Year Three

This post completely snuck up on me. For some reason, I had it set in my head that I would be writing this post later in the week. And then yesterday, I realized that it was January 22nd. Which means that today is January 23rd. Today is my anniversary.

Two years ago, on January 23rd, 2010, I met with Richard Simmons, who offered to help me lose weight. He had me start keeping a food log that he looked over every week, keeping me accountable for what I put in my mouth. It was the beginning of my effort to lose weight.

January 23rd, 2010 marks a number of of other important beginnings: the beginning of my friendship with Richard, the beginning of a focus on health and wellness unparalleled by any other period in my life, the beginning of an attitude shift towards confidence and self-appreciation. I can see this date whenever I want, because it’s at the start of my weight loss chart – the very chart that shows that since January 23rd, 2010, I have lost 166 pounds.

I was recently thinking about some big hypothetical what ifs. What if I hadn’t taken Richard Simmons up on his offer? What if I had continued to believe that my body was never going to change? What if I hadn’t challenged my own engrained notions that I could never successfully lose weight?

These what ifs led to a depressing series of visions: me, heavier than ever, sitting around, surrounded by junk food wrappers. Me, walking into a big & tall store for the umpteenth time, seeing all the same clothes over and over again, knowing exactly what I’ve already tried on. Me, continuing to slowly isolate myself from the people that love me, continuing to convince myself that I wasn’t worthy of their attention.

But you know what? They’re just visions. There is no alternate universe where I’m lounging on the couch, chocolate smeared on my face, screening my calls. And you know why? Because I took those first steps, on January 23rd, 2010, and it was hard and I was scared, but I kept looking forward. I kept moving forward, finding new ways to be healthier and implementing them, continuing to exercise and push myself like I’ve never done before.

And look where I am now. It’s the beginning of my third year on this track, and I look and feel like a completely different person. One of the things I’ve heard on multiple occasions, from the people in my life that have known me for years and years, is that they don’t recognize me in old photos anymore. They don’t remember the 400-pound body I used to have.

What I find exciting is that the same thing is beginning to happen to me. That guy, in those photos, is starting to seem foreign. The memories of struggling to get in and out of a low-riding car or feeling winded after walking up a hill are fainter, and evaporating more and more each month. It’s exhilarating, because it means that all this effort and determination is really sticking. I’m proving to myself, with every passing day, that this isn’t some fluke or some miraculous spurt of good health. It’s evidence that I’ve changed my life.

That change began on one day: January 23rd, 2010. Today is January 23rd, 2012, and I challenge you to make today a new beginning. It doesn’t matter if this is Year 1 of trying to lose weight, or Year 3, or Year 33 – take this opportunity to start making changes. They can be small at first, or you can dive right in – but either way, make a change. You deserve more.

We’re only three weeks into this new year, but it doesn’t need to be January 1st to make a resolution. My resolution, that I reaffirm on every post of this blog all year long, is to keep it up.  I need to keep it up, because I love shopping for new clothes in increasingly smaller sizes. I need to keep it up, because I want as much time with my family and friends as I can get. I need to keep it up, because I know that the love of my life is out there somewhere, and I won’t find him if I’m holed up in my room feeling sorry for myself. I need to keep it up, because my life depends on it.

So that’s exactly what I’m gonna do. What about you?

Happy Anniversary, David. And…



17 Responses to Year Three

  1. Andie says:

    Happy anniversary! Thank you for sharing your story & inspiring me. Keep it up!

  2. Happy Anniversary, David! And thank you.

    My anniversary was January 10th – one year and 86 pounds ago. It was about this time last year that I found you… so it’s our anniversary, too! You gave me hope when I didn’t have much. You gave me guidance. You gave me laughs. You gave me inspiration. You gave me help.

    You’re not responsible for every one of those 86 pounds gone, but you’re name is on more than a few of them. When it all seemed too hard… when I had to have a cheeseburger… when I gained back five pounds… you were there to show me that didn’t need to be the end of my journey.

    I’ve never met you in person and maybe never will… I hope to, though! I’d love to give you a hug that’s as big as the 252 pounds we’ve lost together!

    Thank you… thank you… thank you.

    Thank you. Happy Anniversary… and here’s to many more.

    Keep it up, David… I’m going to!

  3. Jennifer says:

    More like I don’t recognize you in person, becuase I am to busy thinking who is that hot guy!

  4. Tavi says:

    Happy Anniversary, David! and Keep it up!… even in the rain!

  5. Abel James says:

    David, Happy Anniversary! You continue to be a huge inspiration – doing what you’ve done and sharing your story is one of the coolest life-callings I could imagine!

  6. Caron says:

    Happy Anniversary, David. You’ve done well! 🙂

  7. Julie G. says:

    Happy anniversary David and GREAT job!!!!

  8. Glenn Noel Heng says:

    Keep it up David, because you are such an inspiration and role model to me and to everyone else! 🙂

  9. Michele says:

    David – you are an inspiration to all of us – thank you for taking this journey- and succeeding- because of you I have faith to keep trying!

  10. Pat says:

    Great Post, Friend. I almost don’t remember that guy I knew 8 years ago. Keep it Up!

  11. Nicolette says:

    Happy Anniversary David — you are quite the marvel. As they say, every day is the beginning of the rest of your life. xxx

  12. Tammy says:

    Congratulations David, you’ve accomplished what I dream about. Way to go!

  13. johnnyd says:

    SO proud of you! As I have been for 22 years. You keep getting better!!

  14. Tara says:

    okay this might be a little weird but yesterday I was thinking about you, Kenz, and Richard. I didn’t even know about this post until I just finished writing my own today and came over to see what was going on in your world….

    (I may or may not be shedding a few tears right now)

    (I’m so sensitive)

    Happy Anniversary David!

  15. Nurse Karen says:

    I remember you at Slimmons the first time you exercised there. I didn’t know you were “Ellen’s” producer, or anything about you. I thought you had such a sweet smile, shy yet loving; I admired your courage in beginning a lifestyle change to better health. It takes a lot of facing one’s fears to enter a room full of svelte bodies, some with very expensive matching athletic shoes to color-coordinated outfits, when at our former sizes, it is a challenge to just find something that fits well enough in which to move. I wondered if the exercise hurt you, as sometimes the pace can get pretty swift for newbies. I wanted you to feel as welcomed as I did when GiGi introduced herself to me on my first day, so I hugged you ‘hello’ which seemed to surprise you. I told you how I began in a chair, with Sue Murphy being a darling to show me how to chair-er-cize. ^_^ You never had a problem with the movements, as you are naturally graceful with a rhythmic poise. I still think you have the sweetest smile, and are one of the most loving, wise people I have ever met in class. You may think someone else was a catalyst, and it is your own perseverance & hard work that accomplished such a life-changing feat. You know I am proud of you, and love you forever.

  16. Felise says:

    Congratulations and thanks for always sharing your honest and candid stories about your journey. You are an inspiration at any weight and I’m extremely proud to call you my friend. And as always….Keep Keeping It Up David! YOU ROCK!!

  17. This was incredibly inspiring. Thank you! I started my fitness journey November 2010 and have sinced gained 10-15 pounds (since my eating habits haven’t changed at all) but I’m not giving up =)

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