Friday Fragments: Another story of inspiration

First things first: Retro Photo Friday!

When: Summer of 2008, before my freshman year of college.

Where: The train tracks in Lincoln’s Haymarket district

What: Goofing around with my best friends

Who: Sam (pictured) and Katie (photographer)

Now onto Friday Fragments…

Throughout a week of observations, activities and adventures, I usually have a lot of random things filed away into the “miscellaneous” cabinet of my mind.

These thoughts don’t necessarily fall under any category, but they are things I just can’t get off my mind. That’s where “Friday Fragments” comes in.

“Friday Fragments” is a weekly ramble post about some health-related hot topic from the past week.

My experiences with health and body-image offer me a valuable perspective. However, I acknowledge that they are on one extreme of the spectrum.

While I battled with eating normally to gain weight, the majority of adults in this country deal with the opposite problem of  struggling to lose weight.

In these cases, just as with my own, I believe the goal should be balance. Health is not absolute. For many people, weight loss is a significant part in getting healthier.

However, true healthfulness is about a make-over of lifestyles… not body weights.

That being said, today I want to share with you an inspiring story I received from one of my readers.

Throughout my childhood, I was bigger than my other friends. When the word “overweight” was tossed around, I wondered if I was doing something wrong. Was my size my fault? Was it my parents’ fault? For a long time, I allowed these questions to hold me down—make me think that I wasn’t able to change.

However, within the past six months I’ve learned a lot about nutrition and about myself. I didn’t find any secrets or shortcuts. Instead, I learned that getting healthy can be rewarding, fun and worth the journey.

I clearly remember my day of reckoning: I went on a date with a girl to a restaurant in my college town. She bluntly stated that she normally does not date guys who are overweight. That really hit me. It was hard to even speak to her the rest of the night.
March 1 was the day that I changed my life by deciding to lose weight.

Up until that point, I had an issue with food. I ate until I thought I was full. THIS IS NOT HOW TO GO ABOUT LOSING WEIGHT. Consequently, at only 5’9”, I weighed 280 lbs.
I began my attempt at weight loss with small things, such as not eating after 8 p.m. or eating throughout the day instead of two or three heavy meals. This taught me SELF CONTROL. I also made a point of portioning my food, although not necessarily worrying about caloric intake. On March 8, I had already dropped eight pounds as the result of simple discipline.

Motivated, I decided to take it a step farther, by giving up red meat for one month. This made a huge difference, but I ran into a snag by spending two months in Germany where they basically only eat red meat.

Still, even with red meat back in my diet, managed to lose weight. As a result of constantly biking, hiking and walking to school, I had lost a total of 40 lbs. upon my return home.

I got back and kept up my eating habits and moderate exercise. I ended up losing, as of today, eight more pounds. I am on the verge of actually completing a NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION. I know if I can do it anyone can.

Just to add some of my food that I eat normally: Grilled chicken, salad with light dressing, PB & J, sandwiches with turkey, mustard and cheese and, finally, Honey Nut Cheerios.

My unhealthy food that I still eat on a normal basis are the chicken burritos from Taco Bell. However, I’ve learned to substitute the better-tasting jalapeño sauce for the more caloric Ranch dressing. I also continue to drink Diet Coke and Diet Dr. Pepper, but I am starting to get off of those by drinking more water.

I believe that if you want to lose weight, don’t necessarily follow my eating habits—what works for me won’t work for everyone else. Instead, use my example, work hard and find what’s right for you.

This comes from the heart. Hope this helps.

– Used to be fat guy

I just want to extend a big thanks to this writer. One of the things that I most appreciate about his story is that it isn’t a tale of deprivation. Instead, he made reasonable adjustments to his daily life. And, in time, those little adaptations added up to serious strides toward healthfulness.

Question: Who inspires you to be healthy?

My parents have always set amazing examples to me. They prove that healthfulness can be fun!

Want some more Friday Fragment-ness? Check out this post from “Fooditude” about the negative messages that celebrities are sending and magazines are enforcing!

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9 responses to “Friday Fragments: Another story of inspiration

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