Hi everyone, my name is Joe and i'm 27years old and i live in Adelaide. I was just surfing the net and i came across this website... so i thought i'd come in and have a read. i wasn't going to write anything until i started reading some of the posts in the forums...
whilst i read some great stories of successes (congratulations to all), i also read some stories of daily struggles, and i felt as if i was reading excerpts from my own personal journal... the truth is i've lost the weight, i guess you could say i was one of the few lucky ones... but the pain shared by some of the members on here is too close to my own for me to keep my mouth shut any longer... so here is my story: i hope you can relate, read, be inspired and enjoy!
In june of 2005 i weighed a whopping 153kg and i thought my world was falling apart. to get on a set of scales and read a figure like that tore me up completely. In the past i'd get on the scales (once every 2 years or so) read the figure, cringe, and get over it... but this time my world was shattered. i'd been to an obesity clinic months earlier and they said to me plain and simple... either put your name down for surgery or do it the hard way with diet and exercise... i remember sitting there at my wits end, telling the doctor "look you just don't get it, i cannot lose a kilo, i've tried and it's impossible!" i don't know what i was trying to accomplish that day, maybe a free gym membership/ personal trainer/ liposuction/ genie in a bottle... i don't know but i was desperate for a handout and on this day there was no such thing. he did suggest something like modifast, which i completely scoffed at! fancy that paying an exorbitant amount of money to give yourself diorrhea! censored that! I was on my own, back to square one and i felt like absolute censored.
to fill you in, i'm a typical australian, born of ethnic parents (lebanese) who grew up with a family who owned a snackbar. We loved our food, we loved to cook and we loved to eat, infact I lived to eat. given this, from an early age, my parents tried hard to keep my weight in check. infact they tried too hard... i don't think there was a person i knew who didn't know that i was put on my first diet at age 6. my parents owned a deli and snackbar and i was always told "no, put it back, you can't have that!" i remember i was once at a birthday party and my little brother saw someone serving me a piece of cake, and he ran up to the the person serving me the cake and announced proudly " joe can't have that, he's on a diet!" i could have died there and then, i just remember crying unabashedly...
Fast forward 12 years and i'd finished high school at 104kg. to say that high school was bad to me would be a monumental understatment... i was the brunt of every fat joke, i'd had caricatures drawn of me in class gorging down food, and basically been called every fat name under the sun. my self esteem didn't exist and things hadn't improved at home with my parents. i joined my first gym at uni, and i even had a personal trainer... but i was never one to really exercise so working up a sweat was only something that happened when running after a bus, etc... needless to say the gym went nowhere and i soon quit.
in 2nd year of uni, (1999) i started working as a dj, a bit of a hobby of mine, since all of my money was spent on music and food; well out of the the watchful eyes of my parents who were always arguing with me about my weight. i guess uni gave me the freedom and the expendable income to eat whatever i wanted, whenever i wanted. the djing started to take on a life of it's own, and i found myself working in clubs around town till all hours of the morning. i would be tired and hungry and the fast food joints would provide the ultimate midnight top up to my already huge waist line. by my 21st birthday (2000) i weighed around 110 - 115kg
in 2002 i met my first girlfriend weighing in at 123kg, she weighed 53kg! over the next 3 years i joined a gym which i visited spasmodically and ended up piling on another 30 kg resulting in the
huge 153kg figure. my mum and i had gotten to the stage of screaming down the house over my weight which would end up with her in tears on a daily basis, crying how she had failed as a mother. She booked me into the obesity clinic at the queen elizabeth hospital and in an effort to keep the peace i decided to go along. As you know however, i walked away feeling utterly helpless and dejected.
the solution rested in my hands. either i would place my power in someone elses hands with this operation, the way i had continued to do so looking for the easy way out all my life or i would take matters into my own hands and for once be in control of my own destiny. between june of 2005 and december of 2005 i tightened up my eating habits, not very much i might add, but i guess the big change i implemented was the cutting down of the junkfood and not so many huge meals. whilst my diet still wasn't crash hot and i hadn't done any real exercise in months, i guess by god's own grace i found myself weighing in at 140kg. i guess that was the handout i was looking for from the big man upstairs himself!
at the end of december me and my girfriend broke up and i was devastated. thats when my weight became a primary focus in my life. at the time i was trying to get her back. i started walking a half hour a day and by the end of january i'd increased that to 2hrs a day. by the beginning of march she wrote me a letter basically explaining that she wasn't coming back and not to contact her and to respect her wishes for solitude and space. whilst i was completely gutted, i knew that i had to stop losing the weight for her and i had to start losing it for me. at that stage i weighed 128kg. i would walk 2 hrs a day (10km) and my diet was what dreams were made of. no sweets/ junkfood whatsoever, no eating late at night, i cut out tea and coffee, and my carbs were down to an all time low where by which i was eating a little bit of bread per day equivalent to two slices, and pasta and rice did not exist in my vocabulary.
One of my habits i started this year was weighing my self everyday. i was a self made success and i wanted to taste that success every day. even on days when my weight would fluctuate i would go and write the figure albeit good or bad and the one thing i stopped doing was beating myself up if i had a bad day on the food. lord knows i have slipped up (i'm no angel) i've had my pizza, the odd chocolate biscuit, handfuls of chips and nuts etc, but i've learned moderation and my overall effort has been positive so who cares right?
june 06, 117kg, by this stage winter had hit and i was working full time, so i was waking up at 5am every day to walk and it is impossible to walk on the beach in glenelg and not freeze to death at 5am in june, and my walking was probably not doing what i needed it to do, so i started jogging. at first it felt worse than hell.
at least hell is warm right? but i persevered, as the one thing i wanted not to happen was to gain weight during winter as i had done in the past. i wanted to lose weight all through winter and by the beginning of spring i weighed 104kg the same weight i weighed at the end of high school!
in the last few months i've continued to drop the weight through jogging that same 10km distance only where before i used to walk it in two hours i now jog it in just over an hour. i still weigh myself everyday and alot of people question me over it. to me its simple: if you ran a business let's say a cafe, wouldn't you want to know what you had made that day? so that you could at least notice any patterns in trade, or productivity? well the same goes for me and my body. i want to know if i'm doing the right thing or headed for disaster. for the first time in my life i'm completely in the driver's seat and i love it! as for exercise, i do it every day, and i've started incorproating weights into my routine in addition to my 10km a day jog/run. my aim is not to put on muscle and be huge, but to be lean and toned.
today i weighed in at 86kg, i've never felt better. i still visit the obesity clinic, i had an appointment today infact, my doctor and i just sat there chatting and he congratulated me on my continued success and we set a goal of 75kg by june 2007, which i am so looking forward to reaching. i also realised that my bmi has gone from 50 down to 28, technically i'm still overweight for my height but i'm not obese and thats a blessing. the challenge for me is to continue my journey, everyday with the same enthusiasm as the day before and believe it or not it gets easier every day as you move forward.
So please do yourself a favour, if you relate to any of the above:
- start today
- love yourself enough to accept this as a challenge worthy of your time, effort and energy
- understand that you can do this and lose weight the right way
- don't beat yourself up if things go bad just get back on track tomorrow and be quick to forgive yourself
- acknowledge, love and appreciate where your weight is today, you put yourself there and it is you for today not forever
- and finally don't let any negative thoughts of your self image contaminate your thoughts of your self worth
- you are of great worth, you deserve this and i believe in you.
all my love,
(feel free to email me with any questions)
p.s. I'm still single and my ex saw me in july and she said i looked great at 112kg. if only she could see me now...