As I celebrated my 43rd year this week, I would be remiss not to reflect back on my 42nd. I guess it can be summed up as …….WOW!!!
I was thinking about this as my phone kept blowing up with birthday wishes from friends far and near and old and new. I read all the great birthday wishes, all of the comments, and well wishes people are sending and I know it may be some what small, but it made me wonder. “What was it like when I was overweight?”
My immediate reaction was one of amazement. Amazed at the amount of people that have come into my life since I have lost the weight and become more active. The trainers, the workout friends, the race friends, and the friends who know exactly how you feel. That last group is very eye opening. That group consists of those that have lost weight, no matter how much, and those that have become more fit and active. Its a really cool group of people.
I thought back to who my friends were when I was overweight. What I saw was a very closed group of people. This was no fault of theirs, this was completely my doing. I was apprehensive to go out and meet new people when I was overweight, I just didn’t have the confidence to do that. I reflect back at missed opportunities to expand my circle. I think this attitude impacted me personally and professionally.
When I would meet people when I was overweight, it was pretty much the same pattern. Party type situations, tailgating, cookouts, etc. This of course played perfectly into my strategy, the one of being over the top! (Hard on the outside with a soft gooey center)
The people I met when I competed on Chopped, I still consider one of the most amazing experiences I have every had. It all happened because of one reason, loosing weight. Although we were all there to show off our culinary skills and put the beat down on each other, there were conversations had that have changed me. My apology to Phil, Elizabeth, and Joel if I get to mushy, but it’s true. It became an impromptu support group for me where I was able to express my self in ways I never thought possible. To this day it still baffles me how it happened.
Recently, when I was participating in a local fitness challenge, I met people, that I “knew” but didn’t “know”. I met some folks that I see regularly at the gym. It’s kind of like the silent family. They’re the people you see pretty much every day but most of the time you maybe say “good morning”. I laugh when I think about how we have now “officially” met.
Then there are the work friends. The ones who convinced me to participate in my first 5k Obstacle course. This was at time where I was kind of getting bored with the whole workout thing. This group convinced me that I
could do it and I figured “What the hell!” Well 5 races and 2 triathlons later, with 2 more races to go, I have to say thank you to you guys for turning me on to these.
The most bizarre meeting (in a good way) I have had was when my neighbor set up a “date” with the chef from her company. He also has gone through a significant weight loss. When we finally met, HOLY CRAP, it was like talking to my self. The stories we both shared, it was mind blowing how we had the EXACT same experiences.
Experience’s with friends, family, professionally, and personally. It was like meeting my long lost brother. Chef Rich, cheers to you!
Then there is the poker group. Small group of guys, trying to get together every month, play cards, drink beer and eat. Games became quarterly and then pretty much non existent. Now this was all before my weight loss. Then the “reunion” game happened. Well lo and behold, one of my poker buddies, who lives in the same town, lost a significant amount of weight as well. It was hysterical, this guy, from the same town, changed his life at the same time as me. Kudos to you Jason, and good luck in your upcoming marathon.
Finally, back to the closed circle. Well they’re still around, but I feel our friendship is stronger now than it has ever been. Our relationships have become much stronger and deeper. You all know who you are. Thank you for standing by me and supporting me through this last year, I am blessed.
All of these relationships above were either started by, fostered by or in direct correlation to my weight loss. Not everyone who looses weight will have the chance like I did to be on television, but you will have the chance to do something I can do now.
Live my life to its fullest!