I was 6’1”, 260 pounds and I needed to make drastic changes. Fast.“You’re a fat ass,” is what I heard him say. In reality, my doctor actually had a much more eloquent and scientific way of putting it. I was 6’1”, 260 pounds and I needed to make drastic changes. Fast. The most persuasive argument he made was that I should do it for my soon-to-be-born son. He asked about my diet, and I confessed to having no restrictions. He encouraged portion control and eliminating snacking, but his recommendations stopped there and I was unsure where to begin in the baffling world of diets. Then we spoke about exercise. My admission that my fitness routine consisted of a weekly co-ed slow pitch softball league was met with unfettered laughter.
My doctor said enough to frighten me, and I jumped on the high-protein, low-carb diet bandwagon and half-heartedly (pun intended) engaged in 15 minutes of aerobic exercise per day. The diet part was easy – I ate everything I was already eating, but took out the carbs. And the exercise…let’s just say I did it. I hated every second of it, and it totally sucked. But I did it.
After two months, I hit the lowest weight in my adult life: 215 pounds. And then, in what seemed like the blink of an eye, my first son was born, I gained 40 pounds, napping in my car replaced exercise time, and my all-protein diet, which I sporadically maintained to salvage some shred of dignity, had resulted in my cholesterol hitting a number that may have won me a trophy if I was gunning for NL batting champ. Instead, I was more likely to win a Trophy for Heart Implosion. Do they give those out?
I was in the habit of putting myself second (or third) – sacrificing everything, including my health, for my family. It’s a noble pursuit, to be sure, but not if you aren’t alive to watch your family grow.I was demoralized. Not only had I come back full circle, but it was worse this time. At this point I was in the habit of putting myself second (or third) – sacrificing everything, including my health, for my family. It’s a noble pursuit, to be sure, but not if you aren’t alive to watch your family grow. I needed to take into account how to help my family in the long run. That meant prioritizing my diet and exercise, starting now.
I had to come up with a plan, and I knew it had to start with my eating. A clear indicator of this was the mountain of receipts for midnight stress burgers in my tax folder (which I thought, somehow, were deductible). I surmised that if I was able to lose a little weight or become healthier in general, exercise might feel like less of a chore. Also, I needed to find the right kind of exercise. If I could find a viable, sustainable plan for eating and for exercise, I knew I would have a shot at succeeding. And so my journey began.