At the beginning of last year I was 235lbs. (2 years before that I weighed in at 265) Along with a bunch of other dads, we congregated under the #DadFit banner (hashtag) and committed to supporting each other on the journey towards better fitness. We all had our various reasons, but at the core for each one of us was the idea that we wanted to be healthy for our kids, for our families. We didn’t want to be out of breath when running around with the kids. We were tired of getting out of breath after climbing a flight of stairs.
It was with the support and encouragement of this group that helped me restore fitness as a priority in my life. I was tired of being fat. I was tired of huffing and puffing when I went up stairs. I was tired of getting sweaty when I played with my kids. I knew I needed to make a change and it was with the support of others that I did it.
Not to say it wasn’t without its challenges. Losing weight is hard. Making exercise a habit is hard. Changing your diet is hard. Not long after starting down the path towards being #DadFit, on a day when I was feeling particularly discouraged, I had a friend say something to me that changed my life. She asked me if I liked being fat. And you know? I didn’t. I hated it. I was embarassed by my body and the state of my physical fitness.
It was that one little question that reinvigorated me and kept me going whenever I wanted to quit. When I wanted to skip a workout, when I wanted to eat more than I should, or crap that I shouldn’t, I’d hear her voice in my head asking me, “Do you like being fat?” And it gave me the strength to stay strong.
This isn’t to say that I didn’t slip up. I still ate junk, skipped workouts, and slacked off. But I paid for it, and when you realize how much work you’ve put into something only to have it quickly slip away because of a moment of weakness or laziness, it makes it that much easier to stick with it.
Since reaching my goal sometime mid-summer (my initial goal was to get down to 200lbs), I started to slack off. I had reached the goal I had set for myself, but knew that I wanted more. I wanted to lose more weight, get even more fit, but it was (and continues to be) a struggle. It’s easy to get caught up in the mindset that I’ve done so much, isn’t that enough? But it isn’t. I want more.
This year I cycled 160km in two days. I put in over 1500km on my bike this year. I raced my first season of cyclocross. I lost more than my goal weight – at one point weighing in at 189lbs. I can play with my kids without getting out of breath. I can run up stairs without getting winded. But I want more
For the coming year I’m working on setting new fitness goals. I’m in a great place, but I’m going to do more. I want to ride a century (100mi in a day). I want to do a road race. I want to place better in my cyclocross races. I want a real 6-pack.
These are my goals for 2013 and I will achieve them. I did some pretty awesome things in 2012 and I’m going to continue this pattern in the coming years.