Fat Black Guy Running

First off, this post is inspired by my friend over at Fat Guy Running and his journey to become more fit and active. About two years ago, I was overweight. And to be perfectly honest, I couldn’t exactly tell you how I got there. Of course people say that when you get married you gain weight for a number of reasons: change in diet, change in activity level, etc. All these are totally valid and probably what contributed to me becoming as out of shape as I was.

Added to this is the fact that I work a desk job. Prior to getting married, I worked out five to six days a week after work to counter the affects of sitting in front of a desk for eight or more hours a day, and it worked. Back then, about four years ago, I weighed about 215lbs. At six foot five, I consider that a pretty healthy weight, despite the fact that Body Mass Index, or BMI, says otherwise — BMI is a whole other story I may write about at another time.

So, like I said, I got married, moved, and become a dad all in the span of about a year, which totally made making time to stay in shape a low priority. My commute to work went from five minutes to about thirty on a good day. Free time to work out went from “whenever I wanted” to “whenever I could”, which was almost non-existent. Fast food become more and more a mainstay in my diet because of convenience.

Honestly, I can say that I was okay with the changes at the time, because priorities are priorities. But one should also consider their health. Before my downward health spiral, I had only had minor problems with my back. To be clear, back problems run in my family, my father and I have the exactly same problems with our backs going out from time to time. Personally my problems never had gotten too bad, but in hindsight, I see it was because I was staying in pretty decent shape. Suffice it to say, after I stopped working out my back problems ballooned, along with my weight.

At the peek of my journey into the abyss I weighted about 280lbs. And after other things around me began to fall apart, I told myself, “there are a lot of things I can’t control, but the things I can, I will, otherwise I have no one to blame but myself.” This was on September 10, 2010 –probably the loneliest day of my life.

So, I began to work out again at the pace I was before –about five to six days a week– and started to really pay attention to my diet. The workout consisted of mostly, if not all, cardiovascular activity at first, and after time transitioned into more weight training. I also started eating healthier by cutting out the obvious things which are bad for you, considering most of those things as ways to treat myself from time to time.

The journey has brought me back almost entirely to my former weight. Now I weigh about 225lbs, and although I’m not completely back to my former weight, the journey of reaching that goal has taught me a lot about self-worth, consistency, and lifestyle. Back problems are back to being an every now and then thing, with nothing as nearly as bad as it was when I was overweight. For the most part, I completely feel like my old self again.

I cannot say that I’ll never be out of shape or overweight again, but I will control the things I can, otherwise, God’s got it.