And So it Begins

Jerry Knaak
Me on December 30, 2012 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Weight: 236 pounds.

I am a 43-year-old white male and I am overweight and out of shape. I have identified myself as a reclamation project. My mind, body and soul need work. I have decided to start with my body.

Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that I used to be the skinny kid. My nickname in the neighborhood was Jerry “Bird.” Not because I had a deadly jump shot, but because I was thin and ate like a bird. I was teased constantly.

My weight was always an issue. Hell, I even had to gain weight to enter U.S. Navy bootcamp. I was 97 pounds dripping wet when I started my freshman year at Edison Tech in Rochester, N.Y. When I graduated in June 1987, I was a whopping 122 pounds. The Navy wanted me to pack on four pounds before heading to Recruit Training Center, Great Lakes, Ill. I remember the snickering from the other guys while I was weighed during initial enlistment physical examinations as I started the delayed entry program. I managed it, I don’t remember how, but seven months later, I met the minimum.

As an adult, I struggled at times with strength. I was an electronics technician on F-14 Tomcats. Some of those avionics boxes are heavy. Although I was a pack a day smoker at the time, I enjoyed sports, basketball mostly. I played intramural sports wherever I was stationed. Flag football, softball, basketball, volleyball, you name it. I was even heavy into bowling for awhile.

When I was married to my first wife, I managed to put a bit of weight and I think I tipped the scales at 165 pounds at my heaviest during that relationship. Home cooking and a slower pace to life when you’re married slows the metabolism a bit.

The last time I was single I probably weighed somewhere around 150-160 pounds. My eating habits were abysmal. I would have spent my last $3 on a pack of smokes rather than a happy meal. The cat ate better than I did.

After moving to California and getting married for the second time, my metabolism started to slow down. I got up to about 185 pounds. I exercised on a semi-regular basis but never seemed to shed any of those 10-15 extra pounds.

I quit smoking February 29, 2008. I did not really prepare, I did not realize how much I actually moved around from my office to the smoking area. I did not understand that I had been putting a stimulant in my body every day for 18 years. I’m not entirely sure how much I weighed when I realized I had packed on significant pounds over the course of a year. I caught my reflection in the mirror as I paraded around sans shirt. Holy crap – I was huge. I even developed severe congestive sleep apnea and use CPAP therapy.

For approximately two years I exercised pretty religiously. I enlisted the help of those who knew about such things, I found a buddy with whom to work out. I got all the way back down to 200 pounds even. Then I started to add weight again. At some time in 2010 I fell off the wagon. I ate whatever I wanted and pretty much stopped exercising on a regular basis. From oh, 2011 until yesterday, I think I stopped exercising altogether.   I weighed myself on a semi-regular basis, still posed for Facebook pictures, but my appearance and weight have been “weighing” on me. Heh heh.

So, I decided that after the first of the year I would wrap my head around this problem and do something about it. I am not calling it a resolution because those are meant to be broken. I am calling it a goal. My fighting weight is about 190 I would say. I weighed in at 236.6 yesterday.

I started with a two-mile walk yesterday and I spent 20 minutes on the elliptical this morning. I’m using two mobile apps, MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper, to keep track of what I eat and how much I exercise.

With dogged determination and a high tolerance for pain (the tendonitis in my right foot has already said “hello”), I’ll actually like what I see in the mirror and the numbers on the scale won’t mock me anymore.

8 thoughts on “And So it Begins

  1. Ann

    Go Jerry! You can do this!eric used my fitness pal a couple of yrs ago and he lost enough to turn his numbers around….his dr. was amazed! Diet and exercise are huge! If the pain gets you down exercising change it up. Eric couldn’t run for a while due to an injury so he did the elliptical and the bike. Mix it up and try a yoga or Pilates class….adds strength and flexibility to avoid injury. Best of luck….I too am on the quest to lose weight and feel better!

  2. Tom

    Jerry, you need “before” pictures. Then you need to find pics of what you want to look like and place that next to it. We all want to know the proportion of carbs/fat/protein you are targeting and how many meals per day you plan on eating. We all want to see the rest of “the plan.” Good luck brother!

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