- Posted December 2, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Your 'Aha' weight-loss moments
From Fat to Fit
Over the years, loved ones had been encouraging me to get in shape. And, my doctor had urged me to watch my weight, as well. My lack of effort wasn't denial, I knew I had a problem – I just didn't do anything about it.But, when I was ready to go for it all the stars aligned.
My employer launched a "Lose and Win" weight-loss program through my healthcare provider. I looked in the mirror – and thought: OK, this is a monkey on my back. And, it's been on my back long enough. I signed on. It was an eight-week challenge – and I finished third out of more than 350 participants. The program was a catalyst, it skyrocketed me to a different level of commitment.
Hungry for information
Even before I joined "Lose and Win," a trainer at my gym suggested I keep a food diary. It revealed that I'd been eating a lot more than I realized. It was a wake-up call.
I knew I had a lot to learn about weight control. One place I consistently turned to was my healthcare provider and on-line apps. I used interactive tools on several site – and studied everything I could about healthy eating, portion control and fitness. I had to understand how food behaves and how activity – and a lack of it - affected my body.
I also connected with an online health coach for guidance. For example, my coach debunked some weight-loss myths– and helped me have realistic expectations. And, my coach became more than an online connection. I felt like I had someone on my side who really cared.
I took my encouragement – and all I learned – to heart. Even better, I honed healthy new habits. I gradually cut back on calories, ate smarter and exercised more. And, I developed strategies that helped me stare down high-calorie temptations. One of the things that helped me quite a bit was just to rewire my mindset. It's not that I can't have it – which is a debilitating thought – but I don't want it, which is more empowering.
New look, new outlook, new life
My body has truly transformed. I dropped 85 pounds in 6 months– and my waistline shrunk from a size 44 to a 28. And, the compliments keep coming – from friends, colleagues and even strangers. My relationship with my wife of 18 years has been re-energized, too. It's great to feel young... to feel young and healthy. I’vr reaped health benefits from my new way of life. I no longer have sleep apnea. And, my blood pressure and cholesterol numbers are much better, too. My physician is just ecstatic.
Speaking of happy... I now like what I see in the mirror – and not just the fitter physique. I feel lighter in spirit, too. There's an easy bounce in my step. And, I look at life differently, with more energy and excitement – that I just can't keep to myself. For example, I encourage my co-workers to take advantage of the same healthcare provider resources that helped me reach my goals. Something inside me just gets rewired. I look for opportunities to be better and to work better – to do better for others. I’ve even combined my new love of fitness with a desire to give in the community. I enjoy participating in walk/run fundraisers and other active charity events. In fact, on March 23, 2014, I’ll be reaching new heights, again. For the 2nd year I’ll take part in the "Big Climb”. The annual fundraiser, sponsored by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, challenges teams and individuals to climb the 69 flights of the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle. My team SOUL of Seattle – will be among the 6,000 participants.
I hope my story inspires others – even one person – to see that healthy change is possible. That would be my biggest reward. You get one body, one life – and why not live it the best way you can?