Posted by: leebase | October 17, 2012

Less of Lee at 6 Months

I started my journey to health and fitness 6 months ago.  A bad night in the hospital had made it clear to me that there’s more at stake than an early death.  Being sickly and in a hospital, not a fate I would want.   I’d known for a long time that I needed to do something about my weight, and I finally found the motivation to do something about it.

Six months later and I’ve lost over 60 pounds, 20% of my weight, and 7.5 inches off my belly.  I’ve gone from XXL-Tall to XL in clothes and from a size 48 waist to 40.  But there is more to the story than the stats.

I didn’t think I felt bad, but now I definitely feel better.  I sleep better.  I no longer have sleep apnea (undiagnosed, but ask my wife about how scared she was about my breathing).  I don’t take anti-anxiety meds at night any more (was waking up almost nightly with panic attacks).  I take far fewer naps, and I’m out exercising most every day.  I am no longer popping Tums or Pepcids.

I look better and younger.   Looking at my before/”in progress” photo and a friend remarked “it’s like seeing a photo of you standing next to you dad or uncle”.   I look at the new me in the mirror and think “this is me”.  I never related to that extremely fat guy.   Looked at him seldom and then did my best to forget.  Now I pay attention every day.  It’s amazing seeing the transformation in my body.  I can actually suck my gut in, and when I do, I have a vision for the even fitter slimmer Lee to come.   I have definition in my shoulders, and my legs look so much better.

It’s surprising how the fitness level has affected my normal life.  I walk up to the 5th floor via stairs and I’m huffing a bit, but by the time I get to my desk, I’m breathing normally.  Last spring, if I walked up two floors, I’d be sitting at my desk sweating for the next half hour.  Speaking of sweating…I can bend down below my desk to plug a chord in, and not burst out in sweat.  I used to dread having to get under my desk.  Now it’s no big thing, and neither is picking up stuff off the floor.

While I didn’t suffer much in the area of self esteem…I must say that I’m feeling rather proud of myself.  I’ve accomplished a few things in my life, but never have I seen this kind of victory in the area of health and fitness.   I have friends and coworkers who have seen my success and have been inspired to start their own journeys and THEY have been having success.  There’s nothing quite like knowing you are having a positive effect on the world.

Just as importantly, at the six month milestone, I am still engaged.  I haven’t given up.  I haven’t gotten bored.   Sometimes I’m hungrier than others, but this hasn’t been an exercise in pure will.  My rate of loss has slowed in half in the past month.  While that is frustrating, I am continuing on.  Maybe the rate will pick back up, maybe it’s going to take me many years to reach my goal.  It doesn’t matter as this isn’t a short term fix, but a change in how I live.

Never one to preach….<what?!>…I’ll end with this.  I was foolish to have relegated health and fitness to the bottom of priorities like I did.  Everything in life that matters, won’t matter much if you don’t have your health.  The Apostle Paul wrote “physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things”.  I think he would be very sad to see how someone like me used that to justify why I wasn’t taking care of myself.   As my body and my life are a gift of God, the call to be a good steward of the things God gives me should have sufficed as reasoning to take care of my health.

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