Last year, I had made it a point to start making healthier choices. I had weight just over 200lbs, I felt uncomfortable, my clothes didn’t fit, my belly touched my legs when I sat down, it was all bad. And you would think 206lbs would be “normal” for a 6’2″, 26-year old man. That may be if all you do is pump iron and brag about it. “200 pounds of pure man, bruh!”

But that wasn’t me. Every day, I was drinking sugary drinks, eating sugary foods, listening to Sugar Ray, it was all bad. So I made a change – I would work out an hour a day, 5 days a week, and cut out the junk. And it worked. I lost 21lbs or so, coming in around 184-185 lbs.  I went down a few inches around the waist,  and had to ditch my L and XL shirts for something a bit more fitting.

But then, life happened. My job demanded long, 12 hour days, I started commuting a longer distance, and I was just tired. I got tired- well, lazy. It didn’t seem worth keeping up my health if all I was doing was driving 2 hours a day to go to-and-from a desk-job, stay sitting at that desk for 10-12 hours a day, and come home with little energy to enjoy the few hours left in the day.

Excuses. Just because things are a little harder does not excuse me from making healthier choices. So I confess, I’ve been a lazy pig over the last couple months. Focusing on my own stress without being proactive about it lead me down a rabbit hole of drinking sugary drinks, eating fatty and sugary foods, and listening to “Every Morning”. Not cool. I jumped back up to 202.6lbs, my clothes stopped fitting, and I just didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin.

About a week and a half ago I stepped on the scale and saw that 202 number. All I could think as I stared at that little LED screen in front of my toes was You really f***ed up. You stopped caring, you stopped trying. 

F*** that. Immediately I began thinking of ways I could improve myself, and for me, it starts with diet. I cut out the sugary junk and fast food, limiting myself to water, fruit, and homemade meals. I also started using my elliptical trainer for 20-30 minutes a day, or for however long I can without feeling like total garbage afterward.

A week and a half later, I’m 193.6 lbs. Clothes are already starting to feel better, I feel like I have more energy during the day than before, and I feel a lot less depressed. Feeding stress with junk food = being stressed AND fat = being stressed, fat, AND depressed.

And this isn’t just about the weight for me anymore. It’s more about how I feel. When I come home, am I too tired? When I eat, am I unbuttoning my pants? When I sit, am I sweating? Is the sound of Mark McGrath’s screaming “I just wanna fly” emanating from the speakers of my car radio?

All these terrible, terrible things must come to an end. Not to look better, not to have a lower number on the scale, or any of that superficial crap.

Fact is, when I’m a dad, I want to have the energy to get up from the couch and play with my kid. When I’m an old man, I still want to take my wife to the beach on our 60th anniversary. Not breathing heavily on a couch, bathing in my own sweat caused by the stress of walking to the living room, or laying in some hospital bed because I didn’t give a shit.

No more excuses.