A glimpse into what this man went through when he was 170 pounds overweight.
April of 2012 was one of the worst times in my life. I was at a job I absolutely hated, my father died unexpectedly at 54, and I was 170 pounds overweight. I sat there on a cold April day crying about what my life had become. I just didn’t know what to do.
After my father’s funeral, I started to replay our last few conversations. The one thing he said over and over again was how much regret he had. There were so many things he wanted to do in life, but never did anything about. He begged me not to live life that way.
A week after his death, I made a vow to live a life of no regret. To start, I knew I needed to do something about my weight once and for all. I had lost weight before through extreme measures, but this time I knew I needed to figure out what it means to live a healthy lifestyle.
It took a year, and more hard work than I thought I was capable of, but I lost 170 pounds. The 12 years leading up to this weight loss were rough to say the least. There were five things I hated about being overweight.
1. The money I spent on clothes
When I moved out with my wife at 18 years old, I was “skinny.” As the years went on and the stress of that job got to me, the pounds started piling on. For a while it seemed like I was buying clothes every week and eventually, I had to start buying clothes at the “special store.” It was embarrassing. I hated my body and myself.
2. The money I spent on food
The worst thing about my eating habits was the money I spent on fast food secretly. I delivered bread at midnight, which meant I would buy fast food and eat at odd hours. I promised my wife that I would stop, but for too long, I kept doing it. We sat down one year and calculated how much I spent on fast food; I’m too embarrassed to write the number here. I don’t eat fast food anymore.
3. The way people looked at me
I understand it’s natural to look at those that are different. Some people look and keep on. There are others, however, that go out of their way to make you feel like crap. Whether it was walking down the street, working, or just any public situation, people stared. I could feel those eyes examining all the areas of my body that I wished didn’t exist.
4. The things people said to me
People can be cruel. Maybe it was how they really felt about themselves, but they took it out on me. I was called every name in the book and a few I had never heard. After a while I started to believe all those things. I figured if so many people said them, they had to be true.
5. The things I told myself
As I saw the way people looked at me, as I kept buying clothes, as I listened to what people said to me, I began to hate my body and myself. This fed into my doubt and fear, and confirmed my self-limiting beliefs. I told myself I was worthless and didn’t deserve happiness.
I’m grateful to have a wife that never made me feel like I felt inside. I’m grateful to have a supportive group of friends, but I know that’s not the case for everyone. I know there are those who suffer through this alone.
I want this post to be a message of hope and encouragement. I want you to know that you have the power to do something about your situation. Your story doesn’t have to end here. Determine right now that no matter what, you will lose weight and create the life you truly want to live in 2015.
This takes time and doing this one day at a time. Don’t focus on that huge number you want to lose. Focus on what you have to do that day. Eat right and exercise each day, and over time the pounds will come off. If you have a bad day, sleep it off and start the next day ready to win.
Start your weight loss journey, but more than that, realize you are special, beautiful and the only you there is in the world. This journey to transform your life starts in your mind. If it’s going to happen, you have to believe it. Patience and perseverance will help you reach your goal.
I did it and I know you can too. Life is too short to die with regret and we only get one life to live. Make it count.
Have you ever struggled with body image issues?
This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post.