wraps for lunches for Kerry, and the kids love a cinnamon Flatout with peanut butter. The cases of Slim Fast have also come in handy. We were already stocking Slim Fast in the house, as I find them to be a great breakfast with a piece of fruit for the mornings when I am running late or a midday snack—instead of the a bag of chips—as I am driving in between clubs.
I know the next few days will be frustrating, as I will be unable to exercise. But, like anything else, this will pass. I just need to be patient. Keep moving forward,
Week 14: Kids Say the Darnedest Things
Last week I was at a friend's home when my little pal, Harrison (6 years old), said, "You look better." To which I replied, "Better than what?" He looked down at his cereal, contemplating how he could best communicate his compliment, looked up with sincere eyes and said, "Better than when you were fatter!" I said, "Thank you." I was happy to hear my little friend had noticed I have been making progress on my weight loss journey.
Another little friend of mine, Connor (4 1/2 years old), told his parents that he doesn't want me to lose weight because I will no longer be the strongest man in the world. The point is, it is amazing how perceptive and impressionable children are—I am proud that I am on the road to becoming a role model of health for my children.
I am definitely very tired of being asked, "How much have you lost so far?" The truth is, the number on the scale has not been plummeting since the show and I cannot stand reporting the same weight loss number twice, because I know every time someone asks the weight loss number they are expecting the number to go down every time.
This past week really stunk. The exercise didn't really happen due to the major muscle pain in my lower back. The other day I broke down and had two large slices of pepperoni pizza for lunch. It was completely out of frustration, it satisfied me for the moment, and then haunted me for the next few days. I was trying to fill the void I was feeling over not being physically able to exercise. Ironic, huh?
Keep moving forward,
Week 16: Who's Your Daddy?
I am the Daddy, or at least a much better Daddy. As proven by the Circle of Life exercise we did with Bob, I feel like I need to—or at least have room to—improve in every area of my life. I'm happy to report that now I am already a much better father. Julia, Liam and Ella have a new Daddy, a Daddy who has more energy for physical play and creative bedtime stories; a Daddy who is focused on them when we are together instead of being distracted by the mobile phone, the text messages and e-mail. I have been making many little changes in every aspect of my life and I can see them paying off. This journey, Bob's Best Life Journey (not diet) is much more than just losing weight if you open yourself to the opportunity.
I have been very frustrated that I have not been continuing the rapid weight loss I started with. And then I look at other areas of my life (love life, fatherhood, business partner, etc.) and with some reflection realize I have made great strides in improving these areas in my life while continuing to lose weight. If you take a little time for yourself every day, it will improve every area of your life. I have said this to hundreds of people over the past five years and truly believed it every time I said it. I just didn't realize that I was selling the "Do as I say, not as I do." I didn't realize I could have the same success I'd had before and the same success my members experienced.
Let's shed the protective "fat coat" so I can admit to the fact that I like the coat because it lowers my expectations. I am afraid to have my health and fitness in order, as I am not confident that I will be satisfied with who I am if I have everything together. My "fat coat" also protects me from guilt. In many respects I feel like if I am healthy and fit I will have it all, and have more than many others. Does it make any sense that I would sabotage my own health to avoid judgment from family, friends and complete strangers? Yes, and many times it still does. "I do not deserve to have it all"—this has always been my mentality and it leads to many issues I am struggling with while attempting to achieve my Best Life.
Guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt! Can anyone say self-imposed? It is ironic that I am so concerned about being judged by others as happy, successful and secure and would rather they see/feel that I suffer the same pains that they do. Which I do. Why do I continue to strive for things that I continue to achieve only to discount them to diminish the success?
I am growing and shrinking at the same time. Thank you for reading my innermost thoughts and not judging me. Or if you are judging me, who really cares at this point as long as it is beneficial for all of us.
Keep moving forward,
Week 18: Not Swimsuit Ready
I am headed to a week at the beach with my family and my business partner and his family, and I am not feeling beach body ready. Then again, I have not felt ready to take my shirt off in any setting for the past 12 years.
My swimsuit is a pleasant surprise, as I have been sporting XXL shorts and bathing suits for the past two years. I am down to XL in most now, but the suit I am wearing this summer is a large! I am sure it must be some sort of irregular—I have not lost that much weight, but it feels great to be in a large, nonetheless.
Ella has been back on a quality sleep schedule for the past week, which now leaves me no excuse for not dragging my fat butt out of bed early to reestablish my early morning exercise schedule. The early morning program has always worked best for me as it guarantees that I will not allow my workout time to be consumed by the unexpected events of the day. A friend of mine runs a boot camp class on the beach in our town every morning at 6 a.m.
I am looking forward to participating in the class as part of my summer fitness program, BUT... 1) There is plenty of running involved, and 2) I don't want to make a fool of myself in front of friends. This coming from the guy who just appeared on national TV in just a pair of spandex shorts, excited that he weighed in at 256 pounds. I know it doesn't make sense. It is just something I need to get over as I am sure the class is exactly what I need to launch my fitness program to the next level.
I have been coasting; it's time to kick it into the next gear!
Keep moving forward,
Week 19: Jumping Rope with the Rain
Remember as a kid trying to hop into the jump rope in mid-swing? You would always start to sway with the rhythm of the rope, and each time it would swing past you would say to yourself, "Next time." And when you finally got the courage to jump in the rope would come around and smack you in the head. That is the game we are playing with the weather. We wait and wait because of the cloud cover, then we make the leap to the beach and the skies open up with rain, we scurry back to the house, and as soon as we get undercover, the sun comes back out; and with five kids, an infant and all their gear, it is quite the task repacking and hiking back to the beach.
Three days into our week at the beach and the rain does not want to stop and is forecasted for the rest of the week as well. The refrigerator is much closer when you are cooped up inside and eating can easily become an activity or entertainment instead of nourishment. We have stocked the kitchen with health foods, so about the worst that could happen is that I overindulge in boiled eggs.
I had a great workout this morning with Brian. We made our way over to York Fitness & Lobster Shop. I love going to this place because the lobster shop is attached to the fitness center and the desk employee who sells memberships also rakes lobsters from the tank for hungry tourists and locals. The vast majority of the strength equipment at this facility is well over 30 years old; the same equipment I used when I was 13 years old (and it was old then). Despite the age of the equipment it still works better than most new equipment and we had a fantastic old-school workout. Exercising at this facility is a good reminder that you do not need the latest and greatest equipment to be successful, but rather the desire and drive to make a healthier you.
The time away from day-to-day work and home is good to spend with family and focus on each other rather than all the other little stuff. I have been looking forward to this vacation to also launch into the next phase of this challenge by breaking some of the old habits that started to creep back into my daily routine, like skipping breakfast, too much coffee and late night eating. I have also started to launch a stepped-up exercise regimen with a minimum of five solid workouts (45 minutes or more), at least five times per week. I LOVE the feeling I have when I am exercising, a feeling of excitement knowing that I am taking care of myself. I still have not figured out why I struggle with making my exercise a top priority, but it is always the first thing that I let drop when things get busy—and it is always busy.
Keep moving forward,
Week 21: An Inspiring Child
Last week we went camping (in tents) with the whole family. It is a wonderful time to spend all day and night outdoors and active, hiking, running, swimming, boating, etc. On our second to last day of camping, my 8-year-old daughter, Julia, decided that she wanted to swim across the pond. I was shocked as I never would have thought to swim over a half-mile to the other side of the pond. We said okay, so she put on her life jacket and one of the other fathers hopped into his boat and Julia set out to cross the pond with a group of her friends.
Many of the group took a boat ride back to the beach when they hit the halfway point, but Julia, who had started the whole adventure, was steadfast in her goal to reach the other side. Pat, the father with the boat, gave Julia many chances to stop, telling her that she had done a great job that she could stop at any time, but she was unwavering in her decision to land on the beach across the pond. I am so proud of her for who she is, to: 1) Set a lofty goal on her own. 2) Not listen to others who thought she couldn't do it. And 3) Push herself mentally, physically and emotionally to complete the monumental task she had set for herself.
Julia taught me a great lesson at a point where I really needed it—stay focused! The longer the journey, the more difficult is becomes to stay focused on the ultimate goal. I believe Bob's Best Life Diet is truly a Best Life journey and the only reason the word "diet" is used is because we, as a culture, are conditioned to associating the word "diet" with "quick results, and then I can get back to the way I lived before" and the word "journey" with a long arduous trip that may not take us where we want to go.
I am better in every aspect of my life since I started my Best Life journey. I am overcoming my fear of failure and realizing that most of the time life is in the effort, not necessarily the results. I have always shied away from challenges that I knew I could not be the best at, not realizing that I needed to focus on becoming my best me! It sucks to feel like you should be the best at everything and you feel like you are not succeeding at anything.
I have always quit before I really started because I thought I couldn't "win." Keep going Julia, Liam and Ella—the winning is in the effort, the commitment and the desire to be the best you can be! I am refocusing to be the best person I can be.
I am moving forward aware, alive and ready to be real with my hopes, desires and fears, to not settle for a life I can coast on, but rather embrace a life I can create!
Keep moving forward,
Week 23: Balance
Bob Greene called me the other day to check on my progress on the Best Life program during the summer. I was happy to report to Bob that every area of my life is much improved since starting the Best Life plan back in February. No area of my life is perfect, but I am finding the right balance all around. In the past when I would start a diet, I would focus all of my energy on cutting my food intake and exercising like crazy, which would throw everything else in my life out of balance. And if I did reach my weight loss goal it was not sustainable. Bob's program is designed to be a journey that prepares you for a long, healthy life.
I just keep chipping away, every week rediscovering a little bit more of me or the me I know I can be. I feel like I have unconsciously used the extra weight to lower the expectations of myself and what others expect of me. There is a fear deeply rooted in the pit of my stomach that I will not measure up even after getting control of my health and fitness—this fear of failure seems to grow inside me with every pound lost and pants size dropped. Bob said on the show that, "Good is never good enough for Bill." I think a truer statement is that I often settle for good and bemoan that fact that I could/should have done better instead of truly striving for excellence because I am afraid of failing.
The bottom line is: I feel great. My weight is down, my cholesterol is down, my blood pressure is down and my energy is up. I am losing weight and getting healthy the right way.
Keep moving forward,
Week 25: Take It from Me, Don't Get Fat!
I still cannot believe I was a few pounds away from 300! What the hell happened? I was shocked when I hit 200 on the way up so many years ago.
Blah, blah, blah, I had a crappy week, had to overcome some things (like everyone), avoid overeating to compensate for the crappy week, and also squeeze in time to be active. Nobody chooses to gain the weight, but there comes a time when we realize the weight is too much and that something needs to be done. Here comes the diet industry to the rescue—the fastest, the easiest, the craziest. I have lost the weight, gained it back—and then some—again and again. Never before did I look at the WHY. Why did I gain the weight? Why have I been unable to lose it? And, why will this time be different? It is the why that makes this process that much more difficult, and at the same time it is the why that will make the weight loss last this time.
I have started being honest with myself and those around me, and although the weight loss is not as drastic as most of the radical fad diets out there, I am averaging a weight loss of two-plus pounds per week. And I have also answered some key life questions that will not only keep the weight off, but will continue my weight loss and, more importantly, build my best life that I will be able to share with everyone in my life.
Keep moving forward,
Week 26: Getting Organized
This morning I did get up with my alarm at 5 a.m., but I immediately drove into work to knock some things off my to-do list. I do plan to keep my appointment with a trainer this morning, but usually when I feel overwhelmed with home and work demands I will cancel the time I set aside to take care of me—not today. I am so much more productive when I get some form of exercise completed in the morning as it clears my head and gives me energy.
That's all I got. I have a lot on my plate right now—I am trying to get the plate clean and get our staffing really solid as we are working diligently on our growth plan, and could be in and/or building two more gyms as soon as November. The business growth definitely adds responsibility and stress, but I am preparing for the new demands by improving my time management, including my exercise time and the addition of a new office where I am able to be more productive and do less driving between the gyms. I am now more aware of my stress levels and continue to find ways to reduce my stress level instead of adding to my stress by overeating and gaining even more weight.
Before I started this Best Life program I wouldn't even realize I was stressed because I would drown the stress with food before I had even processed the emotion.
Here's to progress and celebrating the little achievements!
Keep moving forward,
Week 27: Chasing My Tail
The past few weeks I feel like I have been marking time. The days and weeks just seem to fly by trying to keep up with life. My alarm went off at 5:15 this morning and I actually dragged myself out of bed and jumped on my Arc trainer for 30 minutes and then interval run/walk on my treadmill for 20 minutes. It feels great starting my day with exercise, knowing I have done something good for myself. Early morning exercise also helps me avoid the stress of trying to fit a workout in later in the day, which more often than not does not happen.
I went to Las Vegas last week for a business conference. I flew out on Wednesday, had the conference on Thursday, and flew back on Friday. From a work standpoint, the trip was productive; but from a personal perspective, it just disrupted the rhythm I had started to reestablish. The three-day trip, aside from an early morning cardio session on Thursday, was extremely inactive and the diet was not great. I was not prepared for the flight (nine hours of traveling) and ended up eating basically snack chips and nuts for breakfast and lunch. By the time we sat down for dinner, I was a "1" on Bob's hunger scale. I ordered the cheeseburger and fries, I ate it, I enjoyed it, I am not going to regret it.
The day of the conference was much better. I was up half the night due to the time change and was standing outside the health club waiting for the doors to open at 6 a.m. so I could squeeze in a half-hour of exercise before the conference started. My diet was better on the second day as well, balanced and nutritious—the only thing I should have done differently would have been to order a steak about half the size of the one I ate. But it's difficult to pass on free steak!
Onward and upward. All and all, things are going well—just continuing to work on managing my stress levels with things other than food.
Keep moving forward,
Week 28: A Happy Home
I had never equated weight loss with improved communication, but the two go hand in hand. Committing to the Best Life plan and examining the reasons why I am overweight has forced me to honest with myself and those around me, thus improving our communication. Kerry is able to trust me more knowing that I am not eating in secret.
My energy level is extremely high with carrying less weight and getting exercise on a regular basis. My alarm goes off at 5 a.m.—sometimes 4 a.m., depending on what I have scheduled for the day—and I head right down to our home gym for an hour of exercise, usually 30 minutes on the Arc trainer and 30 minutes on the treadmill. This routine has been going very well for the past few weeks, really setting the tone for the day and establishing an energy level through exercise that a double espresso cannot match.
Ella's sleep schedule is still hit-or-miss, so it can be challenging to get out of bed at 5 a.m. when I just crawled back into bed at 4 after getting Ella back to sleep. I am definitely cutting the sleep a little short right now to fit all of the day's activities in as well as my exercise time.
Kerry and I have been drinking more tea and less coffee, which creates a more consistent energy level throughout the day instead of the caffeine highs and lows. I have also been drinking Slim Fast just about every day—mostly for a snack between breakfast and lunch, or between lunch and dinner—but I also use Slim Fast as a quick breakfast on the go when I am pressed for time. I find it fills me up and gives me the energy I need.
I continue to chip away at the weight as I reinforce the new habits that I will use for a lifetime to maintain a healthy life and my Best Life.
Keep moving forward,
Week 30: My Pathetic Wardrobe
There are slim pickings in my closet right now. I have tossed all of my 46, 44, 42 and 40 pants. I have been a solid 38 for the past month and just getting by with the few pairs of 38 pants that I have, as I have no desire to buy any more transition clothes because I am hopefully about one month away from being in a 36.
I am shocked at the sheer volume of material required to cloth me seven months ago. I figure by the end of the year I will be ready to shop for my new wardrobe for the new me. I think the lack of clothing options is even more frustrating for Kerry than it is for me. She is excited to dress me up instead of watching me walk around in my now oversized shirts. Once I am closer to my goal weight I look forward to shopping for clothes that will show off my healthy body—a 180-degree turnaround from the shopping mentality (buy whatever hides me best) I had for the past five-plus years.
I put on a jacket yesterday that I had not worn since March, and in March it was so tight on my stomach I couldn't zip it up and was contemplating buying the next larger size...now I have so much room in it I could smuggle a watermelon into a movie theater.
Life is good. I have so much to be thankful for and I am slowing but surely taking responsibility for my weight. I have tried to stop acting like I am a victim, and let go of all of the excuses.
Keep moving forward,
Week 32: Oprah Radio, XM 156
My biggest challenge has been stress-eating in the car. I originally subscribed to XM Radio for the comedy channel, but in the past two months I have discovered that the Oprah Radio channel can and is bringing a much more positive influence to my life.
All of the "friends" including Bob (not on enough), Dr. Oz, Jean Chatzky, Maya Angelou, Dr. Robin and Gayle King (who, I must confess, I listen to most mornings), equip me with an optimistic view for my day and keep me focused on the good that is out there. I don't want to sound corny, but XM 156 delivers optimism and encouragement to my daily three-plus hours in the car—replacing the regular daily chatter, pessimism and anxiety I used to listen to. That only added to my stress and anxiety and made me more apt to drown my emotions in high-fat and calorie foods.
Spending so much time on the road, it is very easy to fall back into the same old bad eating habits, including mindless eating of high-fat comfort foods while listening to the yelling and arguing that sports radio brings into my car/world. I am not looking to throw sports radio under the bus, as that is my primary resource for information on sports that I care about, BUT I realized that the all-or-nothing sports radio mentality is strikingly similar to my own personal mentality that had been perpetuating my former, unhealthy lifestyle!
I feel like XM 156 offers an opportunity to be exposed to many ideas and topics that are very relevant to my life that would normally fly under the radar until they became issues. Before, I used to use my daily driving time to "check out" in between the many business calls. Now, in between the calls I am checking in and truly making a better life for myself. The pounds continue to come off, but more important than that my outlook on life continues to change.
The positive feedback on my appearance and weight loss from family, friends and members seems to be increasing over the past few weeks. My challenge is to get over the embarrassment from the compliment, say, "Thank you," and avoid my typical apologetic response when I start talking about how I never should have been that heavy to begin with and that I still have a long way to go. I struggle with accepting a compliment, patting myself on the back and being proud of what I have accomplished in the past eight months. I am proud of myself!
Keep moving forward,
Week 33: 36", Baby!
I took a chance tonight and pulled out a box of old, smaller clothes that I have been saving for years for my trip back down the scale. Many times I was ready to give up the dream of fitting back into these clothes and almost gave them to Goodwill, but I held on to a few things. Tonight, with much anxiety I removed what Kerry has always called my "hot jeans"—J-Crew 36-inch, regular cut...not the baggy, relaxed fit.
I looked at the jeans. They looked very small, and as I pulled them up my legs, I was convinced they were going to get stuck mid-thigh. But they made it all the way up, zipped and buttoned. And the kicker is they weren't even tight. This is the first time I have worn these jeans in many years (no they are not acid-washed), and being able to fit into them again made my weight loss progress real for me.
I have been very aware of my ongoing weight loss, but I have not been so focused on the numbers or even comparing where my weight is now to where I want it to be. My primary focus for the past eight months has been on Bob's "whys" and really understanding the emotional side of the equation that had brought me to a very unhealthy 296 pounds. The mental and emotional changes over the past eight month far outweigh (no pun intended) the actual weight loss, because these are the real keys to my success and will continue to be for the rest of my life.
Week 34: An Amazing Woman
Twelve years ago, standing at the end of the aisle, I was the happiest man in the world watching this amazing woman who embodied so many great qualities—intelligence, passion, beauty, a killer sense of humor and personality to spare—walking down the aisle to join her life with mine. Through the past 8 and a half months my relationship with Kerry has just blossomed, mostly due to the fact that I am now more open to process my emotions and communicate instead of burying thoughts or feelings I just didn't want to deal with.
For years Kerry has always been teased by family and friends about wearing her heart on her sleeve. Through this Best Life process I have come to appreciate Kerry's ability to process and communicate her emotions. This is a very admirable and healthy trait, and something I continue to improve on in myself. Kerry has been fantastic during this program, very supportive. And as difficult as it has been, she has been open to me sharing my experience with everyone out there. Kerry was the one who convinced me to send an e-mail to The Oprah Show in the first place, after we watched the show and were moved by Cindy's story. I am happy to report that Kerry's love and support is paying off and in return she is getting back the man she married 12 years ago.
Kerry—You continue to inspire me daily just by being yourself. Thank you for sticking with me. I look forward to a long, fulfilling life with you. You are the love of my life.