This post was inspired by a Twitter conversation I recently had with @shayrae_3 about weight loss. I’ve written before about the effects of being Overweight and Underappreciated, this posting will serve to elaborate further.
In 2008 I began the year thinking about exactly 302 things. My first two concerns were my long-term health and my ability to enjoy life, which were being negatively impacted by the other 300 things – I weighed 300 lbs. Each pound had been sitting on my mind since 2003, weighing down my health and self-esteem for five years.
In 2003 I arrived at Florida Atlantic University with two thoughts on my mind – get educated and play football. The latter of those thoughts was the cause of my weight gain. I finished high school football weighing 225. This weight was sufficient for a high school offensive lineman, but was absolutely inadequate for the collegiate level, where offensive lineman average 300. I quickly recognized my inadequacy and set about to rectify it. I wanted to succeed, to play, and to help the team win. My goal was to help my team and it compelled me to eat, and eat, and then eat some more! I knew that by putting on weight I would better my opportunity to play, and so the more weight the better.
As my days of playing football neared ending in 2007 my weight became a nagging concern. The muscle and mass needed to play wouldn’t be needed any longer. The goal I lived by for the past few years would be reframed, my goal now became to lose the pounds I’d added while playing football. Month after month my weight would shrink, the pounds shedding with each passing week. Today I weight 200 lbs., give or take a few because I just ate lunch.
People, upon finding out that I used to weight 300 lbs., will often ask how. I tell them that I exercised several times a week, ate more nutritious foods, and set a goal to live happily. I had no specific amount of weight I wanted to lose, just a belief that if I stuck to my goal then changes would occur. I’ve no doubt that losing the weight contributed to improving my long-term health, but my goal to live happily was the root of my increased self-esteem. My goal allowed me to develop an attitude to live happily with my successes, but to also not get too down with my failures.
Setting goals is what it takes to lose the weight. Determination, perseverance, and patience are the qualities necessary to fulfill the goal. As we enter a New Year I implore you to set goals for yourself, they’ll help you reach the success you desire. Success can be reached in different ways but it will lead to happiness.