And We Are Underway

Somewhere between the age of 46 and 47 something clicked for me. As I stood looking at myself naked in the mirror after a shower I could not believe how disgusted I was with what I was seeing. Where was the thin, cut, in shape man I was at 25? Somewhere inside this fat, gross, 298 pound behemoth staring back at me I am sure, but the question was, at the age of 46 could I find that person again and regain some dignity lost somewhere in the past 20 years.
To be fair, a lot has happened in those 20 years. Two marriages, two son’s, leaving the military after 10 years, 8 years of college working on a BA and two Masters degrees, 6 job changes … but the most damaging was thyroid cancer discovered in 1992. That was when I went from 185 pounds and just slightly out of shape, to 250 pounds and grossly out of shape. Most can be attributed to the thyroid first shutting down and then being removed, but not all. I became lazy, and the pounds piled on.
Around March of 2010 I stepped on the scale one morning (a ritual I have always done for what reason other than self abuse I have no idea) and the number read 298 pounds. I was not two pounds away from being a three hundred pound man.
That was enough ….
I had heard a radio ad about the Tampa Heath Center and decided to check it out. It wasn’t on my insurance, so I bit the financial bullet and plopped down the $250 out pocket for the initial visit and blood work.
Best decision of my life …
Let me say that I had tried to lose weight over the years but it had always ended up being fruitless. I would lose 20 pounds, but then have one off day on a diet and gain 5 pounds. So I would give up. After speaking with Dr. Heim at the Center he wanted to see blood work done on me for a myriad of things.
The blood work came back with a lot of answers: A man of my age should have a testosterone level between 300 and 800. Mine was 178. This was due to the thyroid issue. In addition to testosterone being too low, my body for some reason was over producing estrogen, converting what little testosterone I was making to the female version, which was making by body store fat instead of burning it (he likened it to “going into menopause” which made me feel VERY good, just FYI).
So, to end this portion, he changed me from synthetic thyroid (synthroid) to natural thyroid, started me on weekly testosterone injections, and some other medication that blocks estrogen production.
The weight started coming off me ….
On March 31st I weighed 298 pounds. As of today, November 30th I weigh 259. My goal is 210-215. The purpose of this blog, in addition to the weight loss, will be to track my progression to Fat, Lazy, Sit-around-the-house man, to Fat, Slow, but Active Triathlete completer.
Thanks to a GREAT partner I have begun this journey not alone but with encouragement from partners, family, and friends. I have signed up for the Escape from Fort DeSoto Triathlon on April 16, 2011 and the St. Anthony’s Triathlon on May 1, 2011. I have also joined the Leukemia Team in Training (TNT) to help me through this process. I have my bike now, and working toward the level I need to be at. My running still sucks due to weight and knee issues, but I am working on that as well. And all the weight issues over the years has affected my mind set for “not being able to breathe”, so I am having issues with the swim, but I will work through that as well.
I have NO delusions of winning these events. My current weight and level actually has me listed in the “Clydesdale” group, which is basically the “Fat, Slow, Men” participants. But that’s OK. I will complete it one way or another.

3 thoughts on “And We Are Underway

  • November 30, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    I ran across these “words to live by” in a book I am reading and thought they made good sense: “When you sit, sit; when you stand, stand; whatever you do, don’t wobble. Once you make your choice, do it with all your spirit.” It looks like you are already embracing this idea. Looking forward to watching your progress and cheering you on if you need encouragement.

  • November 30, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks Dawne (see I can spell it correctly LOL). I appreciate the words of encouragement. I have had recent “doubts” about the kind of man I really am, so it's nice for someone that has known me a long time recognizes that I am not as bad as some people may think. Story for another time 🙂

  • November 30, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Let me be the first to say “KUDOS TO YOU!” As someone who knew you when you were the “thin, cut, in shape” man of yesteryear can I say that one thing has never changed you are and always will be a kind and generous soul. I am honored to know you and think that it's an amazing challenge you have embarked on. I know that you will meet and exceed the goals you have set for yourself and I can't wait for your next entry. Good luck and stay positive!

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