My life has been fairly typical of many Americans. I grew up in a small rural town in northern Minnesota. I grew up on a small farm with my parents and two older brothers and I went to school at the local public school. We weren’t anything out of the ordinary and we were happy and still are.
In grade school I was considered one of the fastest runners in my grade. We had roughly 60-70 kids in my graduating class and being the fastest runner was something I was very proud of. I wasn’t a skinny kid in grade school but I certainly wasn’t overweight.
Fast forward to 2001 and you’ll see a 260 pound 5′ 8″ twenty-one year old struggling with weight and self-esteem issues. I was living alone in my brother and sister-in-laws house with few friends and no true idea how or why I got to this point.
For my height and weight the Mayo Clinic BMI calculator put my BMI at 39.5. That is considered Obese. In 2001, I had no idea what BMI was or that I was what would be considered Obese. I just knew I was fat and I needed to do something about it.
I had never really tried dieting or exercising for any true purpose until 2001. When I started I had no direction and no idea as to where to start or how to lose weight. Some of the things I tried now seem ridiculous but I’m sure I’m not the only one that has done it.
I actually did try running but for some reason that didn’t take the first time. Perhaps it was the midnight 5-10 block runs in a black hooded sweatshirt that scared that poor lady taking her dog out to relieve itself that made me stop. I also tried eating only vegetables, which lasted about 1-2 meals. I’m not a fan of vegetables. I tried Slim Fast, a home-made weight lifting set which included just a couple dumbbells, a home-made punching bag, biking, appetite suppression pills, Hydroxy-Cut (before Ephedrine was removed), purging after big meals, but only a couple of times as it wasn’t for me.
In the end none of those things worked for me. It wasn’t that they were all bad ideas. The running and biking are great ways to lose weight, but I wasn’t doing any of these things for longer than a week.
In 2006 I got married to my beautiful wife in October. Our wedding day was my lowest weight I’ve ever been. On our wedding day I weighed 175 pounds. That is a total weight loss of 85 pounds. I felt vibrant and I felt like I actually looked good for once. The interesting thing though, is that I still felt like a fat person. I still saw myself in the mirror and saw fat. As I write I currently am 200 pounds and am working to get back down. My wife and I had a baby about a year and a half ago and I gained more weight then she did. I got back up to 220 pounds and over the last 3 months have slowly been shedding this weight again. This blog is my way of keeping a journal for myself. What I’ve been through and how I succeeded and how I’ve learned from my mistakes.
Nearly 10 years after starting my journey to lose weight and become a healthy person I still struggle with my weight and with my self-esteem. As the title of this blog indicates, I may not be the same 260 pound person but the shadow I see often is that same person. It took me many years to put that weight on and build all of my self-image issues, so it makes sense to me now that I wouldn’t see myself as a fit person right away. I could weigh 150 pounds and I could very well still see a fat person when I look in the mirror. The feeling has faded quite a bit over the last couple years but from time to time it is still there and hopefully this journal will become another tool for me to cast a different shadow.