Twenty-four weeks—what a long strange trip it has been. A short time ago, the first Monday after the July 4th weekend, I decided that I would no longer allow unhealthy eating, a lack of exercise, and a lack of discipline to be an excuse for my continued unhappiness. I was ashamed of my physical appearance—as such, I never dated. I had lapsed into a sedentary lifestyle—constant sleeping, late-night junk food binges, an overdose of television, and a lack of socializing. Many of the negative aspects of my life fed upon and reinforced each other. That July weekend, I resolved to not wait another day to embark on the six-week Bowflex Body Plan. Upon successful completion of the first six weeks, I repeated the process (with slight variations) again, and again, and again.
My initial inspiration for this quest of self-improvement (like many quests) was a love for an extraordinary woman and a desire to become “a better man” worthy of her affection, but as I soon found that this love was doomed to forever remain unrequited, I found a new, healthier focus. This goal of reshaping my body was for me. I needed to achieve this for my own sanity.
A month after I began the program, I started this weblog and transferred my weight loss record over to a blog entry that detailed my progress. One distinct advantage of logging my progress in this manner was that it allowed me to show myself (and others) the steady, consistent results that I was enjoying on this program. Despite a few plateaus here and there, the pounds came off and stayed off.
My 36-inch-waist-bursting 246.5 pounds had been nowhere near my all-time rock bottom of 274 pounds, but it was far too close for comfort. I had experienced the success of following the Bowflex Body Plan once before (even though complacency and a lack of true motivation allowed me to backslide thirty pounds), and I had high hopes for this time. Losing sixty-three pounds over the course of twenty-four weeks, though, exceeded even my most optimistic expectations. I am in better shape now than when I was in the army. For the first time in my three decades of existence, I am somewhat comfortable in my own skin, which is an amazing feeling.
Below is the obligatory Excel chart of my 24-week progress. I do not believe that I have ever seen a more beautiful bar graph.
Although, I will no longer continue to record my weight three times a week on this blog, my relationship with my Tanita scale is not over. Continually monitoring my weight over the next year will be essential as I guard against the dreaded backslide.
Also, as I work toward further improving my body, muscle mass will be far more important than the number of pounds registered by my scale. At some point, I will have the courage to post before and after photos on this blog, but not today.