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.