Why do I talk about weight loss and trying to stay in shape so much? I do so because for most of my life I was incredibly out of shape and overweight.
This picture was taken of me 6 months after my daughter, Lilianne was born. It was December of 2006 and I was at my heaviest. I weighed in at 265 lbs. For someone who is only 5’ 8” (on a good day), that is not a healthy weight. In fact, at this point in my life, I was not only overweight but I was pre-diabetic, I had fatty liver disease, and I was taking medication for cardiomyopathy, or an enlarged heart. In short, I was a ticking-health time bomb!
My outer weight was a symptom of my inner pain. My crippling anxiety, constant panic attacks, negative self-talk and lower than low self-esteem had combined to turn a young, athletic kid into a fat, sick 30something who ate and drank his feelings and his fears.
It is not hyperbole when I say that my daughter saved my life. She did—literally. Had she not been born I would never have found the strength, the desire or the guts to turn my life around. I would never have been willing to go through so much pain and struggle in order to come out the other side a better, happier and healthier father and man. Nor would I have ever experienced the shift in perspective that made it possible to realize just how bad I had allowed my life to become. I hated myself and I thought I deserved to suffer.
I feel in many ways that I’m living a second life now. The old me is gone and I now live in his place. Over the past few years, I’ve learned so much about who I am and what I am capable of. And I have no intention of stopping or even slowing down. Life is a gift. Our body is a complex and wonderful vehicle that we are blessed with the ability to dwell in for a short time for the sole purpose of exploring this amazing world around us. If we take care of that vehicle we will enjoy the ride so much more.
It is not too late. No matter where you are in life or how far you feel you’ve fallen, it is never too late to start over. What you’ve done in the past does not dictate your future. Each day you wake is another opportunity to write your own story. You are the author. What kind of story will you write yourself today?