Tuesday, November 15, 2011

There and Back Again... Stupid Fat Hobbit.

No, this isn't a long-overdue review of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.  I've mentioned recently that I'd gained some weight and had been spending time in the gym playing Fitocracy.  I never got into the specifics, but I can do so now.  I've been heavy since elementary school, slowly but surely gaining weight as so many of us do with Mountain Dew, Doritos and a lot of time spent in a computer chair or in front of some other screen, not moving around much.  When I was in my late twenties, managing a hobby shop and running an annual game convention, I'd ballooned all the way up to 325 pounds.  Somewhere in there, I decided to make a change.  I knew that my mother, who had just passed away, had been concerned for my health, and my good friend and then employer, the owner of the hobby shop, shared that concern.  He and his wife decided to work a membership to the YMCA into my annual compensation.

I had the motivation and the means, and it took nearly two years, but I lost over 125 pounds.  I managed to do so while making nearly every mistake a young gym rat can make.  I'd taken up smoking, I was working the "mirror muscles" at the expense of my back and core, and I was taking advice that was aimed at people with an overall greater baseline of fitness than I had.  However, reducing calories and moving around more work, no matter how many stupid fads you subscribe to or how many bad habits you have.  My progress motivated me to push harder and before I knew it, I wasn't having to fast-talk and charm my butt off to get the attention of the fairer sex. My looks were an asset instead of a challenge to overcome with humor, and I used my new-found changes to make many bad decisions with many women.

Luckily, before I killed myself or anyone else with my rampant hedonism and poor impulse control, I met the woman I'd soon be engaged to.  She most likely saved my life, literally. However, I was in danger over the following few years from another spectre: recidivism.  My gym membership went away when the hobby shop did, but my increased appetite and love for beer did not. In addition, I decided that I needed to quit smoking for my overall long-term health and short-term budget.  Things did not bode well for my new, lighter frame. My lifestyle changes and poor decisions brought my weight up. Way up. When I started in Special Education, I steadily gained weight until I was creeping up on 300 pounds again.  When I was laid off this year, I spent seven (heavily documented here) months mostly in front of a computer screen gaming, looking for work and blogging.

Now that I'm nearly as heavy as I was the last time I lost it all, but older, I have a reason to get moving again. I've got a YMCA membership again, and I've got a lot of people supporting my journey back to being a healthy size again. Even though I carry the weight well, looking more like someone just north of 250 pounds rather than someone nearly seventy pounds over that, I am committed to losing it again. I'm rapidly approaching the end of my first month working out and being more careful with what I eat, and I'm down seven pounds so far. I already have a ton more energy and am finding it easier to deal with life in general. I've done this before, I know the way. This is my burden to bear, and you'd better believe I'm ready to huck that extra whole person's worth of weight into Mount Doom.

Beyond that, I've joined Sparkpeople in addition to Fitocracy and I'm lifting weights in preparation to try the Stronglifts 5x5 program, as I find it easy to add mass to my frame, whether through eating burgers or pumping iron. It'd be nice to be healthy and fairly well muscled again, and better to surpass what I did allmost eight years ago now. Best Blogger Tips
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Jay said...

Good on you! :D

Timothy said...

1) Congratulations on getting the weight under control.
2) Slow loss is important (because even the super heavy can risk all the health shocks of anorexia by losing too much too quickly).
3) Here's hoping for the follow-up post where you are under two bills. Exercise is key, but not eating a package of cookies a day (in my case, not being able to afford them helps) will eliminate something like 1000 calories right there.

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