Losing Weight – A lot of Weight. Part 1 of 3

by admin on October 19, 2011

I have a friend, Dave, who has had a lifelong struggle with his weight.  He has talked about his ups and downs over the years, and has gained and lost massive amounts of weight during his lifetime.  He is a fanatical researcher and, let’s say, not a dull person.  At all.

I found his story and insights to be personally fascinating, so I asked him if he would be willing to share his story, and his insights, with my readers.  He graciously accepted.  This is a bit longer than most of my posts so I broke it up into three parts.

Part I – My Story

When Jeff asked me to write an article about my weight loss experiences, I jumped at the chance.  Health and fitness have truly become passions of mine.  I spend hours reading and talking and, if you ask my wife, ranting about the subject.  So here are some of my thoughts and experiences concerning my journey to lose a couple of hundred pounds, and how to try to achieve lifelong fitness.

I should also say that I’ve struggled to write this piece.  As it turns out, writing about yourself is much more difficult than one would think, especially when it concerns some sensitive topics.  I have written versions of this that are much too long and much too short and Jeff has waited ever so patiently (or perhaps not so) for a final version.  I hope this one works.  The final plan is to give you a brief synopsis of my ups and downs with weight loss and then give my opinion on the four areas you have to hit in order to move towards being a healthy person.

I was always kind of a chubby kid, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending upon what stage of a growth spurt I was on.  But when I look around today at how chubby kids seem to be getting these days, I probably would have been on the thinner side of chubby.  High school came, and I played football in the fall and threw shot and discus in the spring and weight lifted year round, and with that, the weight came off.  College came, and out went the sports, in came more studying and a little too much time having fun, and the weight crept back on.

However, what would trigger the true weight explosion was the death of my parents.  They passed away two years apart, and me being a tough guy, I never really dealt with that, other than eating as much pizza as I could find.  When I topped off that time, I was somewhere north of 350 lbs.  Then I found the miracle of the Atkins diet, all beef and bacon (kidding) and I could lose weight?  I’m in like Flynn.

So with Atkins, I got down around 240 pounds which, according to the Body Mass Index (BMI), put me in the obese category.  But as it turns out, the BMI is a big pile of crap.  According to body fat measurements I’ve had, I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 225 lbs of lean body mass (which is bones, organs, muscles, everything but fat).  According to the BMI standard, I’d need to lose all my body fat and 42 lbs of muscle, bone and organ to be normal weight.

But none of that would matter, as here would come law school, the practice of law and all the stressors that come with it.  Add to the fact that I still didn’t handle the death of my parents well, and on came the weight with a vengeance.   After meeting my old friend pizza again (and he brought along his friend cookies), my weight exploded.  The hardest sentence in this piece to write is the one I’m about to write now.  I topped off well north of 450 lbs and at my fattest, I may have been 500 lbs.  I don’t really know because they don’t make human scales for 500 pounders.

Now I’m on my way back down, slower this time because of some medical issues I will discuss in a moment, but my weight has been in a consistent downward or at least stable trend for over two years now, and that is a real achievement for me.  But it’s time to lose the last of it and that is the journey I’m starting now, so that the next time I turn up at a Utah football game, people will look and say, “Now that is a sexy beast.” Or something like that.

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