This is the third in a multiple post series. To start at the beginning, click here.
My second failure is a deeply personal one. I’m ashamed of it, because I had all of the correct motivations in place, but in order for me to truly be on the correct path of weight loss, I need to get it off of my chest.
In early 2010, both of my sons were starting spring baseball. Ben was in his third year, and Alex was about to begin his very first year of baseball. We were friends with the people that ran the league, and at one of Ben’s practices they came up to us and said there was an opening on the 5-6 year old team, and Alex could play at four years old if we wanted him to.
We decided we’d probably want him to play, but we’d like to meet the coach. We met Coach Duane, and he seemed like a really great guy. He had a son on Ben’s team and a son on his own team as well. Alex really took a shining to him, and would constantly talk about how much he liked his coach. He even talked talked to him on the field when he should have been paying attention to the batter.
Coach Duane was the kind of guy that loved to be around kids, and enjoyed teaching them things. He was always having fun with the kids on the team, and some of the parents as well.
About halfway through the season, on June 3, 2010, Coach Duane was killed in a motorcycle accident.
Having to explain death, and funerals and all of the various things involved to a four year old was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do.
In the days that followed, it hit me like a ton of bricks. This guy was younger than me and he was dead. He left behind two small children that would grow up without a father. *I* had two small children. I was more at risk every single day than Duane was. I could die at any second because I let myself get to this ridiculous point. I was intentionally putting my children at risk of growing up without a father. I was intentionally ignoring my health.
I decided on June 4, 2010 that I was going to lose weight (again).
I started this failure at around 275 pounds. I decided that the reasons I failed last time were not going to derail me this time. I did not sign up for a gym membership. I did not start any exercise, reasoning that I would add it later, after I had the diet portion under control.
It seemed like a pretty good plan. I began to eat oatmeal for breakfast, a grilled chicken breast and mixed vegetables for lunch, and a grilled chicken breast for dinner. I lost some weight to start, and everything was going fine. We visited my brother and sister-in-law over the 4th of July weekend and I shared my plan to them. My brother confided that he and his wife had been worried about me for a while, and had realized the full extent of my fatness/laziness the previous Christmas when I wasn’t able to follow my kids up a very small hill while sledding. I told them that this time was different. I said I didn’t care how fast the weight came off because I had the proper motivation. I felt supremely confident. I even posted on Facebook that I was losing weight, and that definitely wasn’t an easy thing for me to do. I tend to shy away from things that could cause me embarrassment. I usually stop doing things after a while, and I hoped that exposing myself in this way on Facebook would help with accountability. It did in the short term, I got lots of encouraging posts. I posted a ‘before’ picture. Everything was humming along.
I plateaued at about 20 pounds lost. When this happened, my plan had been to start doing exercise. I was tired all of the time, so I never really got into the exercise. Pretty soon the diet started slipping. I would stop for a cheat day, or a cheat weekend, or a holiday. It unraveled pretty fast.
As I said earlier, I’m deeply ashamed of this, because I had the right motivation: My children. If I were to die before this process is over, if were to I die before I lose the weight and increase my overall health, if I were to die and leave my children fatherless, not completing this task would be the greatest regret of my life.
What I didn’t have, was the right accountability (among a few other things). Sure, I timidly put myself out there on Facebook to some people who know me well, but that’s about it. I had a plan and I didn’t execute it properly.
For a long time after this, I was pretty down about it. I don’t think I was depressed, but I sure felt bad that I failed. As a matter of fact, the failure hurt so bad that I was pretty confident at that point that I’d never try to lose weight again. I reasoned that it didn’t matter if I started or not, I was going to fail, so why try? I’ll just take my ball and go home. And die. In a corner. From a heart attack.
I kept that attitude for quite a long time, and I believe it did quite a bit of damage to me.
To find out how I turn my life around, read the next post in this series, Losing weight: Starting the new me.
What about you? Are you ashamed of your failures in weight loss? Are you ready to change?