A few weeks ago, I received an email from a fellow follower and blogger telling me about a situation he had gone through in his life. As you are all aware, my blog is associated with the aspect of fitness. Not only fitness, but progression and change in life. A change for the good! Michael Feeney has dedicated the effort to change and I am delighted to share his story for him through this guest post. Enjoy!
It’s interesting when you lose a little over 100 pounds the questions that you get. You would think most people would want to know the how. But they don’t ask things like, “how did you do it?” or “what’s your secret?” nearly as often as you’d expect. Much more often I get asked about how it all started. The “what motivated you” question.It turns out I kind of got lucky. A friend from work and her husband owned a gym. Lifetime Fitness. They were planning a weight loss contest that shares a name, almost certainly infringing on trademark or copyright laws, with a popular television weight loss program. I was invited to join. And I declined.I was a little over 30 years old and a little over 330 pounds. But I had convinced myself I was happy. Sure, I ate a lot. But it wasn’t because I was sad. I just liked food. And I liked the way I looked.Ha! Yeah right. The lies we tell ourselves.In the end I did sign up for the course after much cajoling. The reason I signed up? It was cheap. 3 months in the gym plus 4 hours a week of personal training and some protein powder for 300 dollars Canadian? My inner frugal couldn’t say no.12 weeks of sweat and tears and being yelled at by trainers (a lot!!) later I had lost 55 pounds.Unlike Dean I was never a competitive athlete on any level. I played high school sports and at best could be described as a not terrible basketball player. I had to learn to compete all over again through that weight loss contest. I had to learn to motivate myself when the trainers weren’t around. I had to learn to love exercising. I had to learn a whole new lifestyle.When the competition was over I kept losing. The new lifestyle stuck!Ultimately I got all the way down to under 230 pounds. I looked better. I was happier. I was healthier. I added years to my life. Best 300 bucks I ever spent!A question I love to answer is what was my favourite part of the experience of losing weight? Over the course of about 5 months I went from not being able to run for more than 30 seconds at a time to running 5 miles in under 45 minutes.I’ll never set records or win medals and that’s fine with me. I won the race that I needed to run. And I got my life back.(And yes I am a little jealous of Dean. Because I wish I had done it at a younger age so I might have been able to feel the thrill of competition.)