The True “Weight” of Weight Loss

My journey has been one many can identify with. I’ve always been a bit chubby growing up, since I gorged on food with little abandon. Food had been my outlet for numerous emotions. I ate when I was happy and wanted to celebrate, I ate when I was depressed and needed to cheer myself up, I ate when my eyes caught sight of something I loved to eat, and least of all, when I was actually hungry. I was teased, of course, but its scary how quickly one can become mentally calloused, immune to bullying if one accepts it as a constant. Still, I never really saw it as a problem. I was healthy, my ten plus years of intense martial arts training and practice served as a covert means of counteracting my unhealthy lifestyle and burning calories.

Then came college.

Away from home for the first time in my entire life, and enthralled with the whole college experience, I did everything but exercise. Being in a brand new country, with foods I’d never eaten before, new tastes to explore, and over the space of five years I had ballooned from my already beefy 230lbs to 340lbs. Even then, I didn’t make a big deal out of it. That is, until clothes suddenly wouldn’t fit well, if at all, and shopping for them became an exercise in patience, endurance and a huge dose of depression.

At that point I’d fallen into a trap that many people tend to given these circumstances. I had given up hope of ever losing weight. The lifestyle change necessary was daunting enough, but the sheer amount of exercise I knew I’d need seemed unconquerable. I felt so lethargic. I had no energy and no positive outlook with regards to my weight. Short story even shorter: I felt disgusted with myself.
 

Its an easy thing to fall into depression over what can be considered insurmountable odds. Its worse knowing exactly what you need to do to overcome it and simply not having the energy or willpower to follow through. Its even more so when you seek help, or at least understanding and are met with:

“Why are you so weak-willed?”

“Its your own fault you’re so fat. Why don’t you man up and go to the gym.”

“What do you mean you need help? You know what to do, just do it!”

Yes, “supposed” friends, I know I’m weak-willed. Yes, “supposed” friends, I know its my own fault I’m this way. Yes “supposed” friends, I know exactly what I need to do… but I can’t simply just “do” it. I need help. I need moral support. I need someone in my corner who won’t make me feel even worse about myself than I already do. I tried the gym, I hated it. I tried the dieting, I wasted hundreds of dollars on weight loss supplements.

And then I graduated.

I returned to Trinidad in the summer of 2010, back to the friends and family I’d grown up with. It took some doing, as I was conditioned not to discuss my weight with others because of aforementioned reactions, but when I tentatively broached the subject, a flood of support came my way. What do you need? What can we do to help? Lets do this together! We believe in you! Its amazing what a bit of positivity can do.

After four months of strict dieting and exercise I’d dropped from 340lbs to 240lbs. A full 100lbs.

 

It’s been a full five years since this transformation took place, and sure, with life the way it’s been, being a working adult, its been difficult to juggle exercise and healthy eating, and for a while I surrounded myself with people who led me off the path I’d set myself on. I have gained some of that weight back, but I am so fortunate to still have this positive support system in my life.

My weight loss journey continues. I still hate the gym, but armed with my fitbit, I walk and walk and walk and walk. I still love food, but I quit eating take-out as often as I used to, decreased my portion sizes and I quit drinking soda in favor of water. Small changes, over time, yield results. And I intend to keep going!

And, ladies and gentlemen, if someone with a problem (weightloss or otherwise) comes to you for support, even if the solution seems simple to you, offer support. You don’t know how difficult or brave it is to bring it up in the first place.

You could be the reason this person gets up and goes, or the fuel to the fire that is their insecurity and self-loathing.

 

I’m happy!

 

The Unguarded Moment

Marriage. It’s a weighty word that’s tied to a weighty concept. The thought of spending the rest of one’s life with one person is a daunting one. There are so many worrisome thoughts: Is he/she really the one? What if I’m making a mistake? Oh God, I’m not ready for this! Well, None of those currently apply to me.

As some may or may not already know, I proposed to my wonderful now-fiancé, Jasmine, on July 11th, and I’m sure you can guess from the first half of this sentence what exactly her answer was. I’m officially off the market ladies. Please hold back the tears.

I kid, I kid.

To make a generalized statement, though, it seems like people believe that most men fear commitment, or at least fear the prospect of being “tied down” as it were. I share no such compunctions. The simple look of contentment in my father’s eyes in his quiet moments, the eagerness and zest with which he worked to provide for us… Yeah, I knew I wanted to be married and have a family of my own someday pretty early on in my life.

The one thing I’ve found in my self-introspection is the fact that my life is changing. No longer am I able to make indiscriminate decisions on a whim and see where they lead. No longer can I afford to slack off, foster unhealthy eating habits, spend hours upon hours upon hours upon hours playing video games like I used to. And those impulse purchases? Bye bye! All of these sudden changes tend to be overwhelming, especially if it’s what you’ve been used to for a looooong time.

Recently, I had to make my very first decision while taking my fiancé and our future life together into account. Just a slight, albeit potent taste of how tough it can be to put the needs of others before your own. Knowing myself, had I been single, I might have done things a little differently, which, in turn, might have ended up with me sabotaging myself. I’m pretty sure I made the right call. All in all, I embrace the changes. Having Jasmine in my life alone has been a grounding experience, and the fact that we are soon going to be man and wife can only mean more structure and less uncertainty.

Stability becomes your life’s mantra.

All in all, when two people ultimately decide to make this kind of commitment to each other in the eyes of God, and others, I think it’s a wonderful thing. I feel loved, I live to make my queen feel loved at all times.