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.
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.”
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.