Priorities & Perseverance
This is a not a stock ticker, rather a health ticker…and unlike with a stock price, a downward trend is good. Over the last 3 years or so, I’ve been on a personal mission of improving my health. As you can see it wasn’t perfect, but I managed to lose a good amount of weight.
So why did I do it…what was the motivation…it’s easy, I decided in 2011 that I needed to put me first. This was me from 2009
At my biggest, I was pushing 270lbs. I was so busy trying to do for others, be it work, family, or friends, I was constantly putting my needs last, i.e. exercise and healthy eating. You see, I actually like to exercise and healthy eating isn’t a hard thing for me, but when you start putting those things last on your priorities, it becomes easy to justify skipping the exercise or grabbing junk food because your short on time or exhausted from being the “hero”.
Now I have battled weight issues most of my life. Given how I looked as a baby, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. LOL
But I did thin out as a child.
To only get bigger again
And even bigger again
But then I got lucky. My metabolism kicked into high gear around 20, and I grew about 5 inches and since I was playing a ton of basketball daily, I ate anything I wanted and still stayed skinny
I remained so up until I had my first child, then the pounds began to come on. Many parents will tell you that the first time is always more than you expected, so it’s not surprising with sleep deprivation and stress, you gain weight. To make it even more fun, I had decide to start a new job and buy a new house a few years later, when my second child came…even more “fun”.
To be clear, I’m not blaming any of my weight gain on these events, however they became easy crutches to justify putting myself last. And here’s the crazy part, by doing all this, I actually ended up doing less for those I cared about in the long run, because I was physically exhausted, mentally fatigued, and emotionally spent a lot of the time.
So, around October of 2012 I made a decision. In order for me to be the man I wanted to be for my family, friends, and even colleagues, I had to put myself first. While it sounds selfish, it’s the complete opposite. In order to be the best I could be for others, I realized I had to get myself together first. For those of you who followed me on Facebook then, you already know what it took…a combination of MyFitnessPal calorie tracking and a little known workout program called Insanity:
Me and my boy, Shaun T, worked out religiously…everyday…sometimes mornings…sometimes afternoons…sometimes evenings. I carried him with me all for work travel on my laptop and phone…doing Insanity videos in hotels rooms around the world. I did the 60day program about 4 times through (with breaks in between cycles)…adding in some weight workouts towards the end. The results were great, as you can see in the first graphic starting around October 2012. By staying focused and consistent, I dropped from about 255lbs to 226lbs at my lowest in July 2013. I got rid of a lot of XXL shirts and 42in waist pants/shorts, and got to a point where I didn’t always feel the need to swim with a shirt on….if ya know what I mean ;-). So August rolled around, and while I was feeling good about myself…didn’t feel great, because I knew that while I was lighter, and healthier, I wasn’t necessarily that much stronger. I knew that if I wanted to really be healthy and keep this weight off, I’d need more muscle mass…plus I’d look better too :-P.
So the Crossfit journey began.
Now I’ll be honest, it wasn’t my first thought. I had read all the horror stories about injuries and seen some of the cult-like stuff about it. However, a good friend of mine from college was a coach, and pretty much called me out on it…she was right…I was judging something based on others opinions and not my own (which is WAY outta character for me). So…I went to my first Crossfit event…the Women’s Throwdown in Austin, TX (where I live) held by Woodward Crossfit in July of 2013. It was pretty awesome….it wasn’t full of muscle heads yelling at each other or insane paleo eating nut jobs trying to out shine another…it was just hardworking athletes pushing themselves as hard as they could…for a great cause (it’s a charity event)…and having a lot of fun. I planned to only stay for a little bit, but ended up staying the whole damn day! Long story, short…I joined Woodward Crossfit a few weeks after (the delay was because I was determined to complete my last Insanity round, plus I had to go on a business trip), which was around the week of my birthday (Aug 22).
Fast forward a little over a year, with a recently added 21-day Fitness Challenge by David King (who also goes to the same gym), and as of today I’m down about 43lbs (212), with a huge reduction in body fat percentage. I don’t have the starting or current percentage, but let’s just say all 43lbs lost was fat, and I’ve gained a good amount of muscle in the last year as well…which is why the line flattened a bit before I kicked it up another notch with the 21-Day last month.
Now I’m not posting any more pictures, because that’s not the point of this post (but trust me…I look goooood :P). My purpose is exactly what the subject says, priorities & perseverance. What are you prioritizing in your life? Are you putting too many people’s needs ahead of your own? Are you happy as a result? If you were like me, I already know the answer…but you don’t have to stay this way. You only get one chance at this life, so make the most out of it. Make the choice to put your happiness first, and I don’t mean selfishly…that’s called pleasure. You’re happier when your loved ones are doing well and happy…you’re happier when you have friends who like you and that you can depend on….you’re happier when you kick ass at work…you’re happier when you kill it on the basketball court (or whatever activity you like). Make the decision to be happy, set your goals, then perservere until you attain them…you will stumble along the way…and there will be those around you who either purposely or unknowingly discourage you, but stay focused…it’s not their life…it’s yours. And when it gets really hard…just remember the wise words of Stuart Smalley: