For my first entry of this blog, I kind of wanted to explain what got me to this point. As much as I want to start doing writings on the future and write about things that are current, I think I need to explain the past to get to the present. So, here it goes.
On July 1st, 2013, I was approximately 370 pounds. I've always been tall, but the weight was overwhelming and the height didn't do nearly enough to offset my width. Getting to that point was a gradual decline that happened over a period of twenty one years at that time. I had always been big growing up so for the longest time, I just wrote it off. If I saw something, I ate it. If I was hungry or not, I always knew that my stomach would find room for it. I craved the feeling of being full more than the taste of the food. For me, if I felt full, then my heart would be happy.
I try to think of the one epiphany people have in movies that completely overtakes them and helps them transform into the person they were always meant to be. Some incredibly inspiring conversation between Uncle Ben and Peter Parker. Unfortunately for the story's sake, I'm not NEARLY as cool as those guys so I hope this will still do.
For me, it was multiple things that happened very quickly.
I was a size 48 in pants. I refused to admit that I needed to get bigger pants and so the ones I had continued to shrink on me. It was definitely the pants shrinking, it couldn't possibly be me getting bigger! Well, my continually shrinking pants began to rip on me. Whether it be the inside of my thigh, or if the button was popping off from the continued stress of keeping up with my belly. My incredible wife would try to sew up these rips (often secretly) to help prevent me from being embarrassed. Even though they were all sewed up, they were just no match for my increasing girth. The rips continued.
While dealing with pants I had no business wearing, I found myself getting out of breath over the smallest things. A flight of stairs was my sworn enemy. A walk outside left me winded, sweating profusely, and questioning why people would ever see walking as a hobby! It was a disgusting thought.
I remember a photo session that my wife had planned for pictures of her and I. We didn't have any nice pictures of us so she was really excited. I hated the idea. Not because of her (she's gorgeous) but because I knew how much I would take away from her shine. Here, you have a girl who is so naturally adorable, and then you have this gargantuan just taking up space in the picture. On top of all of that, the shirt that I wore in the pictures was the largest we could find but still wouldn't button. So, I wore it unbuttoned. When I look at those pictures now, I can see the defeat I felt. I had quickly become the saddest I've ever felt in my life.
I wanted to look the way I thought I could. I wanted to be the Josh that I knew I could be, but nobody had ever seen. So I decided it was time for a change. My wife definitely deserved a husband who took care of himself, but I also did it for me. I knew that I needed to want it if I would change. And I wanted it. Badly.
I started small. I knew salads were things healthy people ate. I heard water was good for the body. So, with those two things, I started the most difficult journey I've ever experienced and within the span of one year and six months, I lost a total of 160 pounds.
It was a tedious process. Learning about nutrition, juicing, exercising, fighting severe depression, all while still trying to find the Josh I've never been able to be. I'm thankful for the process. I've pushed myself to do things I would become nauseous thinking about before. I've run 5k's, I've biked for miles and hours, I've cried and bled in order to make my dreams a reality, and I fought hard the whole way.
When the weight loss portion of my journey was winding down and my goal weight was in sight, I got a tattoo of an arrow on my arm. It's to remind myself that an arrow, once it's shot, won't change its course of direction by its own volition. In the same way for me, I'm not turning back. Like an arrow, I'm moving forward.