Part 1 of 4!
Pivot, then live it! That’s become our motto for this year. At the first of the year, Courtney and I were very unhealthy (me much more than her)…physically, mentally, and spiritually. Then…a wake up call.
On March 14th, we were boarding a plane to head out to Las Vegas (baby) with our daughters (and their fellas) to celebrate our youngest’s 21st birthday. When I booked the flight, I paid extra so that I could get the “big boy” seat on the emergency exit aisle. Afterall, I was a “big boy”.
Anywho…I started to buckle myself in and realized…I needed the dreaded EXTENDER for my seatbelt. I was so big that the normal seat belt would not rein in all my “girth”. So I got the flight attendant’s attention and asked her nicely for the extender. She then proceeded to inform me that since I was sitting in the emergency exit aisle, I could not use the seat belt extender. That I should have booked the more expensive “bigger seats” in the front of the plane. Then…she brought over another flight attendant and they both discussed my situation in length. That was then the decision was made that if the flight was to take off, I had to switch seats to a section that allowed “seatbelt extenders”. The move was on.
The second flight attendant proceeded to go and start asking passengers in the forward section of the plane if they would mind switching seats to accommodate my “big boned” situation. The first few said no…but eventually they found a nice couple that would allow me (and Courtney) to switch seats with them. It was an unfortunate event that I’m sure plays out multiple times a week for these “less expensive” airline companies. I really wasn’t embarrassed per se, BUT…it gave me cause to ponder all of the inconvenience that I had caused by being a guy of girth.
As we touched down in Vegas (baby), one of the attendants explained to us that if we had booked the same seats on the return flight, we would have to go through the ordeal again. The good news was, I had actually booked two front row seats on the flight home, just so I could have some leg room…PLUS…the last time I flew to Paradise City I flew in a front row seat and I was able to have an extender. I felt like I was good to go for the trip back.
We spent 3 glorious days in “Sin City” (VEGAS BABY!), then sadly, it was time to head back to civilization. So we all packed up and headed for McCarran Airport. After making a big pull on a “one armed bandit” in the terminal and winning $200, it was time to board our flight back to Texas.
Upon boarding the plane, Courtney and I sat in our front row seat, and I immediately asked for a seat belt extender. “Seat belt extenders are no longer allowed on the front row,” said the flight attendant. So then began the whole musical chair process again. Luckily, I was able to switch with a lady…BUT…Courtney had to stay in her seat as there was only one person willing to change seats in the “big belly” section. The whole trip home was spent rubbing elbows with a gentleman who’s idea of personal hygiene was…I honestly don’t know what his idea of personal hygiene was because he did not practice this most basic life skill. Like before, I wasn’t really embarrassed so much…but I was disappointed with how I had allowed my body to become this stumbling block for basic activities in my everyday life. AND, I was upset that my size was not just an inconvenience for me (and my family)…but for other people I didn’t even know. Because of my “situation” I was forced to make other people change their plans and switch out of seats they had already planned for and purchased. It was a “rude awakening”.
The truth was, I was weighing in at 450 pounds. I had the beginning stages of Type 2 Diabetes. I was a cheeseburger away from a major heart attack. And, I had a daughter turning 21…and I wasn’t sure if I’d be around to see her turn 31.
Now…before you start yelling at me…I know that we all gotta go at some point and a car wreck or snake bite could easily cause me to take the eternal slumber and not see my daughter’s 31st birthday…BUT…I started to realize that outside of those type of circumstances that I cannot control, I was making poor choices that were impacting me physically and mentally in a negative way.
It was time to PIVOT!
As soon as the plane touched down in Tejas, I was on my phone researching how I could change my life (physically and mentally) for the better. I knew I wanted to be healthier. Courtney and I had recently talked about cutting all the processed and preservative filled “crap” from our diet just a few months earlier, so we were at least thinking about ways to be “better” stewards of the body God gave us.
About that time, I somehow (God did it) stumbled across Andy Frisella’s 75 Hard. 75 Hard is a program that teaches folks how to own their destiny!!! It’s #AwesomeSauce! It transforms physical and mental habits and encourages growth the area of overall health…both physically and mentally. Through his program, Andy dares the participants to: 1) start a diet (any diet); 2) workout twice a day (one workout has to be outside); 3) read 10 pages of a self help book everyday; 4) abstain from alcohol; 5) drink a gallon of water per day; 6) take a progress picture each day; 7) NO CHEATING! If you cheat, you start over. You do all of these things for 75 days straight. At the end of the program, you will prove to yourself that your mental endurance is more powerful than you think. AND, you’ll create habits that will help you with lifelong change…for the better!
After reading many (many) articles and posts about 75 Hard, I knew I wanted to attempt it…and finish it. So I then started trying to figure out what my “diet” would be. Like I said, Courtney and I had already had conversations about cutting out all the unnatural processed foods and preservatives, so I knew I wanted that to factor in. I also knew that I didn’t want to go on a fad diet like Keto. I had done Keto in the past and had good results…the only problem with me and Keto was…once I got off (for whatever reason) I gained all the weight back I had lost, PLUS SOME.
I also knew that I didn’t want to go the surgery route. As long as I was still able physically, I wanted to avoid any type of surgery. I know some people have no choice. Their current physical state won’t allow them to lose weight naturally and surgery is the only avenue. BUT…my body was still able to workout and eat healthy…so I wanted to proceed that way. So after much (much, much) research, I decided to attempt a low calorie diet. Which…at the end of the day is not really a diet…but a naturally healthy lifestyle.
I waited to kick off 75 Hard until Sunday, May 15th (2022). I wanted to get through the stresses of State Testing that Texas schools go through annually toward the end of each school year. In other words, I wanted to make sure there was not going to be any chance for stress and anxiety to make me stumble as I began this endeavor.
I also wanted to make sure I had ordered and received all of my reading materials for the challenge. I knew (and still know) that God was needing me to draw closer to Him (He and I…OK…I had not put as much importance on our relationship for a season) so I wanted to read books that help me dive deeper into His love for me AND I wanted to research (read) books that highlighted God’s plan for men. Men have become a masculine cliché… a punching bag if you will… over the past few decades. I believe it’s time for men to stand up (in Christ) and begin to honor their commitment to themselves, their families, their community, and their God! So I ordered books that dove into that very subject.
And…I know I wanted to walk…a lot… on this new journey of 75 Hard. So I ordered new shoes and new walking shorts. Once my “walking outfit” and books had arrived, AND State Testing was complete…IT WAS TIME TO START 75 HARD!!!
That’s when life started to get FUN!
(To Be Continued)
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I weigh about 190# (5′ 2.5″ tall) and there have been times that I couldn’t get a seatbelt to fit on a plane. I had such a bulky coat that nobody noticed. But I did and it’s very uncomfortable to get out of airplane seats sometimes.
It was a huge catalyst to get me in shape!