Starting From Scratch

You’ll have to forgive me but I tend to forget that most of you follow this blog to read about my fitness journey and the struggles along the way. I have been using it more as a creative outlet and a way to share some memoirs. However, I recently remembered why I created this blog in the first place and I thought it would be a good idea to update you on my progress or lack thereof. I am a big believer in knowing where you come from in order to understand where you’re going. So, if you’ll indulge me, here is a bit of a recap …

I started this blog along with a commitment to exercise and eating better in 2013. I had hit an all-time high at 236.6 pounds and I was miserable. I found everyday tasks to be difficult and I truly hated what I saw in the mirror. It took two years, but I achieved my goal weight of 180 pounds by the end of 2014. I maintained that weight until mid-2017. I crept back up to 200 pounds or so and then dropped back down to 177 in 12 weeks. I have been gaining and losing weight ever since, and I have developed a love/hate relationship with the fitness industry. That’s a story for another day. And now, I am afraid I am very close to undoing everything I have accomplished in the better part of 10 years.

I was at roughly 215 pounds last May when I put fitness and exercise on hold until after a move. I was down to 205 last July and I was stronger than I ever have been. I have been steadily gaining ever since, fluctuating between 220-230. Prior to a recent packing on of an additional five pounds, I thought I looked better at 225 than I did the last time I was at this weight because I was in better shape. Well, add five more pounds, and that view or perception goes right out the window. Once again, I absolutely hate what I see in the mirror. I can’t remember who said it, but someone once told me that I am fueled by self-loathing. I guess that’s true. There’s some measure of wanting to be healthy or add years to my life span, but what obesity looks like on me is what motivates me, not the ill effects. Sure, everyday activities once again became uncomfortable and I get winded doing household chores, but I cringe when I see myself in the mirror.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing is not appreciating what I looked like the two times I got down to 180 pounds. All I could think of each time was that I still didn’t have the body I wanted. And instead of continuing to work for it, I backed off. Not so far that I fell off the ledge, that was last summer. Unfortunately, I had to give up quite a bit of my exercise equipment in the move because there wasn’t enough room in the truck. But, that’s not a real excuse. I could go into all kinds of reasons but I’m just not going to do it. Let’s just say I tried to get back into it and just couldn’t. Fits and starts is the best way to describe it. I lost my love for running after achieving a goal, and for the past 10-11 months, I could not rekindle my passion for exercise. I was floating between 220-225 until I overindulged for a couple of weeks and gained five more pounds. I hadn’t seen that high of a number on the scale in almost 10 years and I was mortified. And then I took a long, hard look in the mirror.

My god.

Almost back to where I was in 2013 was a sobering reality. I had fallen off the wagon with daily vitamins and supplements as well. I finally said to myself that I was done screwing around. It was high time I rediscovered my love and passion, and dare I say addiction, for fitness and exercise. So, I have dug out the workouts, taken to the streets of my town more often, and gotten back to shooting hoops. The past three weeks have been great. I am trying not to obsess over the scale, but it’s difficult because the way my body works, my weight is directly proportional to body fat. I can’t reduce one without reducing the other. I’ve touched 225, let’s say that. I was ahead on my weightlifting sessions for this past week until a hamstring pull derailed me.

I will say that I am feeling better already. Strength and flexibility are coming back slowly, but surely (don’t call me Shirley). I’m sleeping better as well.

It’s funny, everyone always says you’ll have more energy when you exercise regularly. When I was at the top of my game I never felt that way, I didn’t think my regimen gave me any boosts whatsoever. Then I pretty much took a year off and oh boy, did I feel that lack of energy. I know some of it has to do with getting older. Naps are your friend when you climb well past 40. It’s amazing the things you don’t notice until you undo everything.

I’ll be back at it for Week 4 on Monday. I’ll hop on the scale and see what kind of damage I did since pulling a hamstring a few days ago. But I will tell you this, I am nowhere near done. I have a goal of hitting 180 again. It’s the best I’ve looked and felt throughout this journey. I’m not a betting man, but if I were, I’d wager that it won’t take me two years to get back to 180. It is better to look good than to feel good. It’s always been a journey with no real destination. That’s something I forgot along the way as well.