Friday, December 21, 2012

During my entire childhood I was overweight and obese.  However, I was always active.  I played baseball and all sorts of sports every year.  Why was I fat?  It was due to my very bad eating habits and never controlling or changing them.

24 Years Ago...I joined the high school football team, but I quit after the first day because I was so sore from the running and the activities I did on the previous day.  It was not easy moving around at that weight at that young age. It was a rude awakening to the high school life, but I still never gave a real effort to lose the weight.

Due to that ugly outcome, I then made the decision to not join the high school baseball team because I was still fat.  In my mind back then there was no way I could possibly run the 1 mile that was supposedly done every other day and the constant running everyday.  Keep in mind baseball was something I played my enter life and it was my passion, but I gave it up because of my weight condition and I refused to think that I could actually run and enjoy it.

13 Years Ago...I got married, lost some weight after being around 353 lbs and got down to around 280 lbs for my wedding but regained some of it and weighed over 330 lbs for many years.  I originally had lost the weight with running, but got hurt and then regained the weight.   I still constantly overate at night, on weekends, etc.  I never addressed my bad eating habits.  I remember there were many days I would stop by a fast food place on the way home from work to eat a burger.  This was just a hour or two before dinner.  I was an over eater, but it took me a while to realize that.

7 Years Ago...My son was born and I realized it was time to make some serious and permanent changes in my life.  I ramped up my running and exercising and my weight started coming off.  I was determined and motivated to drop this weight quick because I wanted to be a good example for my son.  I refused to keep failing at this weight loss challenge.

I lost over 100 lbs in 1 year through better eating which included a lot of vegetables, getting rid of unnecessary sweets but I still would eat some "bad food" which included sweets and pizza once a week.  I really never removed a certain food item from my diet.  At that time, I always felt I should be able to treat myself at least once a week.

I lost the other 50+ lbs over 3-4 years and now I have kept it off for about 2 years.  What has helped is removing all soda from my life and limiting sweets and cheat days.  Yes people earn cheat days, but the more you keep "bad" food in your life, the more you will want it...just my opinion.  Now it is done to having that stuff on vacations, holidays, birthdays or special occasions.

2 years ago...I completed my first marathon in 4 hrs and 11 minutes.  That was when I knew I was on the path to personal success.  When you complete something so big like this, you feel like you can conquer the world. I felt even more powerful because of where I had started.

Now...Everything is going great with running and eating habits keep improving.  Yes my body is still not perfect, my diet is not perfect, but it is a journey.  If it was all perfect, what would I have to work on?

It doesn't matter if you are married to the perfect person, have the perfect job, have the greatest parents, most precious kid, if you are overweight, unhealthy or simply just not enjoying life, one day all of it can be taken away from you when you least expect it.  Why not do something to increase the enjoyment time you have here in this life?

If you are a parent, always remember you are a role model for your kid.  You can be a positive or a negative one, it's your choice.  Can you imagine if you do something unthinkable (like your first 5k, 10k, marathon or whatever)?  What do you think that does for your kid's image of you?

If you are single (or not), remember you are always judged by your looks.  Trust me, people (maybe not everyone) do this.  No matter what they say, they treat overweight people differently.  I witnessed it throughout my whole life.  I see how people look at me and talk to me now.  Comparing it to before, it is like night and day.

People will die early in life due to obesity (hundreds of people per day) and I was on my way there.  I have no doubt about that.  However, I am glad I was able to wake up and add years to my life so I can enjoy possibly extra time with my wife, son and the rest of my family.  Now just because I made major adjustments to my life it doesn't guarantee me that I will live to a certain age, but at least I was able to do something with what I could control and because I was tired of failing.  Regardless, because of the love I have for running and exercising now, I was also able to add life to my days.

If you know you need to make a change, why haven't you done it yet?  Do you have any good excuses?  The guy below actually has a valid one and he will show you at the end, but he still plays basketball and looks like he is in good shape.  In the video, he repeats all the excuses people use.  I know I used many of these throughout the years.  No more excuses for me, I just do what needs to be done.

By: Fred Lechuga

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