Where My Journey Began

**This is the first post I wrote for this blog in 2007**

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It's taken me some time to come back after falling off the proverbial wagon for...well, about a year. I've been 'round this weight loss block a few times and am hoping that I've learned enough to not just get in shape, but to stay in shape. I thought I was heavy as a child because that's what I was told. Who knows if this is where things went south. Here's a picture of me in my pre-teens and I don't seem fat to me.


I'm pretty sure I was a heavy teenager, but then I see pictures like this and wonder.




Then I see a picture like this and think, "yeah, I was fat".



Anyway, I know I was heavy as a young adult. Here I am at age 24 in my cousin's wedding.



At 21 I had moved to Hawaii to go to college. I stayed heavy, as in the above picture, all through college. At about age 25, something clicked and I decided to get in shape. I followed my own plan, making changes one at a time. I started with a plan to do one thing everyday outside of my house that was non-food related (usually I went to the beach after work and journaled). When I was ready (and that was key) I added something new, which was taking a walk on the beach. Then I decided to change my eating habits at home only, I made no changes to my habits outside the home. If I wanted a snickers bar that was fine, as long as I didn't eat it in my home. When I was ready, I added changes to eating outside the home too. Slowly but surely I got in shape and about a year later I'd lost 70 pounds. I was leading an active lifestyle, swimming, biking, hiking, and having a blast. Here's a couple pictures from that time period.





And some from during my post-Hawaii 3 month backpacking trip across Europe...




Later, when I would get out of shape again, I would look back on that time as heaven. Of course during that time I was never satisfied, convinced I was "fat" and needed to lose weight.

So after Europe I moved back to California. I maintained my weight loss for a total of about 5 years before things slowly started slipping away. That was the longest I'd ever maintained weight loss. I think what I learned from that relapse, if you will, is that I have to stay vigilant. I can't ever stop paying attention to this. Sure, I may be able, one day, to put weight and health on the back burner (maybe) but I have to carefully monitor if it needs to return to the front. Ah heck, it needs to stay on the front burner forever.

So I got fat again...I don't know how much I weighed but in 1999 I got engaged, and was overweight. I lost a bunch of weight for the wedding, and got down to a size 12 (I think), in summer of 2000. Here's a picture from that time.


The weight loss lasted about as long as the marriage, which was not long. By the time I met Miguel in late 2001 (see? short marriage) I was heavy again...



I continued to gain weight for the first several years of our relationship. By July of 2005 I think I weighed about 220 and looked like this:




Desperate for change, in August of 2005 I decided to try Body for Life. I followed the plan fairly closely and lost about 35 pounds of fat in 12 weeks. I had completed 12 weeks of Body for Life (BFL) and pretty much slacked off after that. Of course I gained the weight I'd lost, plus a few extra. I reviewed my old journal entries from BFL and saw the last couple of weeks I was writing about being tired all the time. I might have pushed myself too hard and then had nothing left with which to continue. I'm also too good at making excuses and have a history of being lazy. I also identified that I had no plan as to what to do when the 12 week plan is over. Now, whenever anyone tells me they are doing some time-limited plan I always encourage them to plan for after it's over.

After gaining the weight back after BFL, and then some, I sat on my butt for a couple more years trying to figure out what to do. On February 15th [of 2007] I went to my first weight watchers meeting. I looked like this...



So here I am. Head down in a bit of embarrassment about my situation. I have been eating a healthy diet for 6 weeks and have lost 8 pounds. I was 233.8 pounds when I started 6 weeks ago.

My WW weight record
I am in the contemplation stage when it comes to exercise. I know I want to start again I just don't know when. I'm getting closer, and starting to write on here again is part of my move toward taking that step. I am trying to take things slowly so that I can create something that I am able to maintain for the rest of my life. Maintenance is the only reason I'm back.