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    Posted March 4, 2014 by
    Santa Clarita, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your 'Aha' weight-loss moments

    Fat Guy Discovering a Fit World

    As of today, I am down 150lbs!!!! I could not begin to pick one "AHA" moment for myself before my weight loss journey began. In December of 2011, I had reached at least 480 lbs. I was in a complete funk. In January of 2012, my wife sat me down and said we had to do something. I had a 7 month old son, and I knew I was not going to be around to see him have a family of his own if I kept going like I was. Most importantly, I remember growing up in my neighborhood, there was a father who was morbidly obese. We all used to stare and talk about him, despite him being one of the nicest dads in our neighborhood. When I thought about it, it hit me real hard... I did not want to be known as "fat dad". I did not want to be someone my kid was ashamed of and most importantly, I did not want my experiences as a father to be limited because of my weight. Food controlled my life. When I was stressed or unhappy I would pull into a fast food joint, order a ton of food and just sit in my car in the parking lot and eat. When something went well, we went out and ate and when I was bored....I ate. I come from a family where drug and alcohol addiction is pretty common. I always used to get mad at my family because I could not understand why they couldn't just stop. How could they not see the damage they were doing to themselves and others? The day I finally admitted to myself I had a problem with food, I completely understood how easy it is to lose control to something you become so dependent on. Finally in March of 2012, before moving back to California, I had some issues with the electrical wiring on my car. At random times the electrical system would go out, which in a car these days, is pretty important. My headlights would go out, speedometer and all other items would just turn off for minutes and go back on. I took it into the dealership and each time they said they could not find the issue. I would come back to pick up the car and before I made it out the parking lot, the problem would happen. I was livid, especially since I was to be driving across the country for our move that week. No way I was going in a car that had these types of problems. They ran some more tests and even brought in a corporate engineer to look at the problem and they found nothing. So we talked the problem out and I showed them when I drove what the problem was. They got in the car to test it out and nothing. Right then it popped in everyone's mind including myself, but nobody wanted to say anything. I was easily 250 lbs heavier than the rest of the test subjects. I was so heavy that the pressure of me sitting in the drivers seat was crushing an electrical wire causing the problem. I think that really hit me there, I was too fat to drive. They came up with a fix for the wiring, but I knew I had to come up with a fix for myself.

    Long story short, the solution was easy to figure out, but definitely a challenge to execute. I needed to exercise and eat right. It was going to take time, require a ton of hard work and patience. I did not put this weight on overnight and it certainly was not going to come off immediately. The biggest key to my success so far has been my support network. I go to a bootcamp gym (The Warrior Fitness in Santa Clarita). I am surrounded by some awesome people who all strive for greatness in one way or another. They want let me fail. If I miss class I always have someone asking where I have been, if I'm struggling in class, they cheer me on to give me that push to give it more than I've got. I also have friends that I walk, run and do stair workouts with. My wife has dedicated a large portion of her time to make sure I always have the food I need to get me through the day and that I have delicious healthy options. I still have 60 more pounds to go and I am enjoying every minute of it. I run around the neighborhood with my 2 year old, go on hikes with the family, and we go to the gym as a family on the weekend. I share my story with whoever will listen because the moment I talk or try to help someone else, it helps hold me accountable. I do not want to be that guy that started to lose weight and then just disappeared back to the burger joint parking lot in my car. I donate all of my clothes I am too small for because fitting into them ever again is not an option. I am going to be the father that I always wanted in my life and I will give my son something to be proud of. He will never know "fat dad". I just want everyone who is in the spot I was to know it can be done.
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