As most those close to me know, I’ve been very involved with my boys in Cub Scouts. I tell everyone about the first time I took Connell to the Scout Shop to pick out his scout shirt and he was the trail to Eagle plaque on the wall. He said to me “That’s what I want to do Dad. I want to be an Eagle.” The kid had never been to a scout meeting and he knew what he wanted to do. It was one of those moments that melts your heart. Which brings me to a year ago, Peter King the sports writer included in his well read Monday Morning Quarterback column about a special Eagle Court of Honor he attended in March of 2011for his nephew. King’s brother was his son’s Scoutmaster and biggest fan on his path to Eagle, but died of a heart attack in July 2010, just months before his son achieved Scouting’s highest rank.
Fast forward to this November, I took that little step up on to the scale, the nurse worked those little weights and I was in for a shock. I stepped on the scale and came in a whisker short of 270. I had a few excuses, I was wearing all my clothes and they didn’t even ask me to take off my shoes. This was crazy! I realized that I had let myself go for too long. I had to ask myself if I was I going to be around to see my sons achieve Eagle? It was time for something to change and that something was me.
I arbitrarily decided to start a strict 2,000 calorie a day diet. I’d never counted calories before, not had I paid that much attention to the nutrition content of the food I ate. The next time I weighed in at home the scale tipped a shade over 257 pounds. I set an initial goal of losing 30 pounds. To manage this project I downloaded a free app for my phone called “Calorie Counter” from the MyFatSecret.com website. This website is essentially a community-based version of the Weight Watchers online application. I started recording what I ate on my phone or online. I initially didn’t make any changes to the quality of food that I ate, only on the quantity.
My first journal entry was November 12, by the end of January I was down eighteen pounds and it seemed easy. I made the mental connection between what I consumed and how it impacted my body. It seemed easy. This was an embarrassing revelation for a guy who was going to be turning 40 within the year. At that point, I decided to change my weight loss goal. “40 for 40” sounded good. Yeah, losing 40 pounds for my 40th birthday, that was the ticket. I continued.
As some point in February I discovered the Jared diet. Yes, Jared the Subway guy. I found the most food economy at Subway, a six inch sub, a bag of chips and a diet Coke for under 500 calories. Gone is visiting the Chinese buffet or a burger and fries, it was Subway about three times a week.
The next ten pounds came off in about six weeks. I was getting closer to my initial goal and people were starting to notice that the pounds were coming off. By the end of March I was down to 225, past my initial goal, and getting close to 40 for 40. Finally this Thursday I weighed in at 216.4 pounds. Down over 40 pounds, with two months to go before I turn 40. I hit my goal.
Am I done? I don’t think so. I still have a nice little belly and I’d like to start training to run a 5K by the end of the Summer (allergies permitting J). I feel better, I have a bit more energy and I like the changes to my body. I see no reason to stop now. The body mass index indicates I need to drop another 20 pounds to no longer be considered overweight. That seems like a long shot to focus on. I going to get more exercise and resolve to NOT gain it back.