Our Transformation from Fat to Fit
I stopped weighing myself at 285 pounds. I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t see that number and be happy with myself. I was happy with my life, just not happy with my weight. I had always been a heavy guy but never this big. I continued to gain weight after the 285. I was getting bigger. I knew at one point that I was well over 300 pounds. It’s not hard to lose 10 pounds when you are that big. Turns out its just as easy to gain another 15. I didn’t know what to do. I would try to eat less calories but I was hungry. Starving. A calorie decrease at that size was simply a set up for failure. The hunger is painful, not just figuratively, it was literally painful to be that hungry. Meals for me were a cheeseburger and fries, pizza, burritos, pasta, fried chicken, and anything else I didn’t have to get out of the car to buy. Soda, so much soda. That sugary sweet nectar quenched my thirst wonderfully. I knew these weren’t real foods. I knew they weren’t doing my body any good. And I knew they weren’t providing my body with the energy I needed. But most of all I knew I was hungry. This is how I dealt with my hunger. And it worked.
Time for a Change
It was towards the end of 2014 that I had had enough. I turned 31 a few months before and I knew at this point if my metabolism wasn’t going to kick into overdrive it never would. I would be playing with my children, out of breath and having to take a break every few minutes. I’d had enough. I wanted to play with them, I wanted to take them on hikes, take them swimming, take them riding bikes, take them climbing, but most of all I wanted to live long enough to see them grow. I had enough. It was time for a change and I had my motivation. If I couldn’t motivate myself with my children’s future then I couldn’t motivate myself with anything. Find that motivation that pushes you towards something better. It can be anything. As long as that something keeps pushing you. If it doesn’t, change it. Continue to find that motivation. Use that motivation as fuel. Use that motivation to have a better day than you had yesterday.
My Transition from Fat to Fit
I started eating better foods. Not less food. Better food. Real food. A cheeseburger and fries doesn’t cut it, this isn’t a real meal and I always knew it. I researched food like I was in college again. How much protein I needed, what kind of foods give you optimal energy, and what kind of foods I SHOULD eat. I researched all different kinds of carbs, once I found out there were different kinds of carbs. I researched how food is broken down in the body, and what foods help break down other foods. I spent hours upon hours figuring out how I was going to do this. I wasn’t going to be stopped. I figured out what would work with my transition and got rid of the things that didn’t. Sometimes this meant foods I really liked. Learning the difference in carbs was the most enlightening and devastating thing thus far. I was finding carbs that gave me energy, carbs that helped me push myself, and also carbs that I loved that had to go. I found new ways to cook. I could cook before but now it was a different level, cooking for fuel. Not just for good taste. Like many others I didn’t think you could make healthy food that tasted great. I always thought it was bland and tasteless, “healthy food doesn’t taste good”. I found this just means “I don’t know how to season food”. Learning to properly season food saved me, It was a trial and error process but I found seasonings I love. Find seasoning you love, try to find seasonings that work with many foods. Anybody can throw chicken breasts in the oven, but a seasoned chicken breast never gets old. A large part of giving up an eating lifestyle is getting bored with food. Never get bored with it. Continually changing the tastes of your food will keep you eating those foods your body needs.
Noticing a Change
After a few weeks of eating the right foods I had energy. I had a lot of energy. I wasn’t hungry. I was eating the same amount of food if not more. It was the right food. And it was working. I needed and outlet for that extra energy. Yeah I played with the kids more, but I had more energy than I could use. It was a great feeling. I needed to use that energy in a productive way. That’s when I decided to use it at the gym. I had been to the gym before. Just wondering around trying to figure out how machines worked. Spending a few seconds weightlifting before being exhausted. But this time was different, this time I had the energy. This time I had the motivation. I spent 20 minutes on the elliptical, I felt great. Eventually 20 minutes turned into 30 minutes. It was weeks of me putting in serious time on the elliptical, I noticed a change. I noticed myself pushing more and more. That’s when I needed another change to make sure I didn’t get bored with the same activity everyday. I started to look into changing my activity. Spending time focusing on changing the way I looked. At this point I was feeling great, had more energy than I knew what to do with, and my clothes were loose. Very loose. I knew I was doing great. I couldn’t stop. I wouldn’t stop. I wanted to go from fat to fit. Nothing could stop me and it was glorious. I had everything I needed to succeed and I was absolutely determined to do just that. A slow start is what kept me from dumping this lifestyle change. I had always been one to immediately kickstart a new diet for a couple weeks and lose interest. Sometimes I faded out of the diet but most of the time I just quit. It wasn’t working. It was usually me cutting calories significantly and noticing a change the first week, then nothing. I found out, for me, it wasn’t about cutting calories it was about including the foods I knew I needed and fading out the ones I knew I didn’t need. My calories stayed the same, everything on my plate changed.
Moving from “Me” to “We”
My Wife(Jessica) noticed a change very quickly. It just so happened that around that time her work was having a “Biggest Loser” competition. She was excited. She asked for all the help she could get. We sat down together and put together a plan. Get rid of the processed food and eat natural foods. This was going to be difficult with two children. We put it together and are still going strong. The kids have gotten used to no shelf full of sweets and have realized those foods are treats rather than a daily occurrence. Jess and I acknowledged we couldn’t maintain good nutrition if only one of us was eating healthy. We accepted a healthy way to eat and encouraged each other along the way, both researching everything we could about eating healthy and sharing what we learned. Sharing knowledge has become a very important factor of our nutrition and our relationship. Both of us put in work towards a goal that will benefit us together. Shared knowledge helps maintain an equal relationship, not one of us knows more than the other, we learn and share together.
OUR Transition from Fat to Fit
The next step was moving more, I had already started some working out but Jess was just starting out. When we could find time we would workout together. Learning things from each other. Over time we veered in different directions whereas she became interested in Running I was becoming more interested in strength training and climbing. We to this day workout together when our schedules permit, we are so far into it now that working out together turns into a fun time of “look what I can do” and “let’s try this”. Still productive days at the gym, just more fun. The point we are at now with our fitness would’ve been enough to scare us away from working out, a slow transition into pushing our bodies further and further has become the shared fuel we needed. It would have been impossible for us to start going to the gym THEN start eating better, we didn’t have the energy or the knowledge. Our time together at home includes discussions about our nutrition, holding each other accountable is just as important as working out together. Our accountability usually consists of me telling her to stop sneaking cinnamon rolls into her daily meals and her subtly hinting to me when my legs need more work. From a marriage that was fickle and on the verge of collapse this was a fun way to work together while strengthening our friendship and bond. Working together on something we are both passionate about has been the greatest gift of this entire endeavor. If I hadn’t lost a pound the entire time I would still be very happy with the results of it all. Our marriage needed this. Now I was working towards more than just myself and our children.
Enjoying Life Together
Our dates have transitioned into more physical oriented fun, this of course is when we have time in our busy schedules. We’ve taken a vacation to the mountains for hiking and river rafting. We’ve been indoor bouldering on many occasions and even took the children on hikes and camping. Our dates have become more fun. We don’t just sit at dinner or watch a movie. We enjoy life together. Encouraging each other on rock walls to her motivating me to run a hiking trail up a mountain, each date has not only been fun together but every activity has strengthened a once weak marriage. Continuing to brainstorm on a more exciting and motivational date each time has built a confidence in the both of us that continues to build a stronger life together. Living a life of activity has built something that I didn’t know was possible between us. We have realized we live a stronger life together and our fitness and nutrition rely on that. Everyday has been better than the one before. We know we need to work towards keeping each other aimed towards our goals. Whether they be micro goals or overall goals each step is taken together. Jess and I wouldn’t be able to do this without each other. I don’t think either one of us would want to.
Deciding for Yourself
Building yourself towards a healthier life doesn’t involve you breaking yourself down and building up, yes it has its challenges but it doesn’t have to be a painstaking start. Work at your own speed and watch the results slowly form. Learn at your own pace. Jess and I learn new things to this day and we are 2 years in. A healthy lifestyle is every changing, you have to evolve with it. We have our cheat days, but now we’ve earned it. We realized cheat meals can’t happen everyday, we work towards those meals. Hard work deserves to be rewarded.
Our goal with this blog is to bring the knowledge and experience we both have to others. We aren’t certified personal trainer, nutritionists, or life coaches. We are a normal couple with busy lives working our hardest to maintain a healthy lifestyle for ourselves, our children, and each other. Not everybody is the same and we realize how difficult transitioning to a healthy lifestyle can be, we want to give our audience the tools to find what works for them and the knowledge to maintain a healthy lifestyle that works for them. Some frustration can come from people that have always been fit telling you how to be fit. What works for them may not work for you. Nobody knows how difficult it can be for you as an individual. We understand the struggle of starting this journey from a very unhealthy lifestyle. We want you to learn what works for you, and learn how to continue on. Whether it be a new years resolution, an absolute need for a healthy lifestyle, or a way to strengthen your relationship we encourage you to read how we did it and we encourage you to continue to learn what works for your body. Our posts are not meant to tell you “do this or it won’t work” we want you to find what works for you. We understand that may not be the advice we have, we encourage you to seek whatever works. We want you to make a slow transition to change as to encourage longevity. We want you to succeed just as we have.