Losing Weight

I think of myself as a trim, in-shape guy. I know that this is common- to hang on to the image of yourself at 18 even though you are much older, much heavier and not as active. To be clear, I am 80 pounds heavier than when I turned 18. I'm 5'10" and I was 145 then and 225 now. Thats a 55% increase. I was heavier -242- about 3 years ago, and then I started riding my bike to work daily and training for a relay race called Hood-to-Coast. I got down to 207 and maintained that for about 6 months. I've crept back up since then.

Like so many other areas in life, I totally know what to do to change things. It is really quite simple. Eat less calories than my body needs daily.

My problem with losing weight is discipline. The discipline to eat portions that are appropriate for my activity level. The discipline to stick with it on the weekends.

This is why I'm writing about it. About 4 years ago I learned that I had high blood pressure. I discovered it when Emily had a home blood pressure machine during her pregnancy with our youngest child and I tried it out. It was high. High enough that I went to see my doctor and was told that my body didn't "like" being overweight. That the high blood pressure was a result of this dislike. He told me that it was an indicator that if things don't change, I have a high probability of developing diabetes. I have a family history of diabetes. I also have a family history of heart problems.

If it isn't obvious by now, the doctor basically laid it out for me. If I don't get my weight under control, I am likely choosing to shorten my life significantly.

Skip ahead to today.

I have lost weight since then and started riding my bike 14 miles every weekday. I'm pretty hardcore about it actually. Rain or shine. In other words, I'm getting plenty of cardiocascular exercise. My blood pressure, with medication, has gone down some, but not enough.

There's another reason I'm writing. I have an amazing wife and three amazing kids. Up to this point I have made the choices I've made about this stuff-namely eating too much, largely without consideration for them. This is problematic for a couple reasons.

1. I'm the only father these kids have. This is important for a few reasons: First, that I'm here for them for a long time. Second that I live that time in front of them with integrity.

2. My wife married me with a committment to living our lives together, raising children together and growing old together. In addition, she married me with the understanding that I was and would be a man of my word. In other words, someone who follows through on commitments.

By keeping it a private matter, I've kept this lack of discipline to myself. I've made a lot of effort to lose weight over the years, but because no one really knows about it, when I fail, I can treat it like it is no big deal. If no one else is aware, it's easier to avoid dealing with the reality that not dealing with this is selfish and lazy.

I don't think that I'm being legalistic and I'm not saying that this assessment applies to anyone else. For me, it is a character issue and a classic example of dealing with what I do when no one is watching. I'm taking my cue from James 4:17

Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

So here is what I'm doing about it. First, I'm posting this so that I can't hide it. I'm doing this to help it feel more real. I'm telling you about it so that I have to remember that other people know. Second I'm asking for your encouragement.

It will suck if I don't follow through. I know myself and I'm pretty sure that giving it higher stakes will help me. Failure will be more embarrassing, and success will be sweeter.

I'm not following a specific plan at this point. I do have a target. My doctor thinks that a good weight for my height, build and age would be around 180. He also thinks that it is realistic to lose between 1-2 pounds a week. I'm setting a goal of 1.5 pounds a week. My target is Dec 8th, 2012.

I would say wish me luck, but this isn't going to take luck.

Here we go!