i’ve decided (with the encouragement of some friends) to tell a little more of my story and blog a little more frequently about my continuing fitness journey.

first, however, let me share some photos i took at the gym the other night. i’m down to about 218 and am starting to really feel like i’m in good shape. i’m currently hovering around 218lb with increased muscle mass. i’m stronger, faster and have more stamina than ever. i’m not so concerned about what the scale says, rather i’m concerned about my performance and my body composition.

here are some before and after shots.

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anyway, i’m down about 90lb so far. my goal is to get to 200, but i don’t know if/when it will happen. i’ve been lifting weights quite a bit and my muscles are responding well and growing, which has stymied the number on the scale.

here are some random thoughts on the whole process..

how bad do you want it??? – i crossed a major hurdle early on when i decided i wanted to be in shape, happy, healthy and strong MORE (much more) than i wanted to eat that piece of cheesecake or the plate of french fries. the mind is a powerful tool. USE IT.

you don’t get fat overnight – one double whopper meal at BK doesn’t make you fat. 32 years of bad decisions stacking up does. my health is a war that i intend to win and you don’t win wars without winning the battles and skirmishes. every time i put food in my mouth it’s a battle and i have to win. split the fight up into simple, easy to win activities. it’s easy to eat right when you think of it as a one-time win/lose proposition. if you think about the big picture it’s easy to get overwhelmed and give up.

science! – i’m a construction professional who deals with engineering all day long. formulas work. math works. science works. this is nothing more than science! develop a plan, stick to it, and you will see results. it’s pretty simple – force your body to burn fat by burning off more than you consume. consume the right mixture of foods so your body has good, clean, healthy energy to burn. your body doesn’t store trash. the stored fat is pure, 100% unadulterated ENERGY. when you’re burning it off your body thanks you because it doesn’t have to deal with the trash that comes along with the typical high calorie intake. once you get over the initial hump, which is truly difficult to do, then you will feel better than you ever have.

food is fuel, nothing more – when i eat now i look at food as fuel for my body. i have fitness goals that i want to achieve. i fuel myself to accomplish those goals. unhealthy attitudes about food, including use as an anti depressant or stress reliever, contribute to an overall poor outlook on health. fuel yourself with healthy, pure, natural foods and you’ll make progress. eat a bunch of boxed, bagged, processed crap and you are operating outside of your design parameters.

health is contagious! – i feel and look better than i ever have (at least in my own mind!). that’s awesome and all, but the BEST result of this is seeing friends and family become inspired to make changes that contribute to a healthier lifestyle. start small, work your way in. going balls to the wall and making a drastic, cold turkey change like i did works for some but not everyone.

you are unique, your journey should be also – no one is the same. sure, some certain principles of this are universal, but there’s no utopian magic bullet that will make you healthy. i believe the mental change is the key to this, but the mechanics and details on how to achieve results are different for everyone. as long as you make a healthy change and move forward you’re doing a good thing – even if progress is slow. change at your own pace.

talk! – you have to have someone to talk to. my wife was integral to this process. she’s one of those people who can eat whatever and not gain any weight, but i’m not that person. sure, she doesn’t fully understand all the internal conflict that goes with being fat and making a change, but she listened, prayed with me and for me, offered advice from a different perspective, and did whatever she could to help me change. i owe much of my success to her. my teammates were incredibly helpful as well. i knew they understood and we were all in it together. find some support – you’ll need it. you need someone to call, text or email when you’re weak and don’t feel like sticking with the plan. we’re not meant to do life alone and we’re not designed to deal with struggles alone.

WORK HARD – my dad taught me what work ethic is all about. it permeated all areas of my life but this one. once i applied that ethic to my personal health and goals things changed. make time for yourself, make it a priority, and put the work in. it’s not going to fall in your lap.

be safe, be smart – consult a doctor. get a trainer to help you figure out the gym. even if you think you have it down, get some help from the experts. making a big change can be hard on your body – it can be just as hard as being fat, sometimes even worse. don’t try to go from fattie to osama bin laden slaying Navy SEAL overnight.

don’t get stuck on numbers – sure, you need to lose weight. sure, seeing the scale read off lower numbers is awesome. don’t get stuck on that, however. i’ve been banging out 15-18mi/wk of running lately and lifting weights 5 days/week. my muscle mass is increasing. since muscle is heavier than fat this proves i’m losing fat because i’m not gaining weight. i want to be at 200lb but i’m not hung up on that because i see massive changes in my body. i can lift heavier weights. i can run faster/farther than every. this is what you’re after! if you let the numbers rule then you’ll be bogged down in details, worried about that .2lb that showed up from nowhere, and you’ll go nuts. do this to extend your life, improve your quality of life, to be an example for your kids, and to be able to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. freeing yourself from stress and obsession over “weight loss” and scale readings will push you toward success.

keep looking back here for more posts!