Food and Fitness

In the beginning……I was huge and out of shape!

Bundy, House, Big Guy, Big Chris……….yup those were the nicknames. Not that it offended me, but what else would you expect for a nickname for the happy go lucky overweight and out of shape kid or adult.

Welcome to my blog. My goal here is to share my story of transformation and hope to inspire others to do the same.

Trust me when I say that this by no means was my intent when I started to lose weight, but over that time I am blown away by those that come up to my wife and I, and tell us
that they have been inspired by our transformation.

My story starts way back in my younger years. Growing up I wasn’t extremely overweight, but I was definitely chunky. I remember always shopping in the “husky” section. Buying clothes from the regular area was never really a thought, I just got use to always looking for the “X” on the size tag. When I would go to my pediatrician, he would always say “He’ll grow into his weight”. So with that math, I figured at my heaviest I should have been about 9 feet tall.

It continued through middle school and high school. I wasn’t very active and really didn’t have great eating habits. The lunch I would buy in high school would consist of hostess cakes and fruit punch, not exactly the healthiest choice. Although I played football and a few other sports, my weight and lack of conditioning always got in the way.

As I went through culinary school at Johnson and Wales, that’s where the weight really started to come on. Between the freshman 50 (I heard it was the freshman 10 – for me it was different!) and having the big fun guy reputation, being active and watching my diet was not a priority. It wasn’t until my late twenties that the “expansion” began. I actually think I put on more weight than my wife did when SHE was pregnant!

As time went on I became more and more lethargic. Why? That’s a great question and frankly I haven’t figured out the answer to that yet. I don’t know if I ever will, but I DO KNOW, I don’t ever want to go back.

I’m hoping that sharing my story and telling people how I made my change, I can inspire others to do the same.

My weight loss story starts in 2010 when my son Hunter was diagnosed with Celiac’s disease. The thought of cooking food gluten free was extremely foreign to me. Not using flour to make a roux? What is quinoa pasta? I can’t bread that chicken and deep fry it? These were foreign thoughts to me. My cooking style was fat is flavor and the bigger the portion and the more carbs the better! Of course hindsight being 20/20 I was on the path of an early grave. Of course I already knew this a few years earlier when I had to go for a stress test. Bottom line is I couldn’t complete the test because I was so out of shape. The doctor’s comment was “if you don’t do something, you’ll be pushing up daisies soon”. Hey thanks doc!!!!!!!

So as we started to examine what we were eating as a family, we were blown away at how many products we had to worry about, and still do to this day. I was amazed the level of awareness we developed about what was in our foods. It started by reading ingredients to see if items were gluten free. That naturally lead to seeing everything else that was in these items. It became extremely overwhelming. How many carbs, trans fats, cholesterol, never mind the ingredients we couldn’t even pronounce. It made us ask, exactly what are we putting in our bodies. Just to be clear, I am not advocating a diet that excludes “processed” items, but I am an advocate of limiting them as much as you can.

The next milestone was January 2011. I was laid off from my job due to budget cuts with no prospects of what to do next. After a few weeks of woe is me, I made the conscious decision to do something positive in my life. My wife and I joined the local YMCA. At first it was a slow process getting started, but days turned into weeks, and I started to see some results but nothing dramatic. That’s when I really started to dial in on what I was eating. I started using the “Lose it!” app on my iPhone and was amazed at the calories I was putting in my body.

Over the next few weeks I was starting to make better food choices and really examining my cooking style. In other words that’s when things really started to change.

Over the next 12 months, my body was working in ways that it hasn’t either ever or in years worked. The pounds were coming down and the muscle was building. My shape was changing and my attitude was also.

This is what I want to share with you. Things that I did and how I did them. Not only food, but also physically and mentally. I hope my journey will help motivate you to do the same and start to take your own steps to a more healthy lifestyle.

Check back frequently for continued inspirations, cooking tips, and more!!!!

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