The below story was written in September 2015. It is amazing to look back at my life then and to see how things have changed.
In February this year I decided I was going to improve my health and lose some weight. Ever since I graduated from college I have been over 30 BMI (which is classified as Obese), and as my daughter got older I wanted to enjoy sports with her. I love tennis and hiking, but I found my fatigue was limiting my enjoyment. I knew I could lose some weight and I put a target to lose 35 pounds over six months.
To make the target even clearer, and to give myself some added motivation, I planned a solo hike in one of the highest elevation sections of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) in Colorado in August. This hike was 76.2 miles from highway pass to highway pass and would stay above 11,000 feet for almost its entirety. With tight vacation allowance, I committed to completing the hike in less than 4 days and started training in late spring.
Since February I used the LIVESTRONG MyPlate app to track my meals, exercise, and weight. I set my calorie goal at 2000/day and pushed myself to stay in the green. Amazingly just watching my portion size and decreasing my carbs slightly allowed me to lose some quick weight. With the early success I was motivated to exercise more and eat better. The tracking really kept me focused on not eating too much, and had a great side effect, in that I consumed much less alcohol. It was very hard for me to keep under the calorie goal, and at the end of the night I seldom had the allowance for a beer. Around June I found that I began to enjoy running (jogging), that I was sleeping about one hour less per night, I was performing better at work, and that I was much happier in general.
By August I had lost the weight to meet my goal, I was under 185lbs (25 BMI), and I was fully trained to hike 20+ miles a day. The hiking trip came, my wife and daughter dropped me off on a Sunday morning and I kicked some ace on my hike – completing the full 76 miles in 3 days and 3 hours. I smoked it… And to make it extra sweet, my weight with the backpack and gear on my shoulders was less than my weight prior to starting the MyPlate fitness app.
I honestly never felt that out of shape, or that heavy; but I knew I could be better. I am better now. I am able to enjoy sports, perform better at work and home, and feel confident about myself. I don’t have to hold my gut in for photos. Livestrong.com and MyPlate have been a wonderful tools for me, and it is great to read all of the stories and hear others discuss their journey. No matter what your goals, believe in yourself and make the commitment to succeed, and I am confident you too will feel better…
Wishing you the best,