Old Jack – New Jack

This picture of old Jack was taken about five years ago on a trip to Destin, Florida.  I remember having a great time but I also remember being very aware of just how fat I was.  The feelings of being out of control and powerless were extremely strong at that time.  There seemed to be no way to control my weight gain or my eating.  I’ve heard that powerlessness is a very powerful feeling.

The second picture was taken a year later in St. Augustine, Florida.  The physical, mental and emotional changes were astounding.  No longer did I feel enslaved, trapped, powerless.  For the first time in a very long time I felt empowered.  And it wasn’t arrogance.  I was truely humbled and feared gaining the weight back.  I worked hard everyday to make sure that I did not slip back into the self destructive lifestyle of my past.

The question I get asked the most is “How did you do it?”  How did I lose over 100 pounds and keep it off after four years? How did I change my lifestyle and embrace a lifestyle that is totally centered around being healthy?  Here are a few of the things I had to do:

Admit that I could not do it on my own and that I needed other peoples help.  I had to hire a personal trainer.  I actually had several.  I even had one that barely spoke English.  His enthusiasum and drive could be translated into any language.

I had to stop eating the foods I loved that were killing me and learn to love foods that would save my life.  I hear this constantly from people “Oh I can’t eat that.  That’s doesn’t taste good to me.”  My response is something like this “Have you ever eaten that food before?”.  About 95% of the time the answer is no, they have never eaten what I have suggested.  This type of behavior is what I like to call Condemnation Prior to Investigation.  It seems to be prevalent among those of us who are out of control with our eating habits.

Learn how to plan.  I never had a plan for eating.  My plans usually involved eating what was in front of me and if I got hungry, stopping at the first fast food restaruant and ordering whatever food was the most appealing at the time.  Planning stops me from falling into poor nutrition traps.  Never let bad planning get in the way of your nutrition goals.

There are many more things I had to do to lose the weight.  I will write about some of them in upcoming issues.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them.  I’ll make sure they are answered in the Fitness Connection newsletter.


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