Thanks for Joining me 😀
I am a male, mid thirties, with excess weight on my body. The focus of this blog is my journey from an oversized, overweight Australian male to a Brad Pitt/Ricky Martin hybrid clone. I have a sense of humour which is dry, irrational and surreal at times, i have been through some very tough times in the last three years but also found strength in the battle. I am supported by a superhero wife and two adorable and incredible children, as well as some pets!
I am based in Melbourne Australia. I have seen other blogs covering the same thign as I am but the preason for me is two(many)fold: 1. to keep me honest. My relationship with food has never been ideal, but I have been able to maintain a “healthy” body shape and weight with vigourous excesrise. Therefore, it has not “mattered” what I ate so long as I ket physical. In the past when I have been overweight I just worked harder at the gym, playing sport, walking daily, dancing, and within a few months, back to happy. I will also say my relationship with my body has never been about health – its mostly been about stamina and pushing myself. This was all good an well while I lived an active lifestyle, but when I moved to sedentry work about 12 years ago, I stacked on the weight and have not been able to get it off – approximately 30 kilos of it.
Now that was not so bad in itself, for a lot of people being at 130KG is difficult, but I am 6 foot tall and very broad shoulders, my build would have to be a a schwarzenegger if I were discilined enough with weights and lifting. Well if schwarzenneger did less lifting and fitness and more sedentry work and eating, potentially he would look more like me!
I wouldnt say I ate a lot of junk food, but I did eat a lot. I would often have a
“second dinner” for example. Or eat right before bed. Or have extra helpings. As opposed to snacking a lot I would just eat a family block of chocolate – but like I was saying, staying very active meant i would not put on much weight, or it was easy to burn away.
However I would see the difference when I trained with others. When iWas younger I enjoyed acting, dancing and even taught dance for a few years. My bachelors degree was arts with perfomance as the majors so i spent a lot of time working with others completing spoken word, movement pieces and later ballroom and latin dance. I always found myself puffed out and sweaty before everyone else, fatiguing before everyone else, and i just assumed I could never be as fit or “healthy” as everyone else, so why try. When I would try, I would just get really fatigued or hurt a muscle, pull a muslce, sprain an ankle, seemed to happen to me a lot.
I found my niche in swimming and cycling. I think because you can cycle for hours and not really impact your body, sure my hips and ankles and knees get sore, but not impact like jogging. Swimming was altogether even better for impact, but skin conditions sould make this difficult to do more than twice a week. And of course walking I loved to walk a lot. I would maintain 30 min a day and usually 1 hour.
However I still continued to eat “whatever I like”. At my “fittest” I was a social dance teacher. I would hit the gym twice a week for light weights and a swim. I would cycle about 20Kms to work and back daily. I would teach 5 – 8 hours a day and train twice a week and usually host a “dance party” every fortnight. Then our social group would go dancing at least once a week for hours after teaching all day. My eating back then was usuall skip breakfast. A large “lunch”. An even larger “dinner” and a meal before bed.
A large lunch might be two curries, rice and 2 naan bread. Dinner might be two large pizzas to myself. The before be dsnack could have been leftovers in fridge or souvlakin on the way home. I never understood how I ate so much back then just that I would be very hungry when I wanted to eat. I would do all this and maintain a relatively “fit” body shape – about 95-105KG, so I had a tummy, but I had a lot of muscle and I had stamina, lots of it. There were some nights i wouldnt sleep and just go back to work and do it all over again.
Then came the year of changes. I got serious with my now wife, we planned a family, a marriage and a house and it all happened in the same year. I also started working sedentry jobs. Living the Artist/Dancer lifestyle till then meant i did not have much (read any) wealth behind me, so I moved to corporate jobs with commissions and ended up in finance through the major banks. Now to be clear I am not complaining about the jobs I did, I think they all paid very well for an essentially “unskilled” workforce, and with a quick study of the best in the industry I realised the way to make back the years of wealth I had not earned which I wanted to put towards my marriage, my house and my family – Time, human hours, workload.
My attitude was pretty simple, the more time I can put in, the more transactions I can process, the better the commission. I entered banking at the end of the push-sell era and learned the consultative sales approach – which is essentially asking people what they want and helping them get it. With support from my wife i would work extra hours 3 times a week, and extra weekends when I could. Overtime this became my benchmark for working in finance. However with this attitude I would also take short breaks or work through my breaks, eating rushed meals and a lot of the time, locally bought easy meals. The weight started stacking on, I stopped excersising so much and my work became very sedentry. Within a year i had moved from a 105KG body to a 120KG body.
We then got Married and soon after had our first child. e also settled on our home in that time so a lot of new stresses crept into my life. However I was determined to stop putting on weight so I started cycling again, to and from work 3 times a week was a 40KM ride return, and that helped a lot. I was able to maintain my weight around the 120KG for three years till a new job oppourtuity arose – business banking. This is what I had been working towards, but the learning curve from home loan mortgage lending to business lending was very deep – and in that first year of busienss banking the weight piled on till I was 135KG. I started to try doctors advice for weightloss with medication, jenny craig, etc… However I still believed for my body shape and size, I was relatively fit. My doctior kept warning me I was obese and close to morbid obesity, but tryibng new things was not helping. As life goes on I got distratced and promptly forgot about it, but I maintained my weight at this range for about 7 more years.
Then in 2015 I started to feel pain. My exercising had diminished to walking every second or third day, and I played no sport and danced maybe once a month with my wife. It started as shoulder pain, or feeling like I had put my back out, or my hip would feel like it was lop sided, or my feet would hurt for a long time and then my legs. After six months of this pain and consultation with the doctor I had some xrays done, the diagnosis was little bones in my neck were stabbing the nerves that travel through my body and causing pain. I trusted my doctors, got very erganomic at work, started forcing myself to take breaks at least every two hours, walked 30 minutes a day and got back into cycling when I could once or twice a week. However the pain kept getting worse and then became irrational. Suddenyl things would start hurting that I had done nothing to them, and feeling like they had been hit, sprained, jolted even though they had not. Lying in bed for more than 3 – 4 hours became painful. Sitting at my desk working became painful, especially in my shoulder, head and neck (I would type for 4 – 6 – 8 hours a day) This all got so bad, the doctors could not figure it out, I would already drink whiskey about once a month but it became weekly and then daily. I would get drunk enough to feel little pain so I could sleep at night. I kept this quiet from my wife because I was getting very scared, this pain was not going away, the headaches would start about halfway through the day and I was starting to get tired.
In 2016 the tiredness became a true constant. We had three weeks of work off for christmas break and I remeber coming back to work and my boss remarking I looked like $#!T.
OK exhausted after typing for so long! Did have a break for dinner, i’ll post photos later and finish this story 😀