Becoming a cautionary tale

Death is inevitable, but it comes at different times for everyone.

Now, at 53 and glimpsing just over 300 pounds for a day or two for the first and only time in my life, I have got to say, reality really did set in. A few weeks ago, a work friend in Chicago passed away playing hockey. 48, healthy, tough, smart, successful husband and father. You think, “But he was so healthy!”

And, selfishly, I thought about me. Had it been me who passed away, people (I hope) would miss me. But, in all honesty, there would probably be no surprise. You see a guy like me, and you have a quick realization that, proportionately, there aren’t a lot of fat 60 or 70 or 80 year old guys.

I’d like to make it a few more decades and in order to do that, I have to drastically change how I live. I have never not been fat. In fact, as a kid, my brothers and sister introduced me as their little brother, Fat Jack. There have been a few times where I was just “overweight.” They were few and far between, and very short-lived – for about 6 months at 18 and for about 3 months at 23. So, my intent is that this will not be just a blog of a year or two to lose weight, but also about maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the rest of my life once I get there.

So you know where I am starting – last week I saw 302.3 on the scale. Though it is expensive and out of my league, I did sign up for a six week challenge at a Crossfit place a couple of miles from my house – Crossfit Alpharetta. I talked to the owner (Justin) last week because I saw a Groupon for beginner classes and talked to him about how beginner their beginner was. He had more confidence in their ability to get me to a healthy than he probably should have, but even I bought in.

Part of the deal is you have to take beginning front, side and back photographs, and take some measurements too. I took the measurements last night with a tape measure by myself. I wasn’t having anyone else do it. Maybe when I make some improvement I will post the pictures I took. But, trust me, for now, I can almost make the guy who plays Murray Goldberg on the Goldbergs look like Hugh Jackman. I am sure I screwed up the measurements some. But, one was the waist at the belly button. That was 56.5″ Right now, I am wearing shorts in a size 42. I squeeze in and they are stretched out. I was in New Orleans this week and had to wear dress pants (which I never do) and bought a pair of 44s. Horrendously, I had a really hard time with them, but I got them closed. You can imagine with the 56.5 at the belly button and a 42 or 44 where I wear my pants, it is not a pretty sight. Another measurement was the chest at the nipples. That was 56″. And ugly. The other two were an unflexed bicep (as if I have anything to flex) and a thigh measurement. 17″ and 27″ respectively. Those measurements mean nothing to me. The waist and chest do.

But, I am now two classes in – yesterday and today. The deal is that if I go three days a week for six weeks and follow the nutrition guidelines, regardless of weight loss, they will take the $350 I paid ($250 plus $100 for nutritional guidance), they will apply the full amount over the following six months. So, there is a financial incentive too to get and stay on track.

Oh – the “becoming a cautionary tale”? Since death really is inevitable, I’d like to get to the point that if I go, people think, “But he was so healthy”! Sick? Maybe. But a goal is a goal.

I realize no one will be following me. But, if you happen up this blog and want to offer some advice or, more importantly, encouragement, please do.

Thanks.

Jack

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