I remember it well. Yes, I do. I was about 16 years old.
I don't really recall, now, HOW we got on the subject, but somehow we did. 165 pounds. That's what I told them I weighed. Now, to be honest with you, I KNEW deep down that it was more than that. Oh, I don't know... 175, 180... not sure, but I KNOW it was more than 165.
That was the first time that I knew I had a problem. I was overweight.
In some families, overweight children are the product of overweight parents. The sins of the parents visit the children to the 3rd and 4th generations. My family was mixed. While my mother and paternal Grandmother (Dad's mom) were both overweight, the rest of the family seemed to have active metabolism. They could pretty much eat what they wanted and never gain a pound. Apparently, I was not so fortunate.
After high school came college, and the freshman 10 quickly became the freshman 20. I did do one smart thing. I made the decision to drink diet soda. We had soda in the cafeteria, and soda machines at the dorms. I decided that if I was going to drink that much soda, it needed to be diet. I cannot even begin to imagine the pounds that I saved myself with that one decision.
Marriage and family led to a career change. In 1993, I joined the United Stated Army. I was in the best physical shape of my life. I dropped weight and lost inches. I was looking good. 300 push ups a day and 15 mile road marches will do that to you. But, alas, as soon as I arrived at my first duty station and the constant physical activity stopped, weight started creeping back on.
Fast forward to 2002. Out of the military (could no longer meet the weight standards), and in a high stress job. I took up running (which I promised I would NEVER do after exiting the military) to relieve stress, but also for another reason.
I knew that I didn't eat right. A life time of poor food choices had corrupted my palate. Instead of craving broccoli and carrots, I craved moon pies and oatmeal rounds. Hamburgers, bologna sandwiches, and frozen pizza were my favorite meals. My running gave me an out. I knew I needed to change my eating habits, but now that I was running, I wouldn't have to. I ran, I told people, so I could eat what I wanted. I NOW know that the 1000 calories I was burning each week, COULDN'T make up for the extra 2500 (or more) I was eating each week.
Continue to fast forward to 2009. My wife and I decided that I needed to try and re-enter the military. I needed to drop a few pounds, so I did what I knew to do. Started running, but this time, with a twist. With the invention of MP3 players, came podcasts. Without even knowing it, THIS was what I had been waiting for.
You see, I have another challenge. I HATE to read. I love watching documentaries, listening to audio books, whatever but PLEEEEASE don't make me read. Nice thing about podcasts is that if you select the right ones, they can be a wealth of information.
Information. THAT had been my problem all along. It wasn't that I didn't know I had a problem....I did. But I didn't know how to solve that problem. As Johnny 5 says in the movie Short Circuit "Need input". That is why I had failed before. When I was in the military, they taught us to exercise, but that can only do so much. If you do not have the nutrition to back it up, you can't exercise enough to make up for it.
Podcasts were my answer. The more I listened, the more I learned. Not all at once, but little by little.
That is the story of this blog. I am on a Journey. A journey to lose weight, yes, but even more importantly, a journey to become more informed about nutrition, what I eat, the things I SHOULD be eating, and how my choices are affecting me and those around me. No longer will I live on this earth with my head in the sand. I choose to give myself the gift of knowledge and as I learn, I choose to write about it here so that YOU may come on this journey as well.
At the outset, I would like to thank three people who have been so supportive as I start, and continue this Journey. I am forever in your debt for your support, encouragement, and life examples. Those three people are Megan (Twitter, Website), Gordon (Twitter, Website) and Diane (twitter, website). You have my thanks and deepest gratitude, as well as the gratitude of my great grandchildren, whom I will now be around long enough to enjoy.