New Me Journey — I will not be defined by a number

It’s kind of funny how we change as we get older; hold on to some insecurities and let go of others.

I used to be insecure about my weight — more specifically, talking about my weight.

Now, it is no big deal.

More than four months into this New Me Journey version 2.0, I have indeed become a “new me.” I’ve lost more than 30 pounds (that number almost reached 40, but I will touch on that later) and I fit into clothes I never thought I’d be able to wear again. I guess it’s a good I hang on to things.

I once weighed 301 pounds. At this moment, I’m 246.4.

With this weight loss, I’ve discovered a few things about myself (I’ll touch base on each of them):

  • I hate the moments before I go to the gym, but love the way I feel afterward.
  • I don’t cringe when I look in the mirror.
  • Confidence: I have a ton of it.
  • Becoming an inspiration
  • Scale: I check my weight often. But the number I see is not me.

Gym time

There are some days with which I don’t feel like going to the gym. Today was one of those days.

I left work this afternoon, got home and caught up on some things, and just wasn’t in the mood to go to the gym.

But I did. Because I know how guilty I would feel if I took the day off. With my schedule, I have a built in off day (it’s been Saturdays, but upcoming I plan on changing it to Sunday because I want to run 5Ks). Even on my off day, unless I’m really sore from the previous week I get antsy that I need to hit the gym.

It’s becoming mental; I hate myself if I skip going to the gym.

Plus, most days I hate the moment right before I go to the gym, because I know I’m about to kick my butt. But when I leave — such as today — there is no better feeling. I love leaving the gym knowing I did the best I could for the last hour or two. That euphoria when I leave the gym is worth it.

Plus, despite what the scale said today (I’ve gained weight the last few days), I was glad I went to the gym after all. Even such, that I took this, my first “gym mirror selfie.”

gym selfie

Which leads me to my next point …


It’s becoming my friend.

About the second week of March, when I was about 260 pounds (15 more than what I am now) is when I first noticed a change. I don’t know exactly what point it was, but I had looked in the mirror and realized I was losing weight.

Sure, the scale told me so, but to physically see it in the mirror was awesome. That’s also when I started to notice my pants were more loose, I had to tighten my belt an extra notch and that my shirts seemed to have more room.

Then, I put on some clothes that I had hung on to for a while that always seemed to be too tight.

That was not the case anymore.

I was shrinking into a new wardrobe. I have jackets that I feel like I’m swimming in because they are much looser now. I have dress shirts that I never used to wear because they were too small, and some dress pants that were tough to button but I hung on to them because they weren’t cheap.

I even have a suit jacket I picked up from a thrift store a number of years ago that was difficult to button when I got it. Now it fits like a glove.

I’m going to have to do some serious shopping for new clothes, soon.

I no longer hate what I see in the mirror every morning. It’s pretty damn cool.


I’m not quite where I want to be, but I’m getting there. I don’t look as good as I can, but I look better than what I used to.

And it’s amazing.

I know I look good, and it is such a big confidence booster. I didn’t have much of it five months ago when I was pushing 285 pounds, or 14 months ago when I was more than 300 pounds.

But now that I’m less than 250?

I’m walking around with my head held a little bit higher, and dripping of confidence I only dreamed of having in 2015.

I look forward to seeing how much more confident I am when I reach 230.


We find inspiration from a ton of sources. For me, it’s generally been music. I have written some pretty good columns while listening to music. Sometimes I’ll hear a track that I’ve listened to for a few weeks or months, and suddenly something clicks and I get the urge to write.

I’ve also got a playlist of 50-plus songs that I listen to when I’m at the gym, and it seems every time I work out a different song has a way of motivating me, inspiring me to do an extra set or to run an extra mile.

But it never crossed my mind that I would be the source of someone else’s inspiration.

April 28 I received a message on Facebook from someone I had never met before. We have one mutual friend, and unfortunately it was not until today that I noticed his message. It was hidden in the “message requests,” and I was just killing time on Facebook and stumbled upon it.

Thank goodness I did.

The message came from a “Brandon,” and this is what it had to say


I couldn’t believe it.

Here I am, working my tail off to better myself, to become a better person and I have inadvertently become an inspiration to someone else.

It’s difficult to explain, honestly, my thoughts on this. Humbled. Honored. I don’t know. It’s pretty cool to know that people I’ve never met before are coming across my blog, reading about my journey and taking it upon themselves to become a better version of themselves.

I guess I can say this: in becoming a better me, if I’ve inspired one person to do the same, it’s a bonus. I set out to do this for me, not others. But it’s pretty damn cool that I’ve become a role model, in a sense.


I check my weight often. Three times a day, actually (except those off days, then it’s just twice).

The first time is when I wake up in the morning before I go to work.

The second is before I go to the gym, and the third time is after I’m done working out.

I’m sure this practice is frowned upon, but in reality the only number I am concerned about (and log each day into MyFitnessPal) is the post-workout number.


By only logging one value into MFP, it gives me a more accurate depiction of how my weight fluctuates from one day to the next — and oh does it jump around. For example, Monday I hit my new lowest weight (243.4 pounds) but I have steadily gone up each of the two days since (a total of 3 pounds).

Going full circle to the title of this post, however, the number on the scale is not me.

I will not be defined by a number.

I am more than what the scale says each day.

I’m a 30-year-old journalist/photographer who has spent the last five months becoming a better person.

I may be driven by the number on the scale, but I’m not defined by it.

I’m a son. A brother. An uncle. A nephew. A friend. A colleague.

I am a better person than I was yesterday, but not as good as I will be tomorrow.

That is what defines me. Not a number on a scale.


4 thoughts on “New Me Journey — I will not be defined by a number

    • Mark! So glad to hear from you, and as always thank you for the kind words. Hope you’ve been well. My number is still the same if you’d like to catch up sometime!

  1. Pingback: New Me Journey — It’s become fun to run | The Write Schanz

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