As some of you may have heard, Kelli and I have been doing Weight Watchers this year. I have decided to enter Weight Watchers' Celebrate Success Contest. Preparing my submission helped me realize how much progress I have made. This was helpful because, sometimes, it feels like my progress has been very slow. I thought I would brag a little and share the 400 word essay and the before and after pictures. Please forgive the indulgence (and the shameless plugs I included in an effort to win the contest).
First the essay:
I have struggled with my weight/health since high school. Each year, I would say to myself that "This will be the year!" But, every year, I failed to deliver.
At the beginning 2012, I had reached my heaviest ever (pushing 265 pounds). I had high blood pressure and my HDL cholesterol levels were too low. I was on medication for both problems. I was severely out of shape. I got winded easily. Just the thought of running could do it. My knees and my back hurt. It was increasingly difficult to keep up with my two little boys. With heart disease in my family, I was afraid that I would not live to see them grow up.
Then, I saw some pictures my sister took during my son's third birthday party at the end of January (my before pictures). I hated the way I looked and how heavy I had become. This was it. Something had to be done. I told my wife that I was going to try Weight Watchers. She was still trying to lose some baby weight after the birth of our second son and decided to do it with me. On February 7, we signed up together.
Weight Watchers proved the key to the door that would finally lead me to success. Just following its guidelines for better eating, I immediately began to see results and became excited about the process. In addition to my wife, my mother and sister joined Weight Watchers, as did a co-worker and her husband. We encourage each other in our process and journey. A group of friends from church also got together in a friendly get healthy competition.
Since starting, I have also taken up running...me.
Now, less than seven months into my journey, I am down more than 40 pounds to the lowest I have been since college, and am on track to meet my goal of weighing less than 200 pounds by my birthday this December. My blood pressure is down to normal levels and my HDL is good. I am off all medications. I run three miles a day, several days a week. I will be running my first 5K in October and my first 10K in November and my wife and I are training for a half-marathon next spring. I am happier, healthier, and I like myself more. Finally, this was the year...thanks to Weight Watchers.
Now, the before picture (taken at Lincoln's birthday at the end of January) - at 265-ish pounds:
Now, for the (temporary) after picture taken today, August 29, 2012 - at 218 pounds:
I still have a way to go, but am pleased with the progress I've made thus far. Many thanks to Kelli, my family and friends for their encouragement.