Friday, September 30, 2016

Halfway Point

Almost halfway:

That sounds crazy. Almost halfway through losing a whole person (I guess losing 160 pounds could be considered a whole person).

I was just tracking some food in MFP and I realize that having lost 78 pounds from my highest weight of 340 pounds last September I am two pounds away from hitting my halfway point. My goal is to weigh 180 pounds which I know is going to take a long time. Realizing that I am halfway there is mind blowing.

I have gone from wearing pants that were a size 50 and I am now hovering between 42-44. The suit that I was wearing on May 1st when this all started is now too big, and the suit that was a size is smaller than that is also too big. Right now I am focusing on getting into my favorite double-breasted suit which I can usually wear while I weigh between 225-250. It is probably about four weeks off, and it will be amazing to be able to wear that again. Hopefully sometime around February or March of next year I will be shopping for a new suit.

The strange thing about this ketogenic diet is how natural it has become for me. Holly and I are finding new recipes that are low in carbohydrates, and it really helps control cravings. When I think back to the days where I would have a meal that was 90% carbohydrates, I am surprised that I am still here.

One of the greatest aspects of this lifestyle is that it has given me a sense of hope that maybe I can finally get this part of my life under control. My weight has been a struggle for as long as I can remember, and the possibility that maybe I can defeat this is giving me a sense of direction that I have not seen before.

What has been surprising is how much joy I am finding in sharing this with other people. Those of you who know me well know that I love psychology and helping people and it seems that there may be an avenue in my life that I have not had the ability to go down before, that of being a coach and helping others find the satisfaction that I have found in losing weight. I am not sure how all of that is going to shake out yet, but I think there is a definite potential there that I am going to explore.

So at halfway I find myself surprisingly okay with where I am in. While there is a desire to be “done”, there is also a sense of gratitude for the people and events in my life that have brought me to this point. I have no idea what the future will hold, but I have some goals and I have some dreams.

Thank you to all of you who have continued to support and lift me. Especially to my wonderful wife who has been so supportive, and even cooked broccoli for me.

Almost halfway there…may the next half be as easy.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Faith in the Journey

One of the psychological problems in trying to lose a lot of weight is that you eventually find yourself in what feels like no man’s land. It is like you have lost sight of the shore and while you have faith that there is land across the ocean, right now all you see is water all around you and it’s disconcerting.

At this point I am down almost 60 pounds since starting a ketogenic diet (Keto). In another 10 pounds I will actually be down 80 from my highest of 340. 80 pounds is halfway between 340 and my goal of 180. I thought getting halfway would be mind blowing, but it is kind of anticlimactic.

I feel like I am in the middle of the ocean sailing the ship in the right direction, because if I don't, I will drift back to where I came from. But it is hard sometimes, when the days are long and stressful, to keep my eye on that shore that I know is there but I cannot see yet. I have faith and belief in the journey even when the journey is hard, the seas are unfriendly and there does not seem to be a lot of enjoyment where I am at.

I knew this wouldn’t be easy. One of my favorite comments that I have heard is that "desire fades, but discipline remains". For me, part of this now is the discipline to stay with the process. I can’t imagine what it is going to feel like when I step on that scale and see that I am under 200 pounds. I cannot remember the last time I was, except that I have a horrible suspicion it was somewhere around 1997. 20 years of being overweight is hard to comprehend. It is frustrating to realize that I could have done this any time had I only had the information that I have now. To quote Eric Thomas, "information changes situations".

In the back of my head there is still this voice tells me that I am going to lose all the weight and then put it back on again. I have lost a lot of weight before, only to put it back on, but the last time I lost this much weight I was not eating, and the lifestyle was not sustainable. This time what I am doing appears to be sustainable. What I must find is balance. I need to find the balance between eating for fuel and occasionally eating for enjoyment. Finding that balance has never been easy for me, but this time I am determined to do it.

Once I have reached my goal, the question becomes what to do with the knowledge I have gained. I am wondering if I can use my talent for public speaking, my education as a physician and my experience as someone who has lost a lot of weight to make a difference in the lives of other people.

But for now, I just have to keep the boat pointing forwards and sailing on. I have faith that there is a shore out there where I can fit into a 34 inch waist, smile and feel like I have accomplished something quite spectacular.