Ironically, it was probably this picture that was posted on Facebook in the first place that was really the start of what was to come. It wasn't even me at my heaviest, but it certainly was a BIG reminder to me to stay on the other side of the camera! Fortunately, the summer wasn't all that great, so I could hide under baggie t-shirts, even when by the pool, and thereby, kid myself.
When I returned from a trip to Austin, Texas on September 1st I finally realized that I had to do something. Wallking in the extremely hot Texas air for several days had been more difficult than usual and denial was only going to go so far as I had left my 38" waisted pants and was all too soon going to need to leave my 40" pants behind as well. The L had become XL and was quickly approaching XXL.
The morning of September 1, 2009, I stepped on my bathroom scale and denial came to a screaming, crashing halt. For the first time in my life I weighed in at over 230 pounds. Now for some folks, that may not be a big deal (no pun intended). But for me, who had an angioplasty several years earlier in my early 40s, has a history of diabetes and heart disease in the family and am destined to walk the rest of my life on an ankle full of hardware and the pending arthritis that will no doubt one day follow, seeing 231 looking up at me from the scale was the final wake up call.
So I did something desparately stupid, that may, if not save my life, may certainly help extend it far more than what it might be if I hadn't. I posted on my Facebook Status - for all the world to see - that i was then and there making an "Early 2010 New Year's Resolution" and that I would weigh less than 200 pounds by the time the calendar flipped over to 2010.
Well, to make a long story less long, I posted my progress out to my hundreds of FB friends on pretty much a daily basis. Yep! Right there on my Status post most every day for all the world to see! I got a few hecklers, but I got many more times really wonderful people that encouraged me and cheered me on. Often, when I would come home at night and feel like flopping in the chair in front of the TV and sticking my hand in a bag of munchies, there would always be at least one post, often several, asking how I was doing in my quest. Several wonderful people joined me in my Early Resolution, some with great success, others less, but ALL so supportive.
I did many things to change my habits and lose weight. The most beneficial being eat a good breakfast every morning, drink lots of water (or better still "swamp water" or greens) and climb on my treadmill and walk (and walk and walk....). If I wanted to watch TV, the only way I allowed myself to watch was from ontop of a moving treadmill! On New Years Day, with all of the Bowl Games on, I walked 17.5 miles and would have hit 20 had the Florida game not been such a blowout by halftime.
My wife said that the fitness trainer from her gym told her that after 45 minutes to an hour, walking on a treadmill loses a lot of it's benefit. I said, "Honey, I can eat a lot faster than I can walk and I can't reach the fridge from the treadmill."
Did I make my goal? No, I didn't. At least not by January 1st. But thanks to the support of those wonderful FB friends, and the fear of letting them and myself down and quite frankly, the fear of public humiliation, on January 25th, for the first time in approximately 25 years, I looked down to see 199.5 staring back at me!
So, yes! There is a lot to be said for Public Humiliation - and that is that sometimes -
Public Humiliation can be a GREAT Accountability Partner!
(With much love and thanks to ALL of my friends for ALL of their support.)
PS. Now my 2010 & forever resolution is never to weigh over 200 again and I'm willing to post my weight every day for the rest of my life if that's what it takes!