Run, Fat Boy, Run

I’ve gone back and forth about whether I should publicly address the weight loss journey I recently began. I’ve decided that I would for a couple of reasons. First of all, it well help keep me on track, and secondly, I suspect many of you might identify with the issue.

I’ve always struggled with my weight. I was a fat kid up until my sophomore year in high school. (And every ex-fat kid knows, you carry that kid with you no matter what shape you’re in.) From that point on, I worked hard through diet and exercise to maintain a healthy weight. My weight fluctuated a bit over the years, but stayed within an acceptable range.

Around fifteen years ago I started working for a major tech company that will go unnamed (although you’re probably using at least one of their products to read this post).  There was a lot of travel, a lot of restaurant food, and a long commute each way.  These factors plus my propensity for stress eating combined to take me from a 180 pound guy who once jogged to work to a guy who was pushing 240.

After I left the company, I made some significant changes in my life. I ended up joining Weight Watchers and over a period of around six months worked my way down to around 170. I was feeling good and started running again. This time, I took the running more seriously and trained to do a half-marathon. Had great fun doing it, and over the next few years completed around thirty half-marathons and two marathons.

And then I injured myself.

I am a total and complete klutz. If you hear the sound of breaking glass, it’s a good bet I’m nearby. Part of my gracelessness includes having seriously sprained my ankle a half dozen times.  On a trail half-marathon, I flipped it one direction, thought my run was over, realized I could still run-limp my way back down the mountain, then flipped it the other direction about a mile later. I still had four miles to go.

I made it down under my own steam, but the damage was done. My foot wobbled. I underwent a surgery to stabilize my ankle, figuring I’d get back to normal in a few months. My surgeon told me I would never be able to run a full marathon again as the work he had done couldn’t handle the stress of it, but I could work up to doing half-marathons again. Not a huge loss for me as I love running half-marathons and despise running the full ones. (I mean, a marathon isn’t two half-marathons. It’s more like six as the difficulty grows exponentially with the miles. Just my take. Don’t hate on me.)

But I never made it back. Another injury (told you I was a klutz) to my knee took me out again. Even though I’ve continued to work out (weights, kettle bells, spin), I’ve allowed my eating to spin out of control. Yep. That old enemy stress eating.

Additionally, as you may have guessed, a writer can end up leading a sedentary lifestyle if she or he doesn’t make a point of keeping moving.  I’ve written three books over the time I’ve been gaining weight, the tightly-spaced deadlines helping to keep me tied to the desk. (Not complaining. I’m thrilled to have a publisher that wants to publish my books and readers who want to read them. It’s only I failed to take responsibility for my health during this period, and used the writing as an excuse–all the while my hand moving from the bag of tortilla chips to my mouth.)

I hit a bottom with my weight a week and a half ago, and realized that I needed to regain control of my eating and my life. I was letting my shame over having put on a lot of weight keep me from taking the steps I knew I needed to take. I mean, the thought of stepping on a scale to see how bad things had gotten took a lot of effort. But, I did it, and, well, I found myself needing to lose 33 pounds.

I’ve gone back to what helped before (Weight Watchers), and have since come down around 4 pounds. So that’s 29 to go.  I’ve committed to running a half (first half of the San Francisco marathon, one of my favorites) with my step-daughter next summer, and am considering signing up for the Carlsbad Half that will take place in January.  I’ll check back in on that one with you in a bit.

Anyway, if you identify, I’d love to hear from you. I’ll share every so often about my progress, and I hope you’ll share about yours with me.





6 Replies to “Run, Fat Boy, Run”

  1. Truth. Right before I read this, I was stress eating Honey Nut Cheerios.

    One of the things that has helped me (withstanding my propensity to stress eat cold cereal) is tracking EVERYTHING. I’ve not had luck with WW, but love MyFitnessPal.

    And as a wise nutritional/behavioral coach once told me – it’s not all or nothing. Be kind to yourself. Look at your journey as a continuum. (i.e. – stress eating the Cheerios … not cool. But hey, I still have time to walk it off and can make good choices the rest of the day!)

    1. I’ve been enjoying the new WW app that lets you scan UPC codes to track what you’ve eaten. Much better than the old days when you scribbled in a paper weekly tracker. I don’t know MyFitnessPal, but I figure between WW and the Fitbit my step-daughter strapped on me… 😉

  2. Oh, Jack. I used to be thin and walked at least three miles a day. I ate reasonably healthily, and then was diagnosed with Menieres, which causes major vertigo attacks, which come out of the blue and literally knock me on my butt.
    So, the walking stopped, and that, along with the forced retirement from my beloved job, sent me into major stress eating and depression.
    You will never know what a lifeline you have been, (you know why) and now it looks like you may be again.

  3. I need to lose weight too. After my two children I have 15 kilos left
    And i’m sorry that my English is bad because I’m from Spain

    1. Your English is perfect. (My Spanish should be much better. I can understand much more than I can speak.)
      We’re in about the same position weight-wise. I’ve got about 11 kilos to go. But I am sure we will both make it! 🙂

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