Author Topic: sam wilson's blog, "How did I do it?"  (Read 1411 times)

Offline Sam Wilson

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sam wilson's blog, "How did I do it?"
« on: January 17, 2011, 07:20:25 am »
How did I do it?

That’s the question I get the most. Someone at the gym will walk up to me, someone who is more often than not severely overweight (saying “morbidly obese” sounds like a put-down) whom someone pointed in my direction as the guy who lost over 200 lbs.  Anyway, they always ask, “how did you do it?”  I think they want me to give them a short answer, like, “X,Y, and Z diet”, or “colon cleansing” (seriously, because shoving something up your ass is a great way to loose weight), or whatever trend of the month fad weight loss technique they are wanting to purchase and use for a quick fix.  Clichéd as it sounds, an infomercial did not “fix” me.  In all honestly I don’t even feel “fixed”, I’ve actually substituted one mental illness for another more than likely, but at least I’m healthy and I’m in a better place to make better decisions, but getting there wasn’t a quick fix.

Being a perfectionist was my standard operating procedure for as long as I can remember. All my GI Joe’s had to go back in a particular place in a particular order as a child, but that’s just the start. Coming from Dr. parent’s and being sent to boarding school at the age of 13, perfection was something that was drilled in my head before I had any normal coming of age experiences.  As an adult, being a failure in my eyes (but more realistically in the expectations set fourth by a family I didn’t even talk to anymore) led to depression, which led to the initial weight gain.  Then came the moment of clarity, which led to an obsession.  Even though it was a slow start, cardio three days a week, snacks went from king size candy bars to hummus and wheat thins, over the next couple of years it cascaded to five to seven days a week of cardio, weight training four days a week, muay thai, BJJ, pushing myself to the point of pain.  I haven’t eaten fried foods in three years, I haven’t drank a soda in three years. The thought of either of those things scares the sh*t out of me. Cake, candy bars, all of that is so far away from me I don’t even want to think about it. I still have trouble going to a grocery store or a restaurant without an escort. Not just anyone either, the friends I have I’ve latched on to like a small child who is scared of everything latches on to an overprotective parent.

In many ways I’ve reverted. The outside scares me because the freedom of before is what ruined my life and I’ve proven myself incapable of making certain sound decisions, particularly when it pertained to my own health.  I’ve gotten a little better, I’m going to restaurants now and I’m serving myself rather than having my wife serving me, but even those activities are guarded. I reward myself with a Greek salad instead of chili, I stop eating when I’m not hungry.  I’m not great about that, but rather in excess I err to the minimal.  Sometimes I will skip lunch because I feel I need to be punished because I was “bad”.   Sometimes I force myself on the treadmill rather than the elliptical for the same reasons, I need to punish myself for all the mistakes I’ve made. None of this is healthy, there is a healthy way to live and stay fit, but having been so far on the other end of the scale coming to this end came at a cost.

Counseling has helped, and my wife and my friends have helped. The healthiest thing I did was surround myself with people who care.  Without that support system I never would have made it.  So how did I do it? Yeah, mostly by myself, but I had help...