I Am Scared

I am so scared

5 months ago, I weighed 260 pounds. It hurt to sleep. It hurt to sit for a long time. It hurt to stand for a long time. My knees winced at the prospect of descending the stairs in my new home. Running hurt. Cycling hurt. Taekwondo was embarrassing (at 260 pounds, I was a bit of an immovable object to the bony young people in my class).

What’s worse is being 260 pounds basically took any chance I had of passing my Air Force PT test down to zero. I was about to rack up my fourth failure in two years – a kiss of death for my 17 year career in the Air National Guard. The real tragedy would not have been giving up a commission that I had gone way out of my comfort zone to earn. No, it would have been tragic because I would lose my very affordable medical benefits – benefits that allow me to affordably care for my type 1 diabetic son.

It would have been tragic, but then, a solution presented itself. A Facebook friend from a Rush fan page who posts about being some sort of “health coach” posted a an old picture in his Army greens wearing Captain’s bars on his shoulders. He had been a fat captain like me. I reached out to ask about his photo, hoping he would talk to me again about the program he was peddling. Of course, he did!

In five months, I have, quickly but gently, lost 70 pounds. At month 3, I took my PT test, and scored a 94 – an excellent! The only excellent I have ever gotten on my PT test.

My military career is safe for now, but I am scared. I look freaking awesome, but I am scared. I can fit clothes I’ve not been able to fit for 15 years, but I am scared.

While on this program, I learned what healthy eating looks like. The weight loss portion of the program uses some nutritionally very well-balanced pre-packaged foods to make it easy. The next step is a transition back to eating more regular food, then maintenance. The maintenance is what scares me.

My coach suggests that becoming a coach on the program helps people maintain their new healthy lifestyle by forcing to lead by example. I’m sure it works. I tried it briefly, but it’s not for me. I don’t have the time to be effective at it, and some of the cheerleader/salesman tactics don’t align with my values. I’ll have to find accountability elsewhere.

I don’t want to ever gain that weight back. I want to get even healthier. I must! I must never return to eating like I did before. I must eat real, natural foods by default. I must not ever, ever, ever, ever even take one bite of candy. That would be like a recovering heroin addict shooting up just once for old time’s sake.

One side-effect of my health journey is that some of the strategies they taught on the program have allowed me to be more effective at another journey I have embarked on – minimalism. The more I learn about minimalism, the more I am finding out that healthy eating and movement align perfectly with the message of simple living.

I know how to do this. I’m doing it now. Can I keep doing it? God, I hope so, because the alternative scares the shit out of me.


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