When I first started my “200 pound loss” journey in 2008, I hated it. Like really hated it!
I do not like change. No one really does. Eating smaller portions is harder than eating a huge amount. Celery is not as tasty as pizza. Water is not as exciting as a Diet Dr. Pepper. And who wants to go to the gym everyday?
I was determined though. At 400 pounds, I had to do something. I knew that diet pills did not work. I knew that lifelong dieters would always be fooled by the “root” in a third world country that is revolutionary and will miraculously help us lose weight. And I didn’t want to be ‘that guy.’
The first day of my journey I ate well, and the second day. Yet, when I looked in the mirror, I looked the same. My pants were still big. Well, more like enormous. I still could not tie my shoes. Life was still rough.
Then I went to weigh in at my Weight Watchers meeting. Yeah, a guy at Weight Watchers. No Charles Barkley, just 80 year old women at my meeting.
They do this crazy thing where you get on a scale, and the WW employee will tell you how much you lost. You never see it, they tell you. I lost 9.6 pounds my first week. She then said “It is probably water weight”. I thought, “Thanks for making me feel like an idiot.” By the way, nothing is worse than working hard and someone telling you it is just water.
I started making better choices. I was not eating myself into a coma. I was writing down everything that went into my body. My wife cheered me on, but in all honesty, spouses have to do that. The best compliments are those from people who do not like you.
I kept it up. I kept eating right. The scale was going the right way, but I wanted some results. A sign, that all of this was worth it. It was so condescending when you are 400 pounds, and everyone around you tells you, “Eat to Live” and “‘You can do it.” Honestly, I just wanted to be able to pick up a quarter if I’d dropped it.
In the third week, after losing around 26 pounds or so, I got in my car. I had not worn my seat belt for a long time. I couldn’t. It scared me because if I got in a wreck, what would happen? Just on a whim, I tried to put on my seat belt.
This time was different. When I brought the belt down by my side, I heard a click. I could not look to see if it was clicked in because I was still quite large. I undid the seatbelt, and tried again. I heard a click.
I cried. Not like a dramatic tear burst, but small tears. Three weeks of work and dedication were worth it. Where I felt so far gone a month ago, I saw hope. Writing down my stupid meals and going to meetings where I was the largest and only male there, finally felt right.
I do not know where you are in this journey. 400 pounds. 600 pounds. 175 pounds. I do not know what diet you are on, nor do I know what type of workouts you are doing.
Just know you are not far off from your goals. Small decisions mean a lot. The scale is great, but putting on a seat belt means a lot sometimes. Getting in a booth. Tying my shoes. Getting a hug where both arms go around me.
I have been dieting for over 20 years, and in 20 years, so much has changed, but one thing stays the same.
If you want it, you can do it.
Tony Posnanski is a renowned blogger, a chef, and an Anytime Fitness member. He writes about weight loss, fitness, motivation and more on his blog The Anti Jared.