Friday, June 11, 2010

Background: College and Beyond

My last few background entries have shown my interest in fitness since I was a child. This one should sum up how I got big. After this I will have real posts about current shit.

After graduating high school I continued on to Western Carolina University (Go CATS!). Once in college I continued my all day eating habits. Not in a good way though. Many days I had chick-fil-a three times a day, and often a three thousand calories dinners. In addition to about 2000 liquid calories via Coca Cola per day, I continued this habit for four years though undergrad. Many students gain the freshmen 10 or 15 from beer, I gained mine in chicken nuggets. I ate them until I was sick of them. I still feel like a larger part of abusing them was because growing up Chick-fil-a was so expensive we could only have it on special occasions.

Although I was not as active as in high school, I still wasn't sedentary in undergrad. I worked out religiously on and off, usually for the first few weeks of every semester. Spring of freshman and fall of sophomore years I practiced with the rugby team, it was a lot like football practice but not quite as hard a practice. I also suck at this, a lot. I learned I can't run and catch a ball. For some reason I have to stop, this makes me easier to hit by the way and I don't like being hit; I like being the one who hits. I must also note that I still think rugby is a great sport and if you aren't familiar with it you should learn about the game. You can really tell it is the root of football, but I like rugby better. Freshmen year I also joined the WCU karate club and made the karate team. Junior year a found another instructor, one I feel was a little less political and began getting private lessons. With both instructors I was working out at least once a week and often more. I competed in many local and regional tournaments and never placed less than 4th and took home several 1st place titles. I also competed in 1 international circuit tournament and placed 8th in the world in sparring for my age (under 39) and weight (heavyweight). I even took the school over for a while when my instructor became ill. When I first started school I managed to lose weight back down to 140 pounds but didn't keep it off and ballooned up.

Grad School brought on another unique set of problems. I decided to complete a masters of public affairs (political science), a two year program that I was going to complete in 13 months. This meant taking twice the class load. I didn't mention I was also working a full time job. I was so busy that I would go days without eating and once I finally got hungry enough I would eat 10 tacos, or 2 pizzas, or a bucket of chicken. I was too busy to train in martial arts at the time. In December I got up to 220 pounds. from 140 pounds to 220 in five years that is 16 pounds a year ( granted I did fill out some, shoulders. etc. but it was mostly fat) A friend of mine was having the same issue so we pledged to get up and meet each other at the campus gym at 0530 every morning. He made it for 3 days. I however continued for the rest of the fall semester and through out the spring. I also changed my diet slightly and several days a weeks ate healthier. this was hard but I stuck too it may typically day schedule was int he gym at 0530, work at 0800, leave for school (an hour away) at 1600, get home at 2230,and then back to work or do homework until 0230. Go to sleep, get up, and do it again.By the end of semester I celebrated 199 pounds. This was done purely through hard work.

Shortly after reaching this goal I finished school and went into the workforce. While I looked for a job in the criminal justice or political science fields I worked construction as I have many times since I was 11 years old. We worked sun up to sun down 6 days a week and usually didn't stop for meal breaks. Everyday I packed bags full of rabbit food and grazed through out the day. Many days I even lifted or went for mountain bike rides when I got home. OnSeptember 21st I got my first real job and went to work for the North Carolina Department of Corrections at Central Prison.I was placed on third shift 11pm to 7am. My diet was so-so, at the beginning of every month I would go shopping and get healthy foods. toward the middle of the month when I was out of food and money I tended to just picked up fast food when and where I could. I also got into the bad habit of many Correctional Officers on 3rd shift: eating to stay awake. Nothing like sitting in a tower for 8 hours and eating an entire pizza and an order of sesame chicken. It was good and bad that Central Prison is so close to NC State University, being that close meant numerous options of all night delivery. After a few years I was promoted to a Parole and Probation Officer and started working out and dieting like I tend to do when I have a change in life I dropped 20 pounds from 140 to 120. This too was short lived as I got into the trap of going out with the team for all you can eat beer, wings, and the like.

After weight gain, problems sleeping, an unusually high amount of stress, and an upcoming wedding, on September 24, 2009 I quit my job and moved to Statesville, NC. Of the first few weeks I spent my days looking for work and doing repairs on the house we were renting (landlord was a slumlord). On October 17th, 2009 I was married and went on cruise to the Bahamas. Upon my return I got back on the scale and was 255 pounds!!! This was my breaking point. Honestly, I already hated the way I looked, I had 2 chins in my wedding photos and looked pregnant in my honeymoon photo's. enough is enough!

At this point I went back to the diet that I had attempted the previous spring. I should mention that due to my BMI, in  the spring of 2009 I went to a doctor seeking weight loss help since I was Obese. He did not feel I needed assistance because I was too fit (compared to most obese people). But suggested the Protein Power Diet. I read up on the structure of this diet plan and began a diet of 33 carbs per day. Hard at first but once the headaches pass and you learn what you can eat it becomes pretty easy. I then tried to trim calories and fat from the diet as well. I also set another goal. I needed a motivator, so I sign up for I 5k for new years eve. This wasn't just any 5k it was a run at midnight on new year's eve/new year's day through the Christmas light display that back traffic up for miles starting in November. I even got my mother in law to run it with me, she also fights to stay healthy. In preparation I was running from a plan from runners world and lifting weights. In November I ran 22.5 miles and in December I ran 93 miles, these included regular runs, long runs up to 7 miles, and speed work. When it was all said and done I ran the race and completed in just over 33 minutes and lost 35 pounds making me 220 pounds. This is big but was still a victory, I finally felt good about something. Tt has been long time since the last time I felt good about myself.

So that brings us up to this year, 26 years in 3 entries and about 12 paragraphs. Seemed long to me but I guess that is pretty short in the long run. Long run......that sounds like a fun thing to do tonight.

1 comment:

Blogger said...

Do you love Coke or Pepsi?
ANSWER THE POLL and you could receive a prepaid VISA gift card!