Readers know I struggle with weight loss. There was never a time in my life when I wasn’t bigger than everybody else. I inwardly smiled when the one guy in school larger than me was in my class. In 6th grade, I hit 160 pounds. As an adult I tried every weight loss option, including surgery, that was available. some worked for a while but ultimately they all failed and I yo-yoed right back up the scales.
A year ago, something changed.
In February 2014, I weighed 317 pounds. I was taking multiple medications for blood pressure, two pills for diabetes (type II) and 180 units of Lantus, a long-acting insulin, every day. My A1c was literally off the chart. My MD said the scale ended at 12.5. I was diagnosed with an aortic heart valve disorder which did not do well with my weight.
My activity level was poor. I’d walk only when I had too and silently griped every time I couldn’t find a close parking place at Walmart. I’d go to work, an office career, daily but come home at lunch for a two-hour nap. I was 52 years old and walked like a 70-year-old. I was probably in more trouble than I knew.
That was down from 350+ two years earlier but still not good and not improving. I traveled with friends on an annual mission trip to the grasslands of Guyana in South America. Typically I would lose 4 or 5 pounds a week while there. I vaguely thought that this could be a good time to kickstart my weight loss.
While in Guyana, we walk a lot. It’s hot and our meals are simple. We drink water with an occasional soda. So when we returned to Georgetown, in preparation for returning to the USA, a good meal was always ahead.
The Pegasus is one of the finer hotels and restaurants in Georgetown. They have a burger that I had dreamed of while in the interior. Three of us studied the menu. Mark order the burger, I ordered the burger and Terri, looking straight at me, said “I’ll have the chef salad with dressing on the side.” Something clicked. I changed my order to the salad as well.
Hours later, arriving in Miami, we skipped the McDonalds and again ate something healthier. I arrived home that evening and was greeted with a loss of 8 pounds for the trip.
The Hard Work
Back at home I was surrounded with the usual American diet. Processed foods everywhere, fast food on each corner and a fully stocked pantry and ‘fridge at home. This was not going to be easy.
Oddly enough, I remained focused. It wasn’t easy, but I stuck with healthy eating for the first week and then the second. Challenges abounded, but I stuck with it.
I was losing at an astounding rate. I was doing all the things that mattered and it was working. In March, I broke the 300 barrier. In June, I blasted through 275 which was the smallest I had been since junior high. In October, I hit my low of 260.5.
Two questions I’ll answer tomorrow and Thursday: How did I do it? Where am I now? Join me!