This past weekend I was able to accomplish a goal that even a year ago seemed impossible. Last April, I weighed in at the doctors office at a hefty 235 lbs. Being 5’10”, there wasn’t anywhere else to hide the extra weight. I committed then to make some lifestyle changes.
First, was to change my eating habits. No more sweet tea, no more milk and cereal or milk and cookies. Simply put, I tried to eliminate all the unnecessary sugar which permeated my diet at that time. Additionally, I did away with bread and heavy starches. I then turned my attention to exercise and put a plan in action to start working out a minimum of three times a week.
So it was, that by the end of April, these immediate changes were in place and I was already feeling better. Before I go any further I must say that it is only by God’s grace that I have been able to sustain this new lifestyle. I’ve had moments where I digressed into old patterns but would quickly bounce back and get on track again. Working out routinely wasn’t the issue but rather staying consistent with my eating habits was my biggest challenge.
Enter Dr. Joe Clarino and Sugar Hill Spine and Wellness Center. Around July, August my wife told me about a seminar that Dr. Joe was hosting about health and nutrition. Lisa and I decided to attend as we both really wanted to adopt a healthier eating pattern. Thanks to Dr. Joe and Aceva, we were able to do just that. We invested in a program called Meta-Life that took through 12 weeks of adjusting how we viewed food and learned how to eat healthier overall. At the end of the program, I was down to 214 lbs.
Thanks to friends Steve Riley, Steve Wiley and Scott Willis, I have been an avid cyclist for about 3 years. During all of this I had increased my time on the bike and along with working out, was really feeling good about myself. I then hit a plateau. August and September my weight stayed between 208 and 214 lbs. Not coincidentally, my eating habits during this time was like a yo-yo, three days of healthy eating followed by two days of unhealthy eating.
In October, I reengaged in being consistent with my diet and by the time mid-November rolled around my weight was fluctuating between 204 and 210. Through the rest of November and December, this is where I stayed. The weekend after Thanksgiving, I started playing with the idea of possibly taking up the sport of triathlon. Why? I have no idea other than I thought it could possibly be fun. The one hang up I had and continue to have is that I really don’t enjoy running.
The truth is that it’s really not the running I don’t enjoy but rather, being out of breath as a result of running. As a kid, I loved running and even ran a little track. However, in early January I found a triathlon training website called TriDot – https://tridot.com/. It is at that moment that I committed fully to the world of Triathlons. I hadn’t realized until then that there were shorter versions of triathlons called sprints.
I signed up for the LaGrange sprint to be held March 2nd. Perfect, I had two months to prepare before the big day. Around the same time, Lisa and I had started to be more committed to eating Keto friendly food. Over the last two months, I have been fairly consistent with my eating and along with my training schedule, my weight now fluctuates between 200 and 204 lbs., which I know probably doesn’t sound that great but I am now eating on average, more than I ever have and feel better than I have in over 30 or 35 years!
On Saturday, I did in fact compete at LaGrange in the sprint triathlon. For me, it truly was a great accomplishment. I am so thankful that God has allowed me to take this journey over the last 12 months and more grateful for the people he has placed around me to provide prayers, encouragement and supported my goals. Lisa has provided constant support and never questioned my sanity, although I’m sure that has crossed her mind several times over the last 30 years.
One thing I’ve learned about myself over the last year is that I’m really never satisfied or feel like I can relax. So it is that I will be signing up for a couple of more sprints, one in April and another in June. Doing these with the intent of achieving my next goal which is to compete and finish the Tugaloo Triathlon on September 7th. Once again this will be a test as it is a 1.5 mile swim, 42 mile bike ride and a 10k run. And already, God has blessed me with a couple of people that will be participating as well so that we can encourage and support each other.
Peace and thanks for reading!! Be kind to one another!!