Thinking of doing a video blog

I tweeted about this story last night.  It’s an inspiring fluff piece about a teenager who went to Hawaii and noticed how fat he was in the photos (300+ pounds) and then decided to do something about it.  He exercised in secret because he was ashamed of his weight and shed 130 pounds by the time he graduated college.  It’s a pretty good story, and it definitely speaks to me since I can relate to it a lot.  I went to Hawaii last year and had somewhat of a similar experience, though unlike the kid I take photos all the time and was no stranger to how I looked.  Even though I’ve been fat for the better part of a decade my mental picture of myself is vastly different.  So I can definitely sympathize with someone looking at how huge they are on film and thinking that doesn’t jive with their own self-perception.

Anyways, the piece calls for “iReports” and I was thinking of doing one about my own story.  Unfortunately they already closed submissions so I missed my chance.  I’ve never made a video blog before or done really any video editing, so I was thinking it might be a fun project to try.  You know, depending on time, difficulty, and my own interest.  So there might be something like that coming in the future.  We’ll see.

Losing weight is hard, yet losing weight is also easy

Here’s a picture of me New Year’s Eve of 2010, fat, bloated, and though you can’t really tell, depressed by, what seemed at the time, my never-ending weight gain (plus I was slightly drunk, but that’s beside the point). I first conceived of the idea for this blog in October of 2010. I opened up the wordpress account then, but left it dormant until my first post on January 2, 2011. I was waiting until the “right time” to start.

That’s why losing weight is hard. There is always something easier or more fun to do than weight-loss activities. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I can’t even remember how many diet/exercise/weight-loss plans I started and stopped over the last ten years. Hell, even over the last 3-4 years. I think this is my 4th or 5th time on Weightwatchers. I was waiting for the “right time” because I was afraid of publicly putting myself out there and then failing all over again.

I finally hit the end of 2010, almost 330 lbs., looking at the possibility of buying another new wardrobe because my favorite 3XL shirts were starting to stretch to the max. Moving up a size is never a fun endeavor, and it was bringing me down emotionally. I was still afraid of putting myself out there with this blog, baring my journey for anyone with an Internet connection to see. But at the same time I started to realize that my health was declining both physically and emotionally, and even if I failed here, it would be better than doing nothing. So I made the leap of faith and plunged into the effort that has brought me here today. I began to realize that although the emotional journey of losing weight is hard, the physical component of it is actually pretty easy.

I stumbled upon my current routine roughly a month into my diet. Essentially, the keys to my success so far can be boiled down to two things: regular walking and watching what I eat. And yes, the public accountability through my blog is also huge, but the substance of what I do is basically just walking and eating healthy.

I started out walking about a mile and a half 2-3 times a week. Now I walk every day, generally about 2 miles but many times more than that. I just walk in my neighborhood, so it’s not too difficult to come up with routes. It’s mainly about prioritizing so that there is time each day to walk. Eating healthier is a little bit trickier and involves a little more planning and strategy. Controlling portion sizes and saying no to treats. Choosing the healthy options at restaurants. But I’ve been doing it, and look at me now (on the right). Still fat, but noticeably less so.

I’m not saying this has been a walk in the park. I’m not even halfway to my goal, yet, so calling it “easy” might be a bit premature. Plus, I don’t want to jinx the success I’ve had so far. I said in my very first post that this wasn’t about inspiring people, and it isn’t. This blog is about giving form to my thoughts about my weight loss. However, if you are out there just waiting for the “right time” to start losing weight, then know that the right time is always now. It isn’t as hard as you might think. I’m proof of that.