In just under a week, I have completely transformed one piece of my life. Last Saturday, my wife and I entered a biggest loser competition with six friends. In less than one week, I have purchased my first pair of running shoes, gone to the gym on multiple occasions, counted calories, filled our refrigerator with fruits and veggies, and drank more water than I’ve consumed in the last calendar year. What’s the meaning of this insanity?
I’ve always been… husky. In seventh grade I finally managed to grow taller than I was wide. My parents are incredible, and managed to raise me in such a matter that my physical appearance was never a point of shame. Like many of the plus sized among us, I got along by developing a sense of humor about it and taking any knocks that came my way in good stride. I weighed like twelve pounds when I was born, so I became fond of brushing off fitness as, “Hey! I was born fat, losing weight would obviously be going against God’s will and personally I’m shocked and offended you’d even ask.” It was a joke.
But… There’s this thing, that happens. If you say something often enough, whether you truly mean it or not, a piece of it starts to get stuck in your subconscious. While I never believed that God wanted me to be fat, I did begin to see my weight as an unchangeable fact of life. Looking back, I can see how this idea poisoned every attempt I’ve made at losing weight previously. I would try to diet or work out, and when it didn’t instantly make me skinny or lose weight, it was too easy to default to, “that’s just the way I’m built” and give up.
It turns out, unless you have a genuine medical condition, your weight is a choice. I decided to be fat every time I ate McDonald’s instead of packing a healthy lunch. I decided to be fat every time I chose to remain sedentary instead of standing up and doing something active. With every excuse I made, I reinforced my decision to remain overweight.
And so here I am. Twenty-eight years old and I’ve got a bad knee simply because I use it for you know… standing. For years my body found homeostasis and just sat around 280 or so. As thirty marches inexorably closer, my metabolism is just starting to slow down and I’m no longer maintaining. In fact, I’m growing. And I’ve finally decided that is not okay.
The photo at the top of this post isn’t a stock image. I took it yesterday after testing five different scales at Bed Bath and Beyond and finding that one to be about the average. I chose to reveal my weight for two reasons… Making a public declaration of intent has worked for posting two times a week, and I believe it can work for this. The second, is because in six months, I intend on posting another photograph… But this one will say “300”. That’s a little more than a pound/week. Why six months?
Last Saturday my wife and I and some friends began a “Biggest Loser” contest. The idea is that everyone chips in $25 and the person who loses the largest percent of their starting body weight takes the entire pot. Currently, the winnings are up to $150. I’m extending the invitation to join the contest to every single one of you. We’re doing it through a Facebook group and a PayPal account, so you don’t have to be in Knoxville. If you’re interested, leave a comment below, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the form at the “Contact” page above. We’re only a week in, so you’ve got plenty of time until March 14th , to join us and start deciding to lose weight.
Or, perhaps you’ve already made that decision. If you are one of the blessed and in your proper weight range, or if you don’t feel ready to join us, you could always sponsor us. If you’d like to give some fatties some additional encouragement to step away from the fries, feel free to make a personal donation via PayPal.
In the end, my decision to start losing weight still has nothing to do with my appearance (although admittedly, I am a little intrigued at what I might look like thin). I’m All In. There’s no telling what God might ask me to do; what opportunities he might be waiting to give me. I want to be sure that I’m able to handle them when the time comes.