With a new year comes myriad dreams, aspirations and, of course, resolutions. Among the most common are quitting smoking, cutting back on drinking and just having a new outlook on life.
But there’s one that’s more common and probably less achieved than any other: losing weight. Yes, America is fat. We hear about it all the time, yet we’re not getting any slimmer, which if done the right way can extend your life and its quality. Easier said than done, yes, but I’d like to share my story with you.
Scroll back seven years, and I was a beyond-portly, 394-pound college freshman. Just a hair short of 6-feet-tall, I was nearly as wide as I was tall. I heard the jokes from classmates and the rejection from girls, but none was as scary as what my doctor told me. At the end of my last physical with my pediatrician I was told very bluntly that if I didn’t lose weight I was in for a life-long struggle that probably wouldn’t extend as long as I’d want.
I wasn’t fat! I was big-boned, I told myself. Then I stepped on the scale used for “normal-sized” people. An error message popped up. I plopped on a special scale in the back of the doctor’s office which stops at 400 pounds. When I finally saw what it said, I was devastated. How could I have let myself go like this? I was a wrestler in high school and tried to stay active.
After a few days of muddling and feeling sorry, I hatched an idea: I was going to lose half of myself. My doctor had explained that if I wanted to start working out, I’d have to diet and lose a few before, otherwise I could have some serious knee and joint problems. My first choice was the ultra-popular Atkins Diet, which starves the body of carbohydrates, forcing it to burn fat reserves. It helped me down to 350 in a brief time before I switched to a low-calorie fare.