2017 was a fucking battle. I’m not kidding. It didn’t have anything to do with politics or work or family. It had to do with fighting myself, and I won.
A little backstory (both figuratively and literally): in 2014, I herniated my L4-L5 disc while dancing. This pissed me off because not only was I an awesome dancer (2nd Place in a Jamaican dance competition IN JAMAICA), I had never had back problems before, either. A discectomy cured the main problem with the back, but the doctor’s words created a whole other quagmire: “Lose weight, but don’t re-injure your back or we’ll have to fuse your spine.” Now I was scared to move more than a brisk walk, much less exercise.
The pounds piled on due to poor eating habits and said morbid fear of working out. Then, in November of 2015, I watched my best friend go in for triple bypass heart surgery. Everything was fine for few days until he coded (heart stopped) while he was chatting with his doctors. Twelve hours of emergency surgery later, I stood across his body from his wife as she became a widow. He was 45.
I swore that I would lose weight and made it my 2016 goal to shed the extra pounds that I had never been able to lose before. Being slightly chunky all my life at 6’ made it easy to hide the weight, but I had become more than “chunky”. The scale didn’t say “morbidly obese”, but it wasn’t far off, either. 2016 came and went, and I ended up even for the year. Not a single pound lost.
FUCK. THIS. SHIT.
2017 became the year that the can wasn’t being kicked down the boulevard anymore. The scale in my bathroom was being utilized every damned day, as was the Lose It app on my phone to track calories. Low carbs, a good amount of protein, and a lot of HEALTHY fats (fish, olive oil, less red meat, more chicken, etc). More steps during my day, but still not hitting the gym since a fused spine would fuck up my plans. No more than 1,500 calories per day. Measuring tape for my waist. No sugar, little alcohol, no grains, no pasta, no bread, no rice. The battle was on, and the success/failure was tracked.
January 1, 2017: 250 lbs.
December 31, 2017: 180 lbs.
Pant size before: 43”
Pant size after: 34” (now getting loose on me)
Shirt size before: XL/XXL
Shirt size after: Medium (with plenty of room)
For the first time in my life, my BMI is “normal”. And I’m not done yet.
Now that the extra weight that I was carrying above my waist is gone, it’s now safe for me to start getting up at 4:45 am and hit the weights. I’m at 179 right now, would like to get down to 175, then change my diet for a “clean bulk”, as the Internet Gym Bros say. I’d be happy at 185 with 9% body fat, but what that really means is “I want to look good in a bathing suit/naked”.
I have a doctor’s appointment in a few weeks to make sure my cholesterol/blood work is normal, and I’m sure it will be. I’m never going back to that lifestyle, that body, that level of (un)health. If I can lose it like this, I sure as hell can go the rest of the way towards my body transformation goal with minimal setbacks if the same level of determination is maintained.
The battle was won, but make no mistake: the war is still raging.