Let’s Get This Started!

As of Sunday, I have officially lost 40 pounds.  That’s the good news.  The bad news, of course, is that now I weigh ‘only’ 378 pounds.

Hi there!  My name’s Richard Gant.  I’m a husband, a father of an active four-year-old, a amateur writer and guitarist, and a stockbroker.  And, as of July 15, I weighed 418 pounds.

Those were the first seven sentences I wrote, back on August 26 of last year.  The opening of the very first blog post I wrote about my weight loss journey.  It’s been almost dead on 14 months since I started this blog, and it is remarkable how much of a change I’ve seen in my life since then.  If I were to write that first blog entry today, it would look like this:

As of Sunday, I have officially lost 117.9 pounds.  That’s the good news.  The bad news, of course, is that now I weigh ‘only’ 301 pounds.

Hi there!  My name’s Richard Gant.  I’m a husband, a father of an active four-year-old, a amateur writer and guitarist, and a stockbroker.  And, as of July 15, I weighed 418 pounds.

Which is, by any stretch of the imagination, impressive.  One hundred and seventeen – almost one hundred and eighteen – pounds, in 15 months.  That’s nearly 8 pounds a month, and it’s stayed off!  That’s an achievement to be proud of, I think.

Now, here’s how I ended that first blog post:

And now, 39 days later, I’ve lost 40 pounds.  Twenty percent of the total I need to lose.  I’m already feeling better, but I’ve got a long way left to go.

But heck, I’m changing my life.  So, technically, I’ve got my whole life left to go.

Over the past few months, I think I’ve lost sight of this guiding philosophy.  Those of you who have been sharing this journey with me know that I’ve been a little down for the past few months, because I’ve been kind of stagnant in my weight loss.  For different reasons:  I’ve been hit or miss on my exercise and weight loss goals, but that’s been driven by family crises and personal health issues and whatnot.  Things that should make me willing to cut myself some slack, even though I haven’t cut myself some slack.

More than anything else, here’s the problem I’ve had:  I’ve lost sight of the fact that, when I started, I determined that this was not about ‘weight loss’.  Oh, sure, I needed to lose weight.  I still do.  But, more important, was the need to change my behavior.  The need to embrace a healthier lifestyle, to replace the unhealthy habits I’d developed with new, healthy behavior.  Because, if I did that, then the weight would follow.  And it did.

But the last few months, as I said, I’ve lost sight of that.  The scale and what it said became more important to my self-image than the fact that I could walk five and a half miles a day.  It became more important to me than the fact that I wear pants with a waist 12 inches smaller than when I started.  It became more important to me than the fact that I can sprint after my son, listening to him shriek with excitement as I shout “tickle monster” or something equally inane while playing.

In short, the weight loss became an end in and of itself, rather than a single metric that showed that I was making progress towards the actual end:  changing my life for the better.

It’s time to start fresh.  To remind myself of where I’ve been, and to get excited about where I’m going again.  Because I’ve worked hard and, as my wife reminded me when I was all miserable and depressed about this on Saturday morning, I’ve succeeded.  Even when I went off the rails, and made no progress for what felt like forever, I kept the weight off.  I may not yet be where I want to be, but I’ve succeeded.  Because I have changed my life, for the better.

On July 15, 2015, I weighed 419 pounds.  And now, 435 days later, I’ve lost 117.9 pounds.  Fifty-eight point nine five percent of the total I need to lose.  I’m already feeling better, but I’ve got a long way left to go.

But heck, I’m changing my life.  So, technically, I’ve got my whole life left to go.

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