I just finished reading the "Fat Person Mentality" thread and was inspired to get honest about something; my own personal struggle with my weight. I briefly considered posting my thoughts there, but sensing a need for accountability, I thought it would be better to start my own thread. I have posted many times here, but have never really talked about my own journey before today.
I have read many threads/posts on this particular sub-forum and I have found myself inspired, appalled, amused, intrigued, and everything in between many times over. I have been most affected by the writings of Tom Stormcrowe, Sayre Kulp, The Historian, Mr. Beanz, and Peter_C. There were many others, I'm sure, but these come to mind most readily. I would like to thank these and all the folks who have taken a risk and made themselves vulnerable to readers here in Clydesdales & Athenas. The things that I've read here since becoming a member a little over a year ago have emboldened me to allow you, my peers, a glimpse into my personal battle with the bulge.
I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. Growing up on comfort food, bread and butter with every meal, and daily desserts instilled in me early a tendency to turn to food for solace. Food has always been there for me; more so than family, friends, music, or other interests ever seemed to be. As soon as I hit puberty I began to put on weight. One of my most poignant memories was having a classmate yell out, "Look at the rolls on that guy!" while we were all getting dressed after swim class. I think I was about twelve years old. Since then I have always been self-conscious about my weight and my appearance.
In my adult years I have weighed as little as 163 pounds and as much as 325; in essence I have been twice the man I once was. Today I weigh 297 lbs and I have been hovering between here and 10 to 15 pounds heavier for a number of years. My low (163) weight was achieved by simply moving away from home; I was somewhere around 210 lbs when I moved to Ontario at 19. I landed a job in a factory, and the physical labor combined with my poor eating habits led to my weight loss. In later years I took a more sedentary job (taxi driver), got married, had kids, and started putting on the weight. I managed to double my weight in only a few years.
Before my first kids (twins) were born I got clean; drugs and a partying lifestyle had also contributed to my weight loss and I replaced those things with food. I have remained clean from all drugs (including alcohol) for almost 20 years now and I have a support group that I remain active in. Through my recovery I have made profound changes in my character, curbed other destructive behaviours, and have become a productive member of society. Food, however, remains my vice. I remain abstinent even though my current wife (the third Mrs. Clean) is a social drinker; we were at a Halloween party tonight and I was the designated driver. I can resist the temptation to drink, but I spent the night snacking on potato chips, countless snack-sized chocolate bars, and helped myself to five or six slices of pizza. Pop, thank goodness, is not a weakness of mine and I spent the night drinking club soda with lime.
Anyway, to make a long story a little bit shorter, I will try to summarize what I am attempting to say in a couple of paragraphs: I was deeply affected by what I read in the aforementioned thread, especially when one of the posters shared a story about an amusement park ride and his difficulty in being strapped therein. I had a similar experience years ago, and had to delay everyone's ride while I got off and slunk my way down from the platform. I have not been on a ride since. My wife has recently joined Weight Watchers and has lost 26 lbs. We have a 3-year-old son at home. I want to be able to go on amusement rides, share my wife's weight loss successes, and be there for my son instead of dropping dead due to a weight-related health issue before he has a chance to grow up.
I suffered a spinal fracture in 2006 and will soon finish my retraining program in a new career. I picked up cycling as a form of exercise a couple of years ago since I hate going to the gym, but I knew I needed to do something to get the unnecessary strain off of my back. I am not an avid cyclist, but I do try to commute on my bike regularly and I also cycle recreationally. I estimate my mileage to have been between 1000-2000 km (~600-1200 miles) per year over the last two, and I hope to increase that dramatically over the next number of years. I would like to get down to the low 200s, and maybe even cross that magical Clydesdale barrier of 200 lbs. One thing I learned in my early struggle with substance abuse is that I can't make profound changes to my character and in my habits alone, so I am making myself accountable to all of you here in Clydesdales and Athenas. My first step is to follow my wife's example for healthy eating since she is taking a very sensible approach. I also plan to ride my bike at least once per day, even if it's only for a short ride, and not just when I need to commute somewhere. I already have my gear for winter since I commuted through last year's ice and snow, so a trainer is not necessary. Lastly I plan to check in here with you on a regular basis to let you know how I'm doing.
Thanks for reading, and for all of your inspiring stories. Ride safe!