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Health Matters When It's A Matter of Health

I have been gaining weight for the last seven years and have been constantly talking about taking it off for the past three. However, instead, I have steadily gained more. I look at pictures of myself and am so disappointed. People often don't see me, just my big protruding stomach. It makes me sad, not proud of myself.And frankly, I am tired of listening to my own bullshit. I mean, when I hear people talking and not putting action behind it, I want to vomit. I have never thought of myself as worthless based on how I look; it's not my entire self worth. However, it is a portion. In fact, I really dislike how addicted I am to Food. It is a sign of weakness, a lack of self-control. Weakness and a lack of self control are not congruent with my core self or my goals. When I decided that it was time for me to lose weight I was the heaviest I had ever been - then three more years ticked by and I am now the heaviest I have ever been in my entire life. THREE YEARS! That's 1,095 fucking days! What the fuck was I thinking three years ago? I will tell you what I was thinking. Poor me, pity me.
My biggest issue was opposition within my own self. Up to this point I have struggled with who I was and who I am, how I looked and the delusion of how I saw myself, the shame I felt because of what I had done to myself, and the fear to fail. Even others' opinions of what I was doing if I pushed myself to a point of exhaustion. I wanted to live my life in balance, but I was failing at balancing my life. When I was young I would workout until I puked, once I passed out while working my legs - and then, I knew that was okay. If I wanted something I would go and get it. My first mistake was to allow other people to indoctrinate me in how they saw ambition; everybody from my ex-wife, my co-workers, my friends, and even my children. this mostly came from an increasingly monumental lack of self-esteem. In my last article When It Seems They Don't Respect You I identified my need to please others and how I learned to truly value myself and others. That is why I allowed those around me to determine my personal knowledge of the value of hard work and ambition. The result, I became aimless and lazy; which to be clear, I take full responsibility of.

How Did It All Begin?

It took me a long while to figure out how it all began and what my journey to obesity looked like. Now, I have never been a "skinny" person. I have always had a wide neck and shoulders, and a thick chest and thighs. But, in seven years I went from wearing a medium (sometimes large) to wearing a double XL and sometimes a triple XL. I went from being 160 ish to being 230 pounds. Seventy pounds is a whole lot of extra weight to be carrying. I used to like clothes shopping, whether it was for printed tees and stylish pants or a nice button down and casual dress slacks. In fact, bargain hunting for awesome clothes was something that made me happy. But, when you are 5'3" and 230 pounds there aren't many clothing choices, and not too many of them actually look good. I remember when I was still in denial, and still gaining weight like crazy, I would attempt to wear a button down shirt and it would come undone. to expose my gut. Not something I ever imagined myself going through. So what happened? How did I let myself do this?Seven Years AgoIt was the beginning of the worst point of my fifteen year relationship and I began to let myself go. I began to watch my diet less, exercise less, and drink a shit load of beer.Five Years AgoMy ex-wife and I separated and I fell into a very deep depression, not getting off my sofa for nearly six months. I was really eating like shit and not exercising at all. When I would get off my sofa it was during the weeks my kids were gone so I could go get wasted.Once I got off my sofa I began doing accounting work again which kept me busy. However, I was still experiencing deep depression and couldn't seem to function as a complete adult. This is when the constant fast food consumption began to happen. I used the excuse that I was a very busy single father, which was true, but it was nothing more than an excuse. Now at this point, I am not exercising, and I am now eating nothing but carbs and fat with nearly no whole foods in my diet.Four Years AgoThis is when I made a conscious decision to really change my life. In the year prior I was attending a great deal of counseling sessions and group therapy but I didn't do anything beyond that to really re-motivate myself. I decided that I would opened a cleaning business which was successful rather quickly. Again, I used the fact that I was really busy to avoid taking care of myself. The only thing I was doing right at this point, physical health wise, was ensuring I was cooking for my children; my diet though was still fast food. To make it worse, I worked from 9 pm to 5 am, got a few hours sleep then got up again and spent time with my kids, take care of my house and do my administrative work, then I would go back to sleep for another hour or so and do it all again. When I was home I was looking for quick carb fixes, and when I was on the road I was eating shit food. This lasted for eighteen months and I never noticed how much I was gaining until one day I couldn't do up my pants anymore.Three and a Half Years AgoMy life was in another tailspin. And I fell into another deep depression. I had lost one of my major contracts about six months prior and from that point sabotaged my company until the rest fell off. I went from feeling okay in every way except my physical self to feeling like a complete shit bag again. I went back to wallowing on my sofa for another six months. During this time I did a lot of soul searching and really really really started my healing work. I identified how unhappy I was with my body but also recognized that other changed needed to be made first.Three Years AgoIt was at this point that I was looking at myself becoming even heavier and finding myself, for the first time ever, really absolutely hating my body and being ashamed of it. At this point I was addicted to food and I was over eating to compensate for my emotions. If I didn't have an excessive amount of carbohydrates in a day I would be starving; and I had developed a horrible habit of eating really late at night - especially things like peanut butter and jam sandwiches.Up to This PointOver these last three years I struggled a lot. I went up and down with my emotions and eating habits. I would lose weight and gain more back; I would feel hopeful and then devastated. It was a complete up hill battle that I constantly felt like I was losing. There were a few things along the way that have pushed me, albeit slowly, to taking my physical health just as serious as I have taken the rest of my healing journey.

What Really Changed?

Well, I already pointed out that I was tired of listening to my own shit. But it really did go deeper than that. Looking back on it all I can't decide on one specific thing, it was really a bunch of small things which all equated to a larger mind set shift. One thing I can say is that this shift in mindset helped me in other areas I have been working on and those strengthened mindsets have in turn helped my physical health journey. Some of the smaller things which impacted my journey are:
  • I noticed I don't have many pictures of over the last four years,
  • I am experiencing more physical pains, especially when I am active,
  • I have less energy than ever before
  • I noticed people no longer take me serious, even those who used to,
  • I noticed myself losing drive to succeed in many areas I would slay in before,
  • My self-esteem has taken a massive dive,
  • My grandson has told me I am getting fat,
  • I get winded walking up the stairs,
  • My blood pressure is rising,
  • I can't fit most of my clothes anymore.
In addition to all these things, my oldest daughter made the decision to start a publication called Body + Positive. Her Body + Positive project is based on the body positive movement. She asked me to be one of her models, and at first I said no way, I don't even like myself anymore. But then I thought, no, I need to like myself, even if I don't like where my physical health is at. So I said yes. After that I began to play around with the notion of if I was a fraud or not, since I don't want to be "the chubby guy". Am I disgracing her publication and the movement if I lose weight. So, I did a tonne of reading and discussing with others. What I realized is the body positive movement, and my daughters goal to portray, is not exclusively about weight - though we have put a lot of emphasis on weight in the movement. This made me feel extra good about saying yes. It also made me extra excited to lose weight and keep it off.

The New Beginning

I decided that I was going to have another new beginning. Something I accepted a long time ago is that I can fail and fail again and someday I will succeed because I have an opportunity to hit the reset button at any time. When I hit the reset it may not include the same actors, or the same plot line, but it will be a new opportunity. That is basically what I did this time. I decided to stay away from high impact exercises, since I am too out of shape for that in the moment and it was a cause of failure before. Instead I decided the following first wave attack plan.
  1. drink loads of water; after all water is life,
  2. considerably decrease the amount of fried foods, and carbs I consume
  3. more raw fruits and vegetables
  4. limit food intake
  5. eat larger meals in the morning and smaller at dinner
  6. discontinue eating late at night
  7. walk as much as possible, at least 4 times a week
  8. set a goal weight with a definite date of achievement; for me it is 45 pounds of 45 weeks.
When I started this plan I was 220 pounds. I had lost ten pounds prior but wasn't losing any more. I have had this plan in place for four weeks so far and it has been tough. I have not lost four pounds but I have lost two. Unlike before I am tracking my journey daily and I am working hard not to let my small fails defeat me. My biggest issue so far is that I haven't switched the size of my breakfast and dinner portions and I am still eating a bit too much at dinner. One of my weaknesses is that I am an amazing cook and I love my food. Also, my family sits around the table at dinner time, so I find it easier to eat more at dinner time. I just continue adjusting and readjusting with the understanding that I will eventually have to develop and move to a phase two of my plan.

Future Hopes

I believe I am a brand on my own. All my ventures stem from me and who I am and I want to be able to represent my brand and my ventures to match my truest self. One of the ventures I have been super excited to do for a long while is my clothing brand - but I told myself I can't launch it until I am healthy again. Also, I like to be out in the public, making friends; all my jobs require me to rub shoulders. I want to look my best for that.After the 45 weeks are over I will update my audience.
About Jason White
Jason White is a father, a grandfather, knowledge seeker and sharer. Jason is the owner of Growth Positive Consulting where he puts his fundraising and management skills to great use. He is a writer, a woodworker, and a philanthropist. Find him here:facebook: @JasonLWhiteAuthortwitter: @ChiiMakwainstagram: @Chii_Makwa patreon: https://www.patreon.com/JasonLWhite You can also donate to Jason through PayPal at paypal.me/jasonlwhiteauthor



This post first appeared on Living Or Existing, please read the originial post: here

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Health Matters When It's A Matter of Health

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