Friday, March 9, 2012

Seasons: Part 2: What I'm doing now: P90x!

P90x!  I'm now on Day 12 of the P90x classic-program.  It is definitely intense, but what I've learned may be the most captain-obvious of lessons:  Just do what you can! Or as Tony Horton says, "do your best and forget the rest"!  When I started working out, pre-surgery, I had the P90x dvd's, but I was so out of shape, I couldn't even complete the warm-up on the cardio disc.  But, I just kept doing as much as I could on that one cardio disc, and now I can get through the whole thing and then some.  I'm really kicking ass, doing the full-program, but I know it's still early.  I still can't do everything on every disc but I make modifications, not excuses.  How's that for a motivational slogan this fine morning!

This intense exercise regiment has me feeling nostalgic of days past and optimistic about my future.  I really want to compete (and finish) a triathlon one day, maybe even the Ironman could be attainable with enough work and preparation, but I'll take it one step at a time.  One good thing is that the odds of me being harpooned during an open-water swim are much less now!  Ah, the silver-lining of weight-loss.  Maybe it's my perseverance masked as stubbornness, but even when I was much heavier, I could do far more cardio than folks of comparable size.  I never liked running, but when I lived in Hawaii in 2003-2004, I joined the Army ROTC program while I was a student at University of Hawaii Manoa.  Because of my weight, I wasn't allowed to contract with the Army, but I was able to participate in the program.  Back then, I weighed in at a solid 320lbs.  That said, I was still expected to run a lot.  We ran three days a week, early in the Hawaiian mornings.  At the peak of my physical conditioning, I actually entered a 8.15 mile race "The Great Aloha Run."  The funny part, is that I was the very last person to start the race out of nearly 10,000 people.  I had missed the last bus that took runners from the finish-line to the start-line.  So after realizing I missed the shuttle, I was super discouraged.  In fact, I almost just drove my truck back to my Waikiki condo for a day of eating and relaxation.  However, there was something in me that really wanted to complete the race.  So, I drove as close to the start-line as I could get (about a half-mile away), parked in a mall-parking garage, and started running.  By the time I got to the starting line, the Honolulu Police Department was starting to take down the road-block signs and open up the roads.  Again, I was discouraged, but wanted to keep going.  So, I kept running.  After about a mile, I started passing the stragglers, the short-legged kiddies and their parents, the elderly, the big Samoan families walking together, the longer I ran the more people I passed, but my legs hurt something fierce the entire time.  Eventually I got into the middle of the pack of people who were walking and jogging, the pain in my legs turned to numbness and I realized I was half-way done!  Ultimately, I kept going and managed to jog the entire distance of the race without walking a single step.  The feeling of crossing the finish-line and running into Aloha Stadium with thousands of people cheering gave me such a sense of accomplishment and pride.  I can only imagine what it would be like to train for and complete an Ironman.  We'll add Ironman to the bucketlist, so you can't say I don't dream big dreams. 

For now, I'm going to keep doing my P90x.  At the end of 90 days, we'll see what I can handle.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Seasons: Part 1: Where I've been

"Little-Eric" - awww

Hello you lucky reader!  I'm glad you found my blog.  I'm Eric!  I'm 29 years old, going on both 15 and 50.  In this first post, I'm going to tell you a little bit about where I've been.  This is the heavy stuff, literally :)  This past year has changed my life and I will tell you how.  Throughout my life, being overweight was the primary source of my pain and failures.  I survived my childhood and adolescence by making people laugh and putting on a defensive shield of faux-confidence and denial.  In addition to the pains and standard struggles of growing-up fat, I had been cut-from sports teams, denied entrance to the military, failed physical ability tests for law-enforcement jobs, had my heart broken, and suffered other embarrassing emotional scars because of my weight.  The cumulative effect of obesity related failures in my life resulted in the self-esteem the size of....something really, really small, a quark maybe.  The consequences of my obesity didn't just impact my life in the present-tense but it hindered my confidence to chase my dreams and passions.  On two occasions, I was a semi-finalist to be a contestant on NBC's The Biggest Loser, only to be rejected from a show about fat-people, Whisky-Tango-Foxtrot. 

After the birth of my daughter Emma in 2008, I seriously looked myself in the mirror - What the hell am I doing with myself? I spent the next couple years in a real-intense struggle losing weight through hard exercise, then gaining it back and repeating the cycle countless times.  I had reached a top weight of 409 lbs - but perhaps it wasn't a coincidence that my daughter was born at 4:09 AM.  During the Summer of 2010 I decided to inquire about my options for Weight Loss Surgery.  At first, I thought Weight Loss Surgery was the ultimate failure, but I couldn't have been more wrong.  I started going through the process with an awkward conversation with my Primary Care physician, and after almost a year of jumping through hoops, I had my date.  On June 6, 2011, I had my laparoscopic RNY Gastric Bypass procedure, and it has changed my life.  Deciding to take control of my life was the best decision I have ever made.

So far, I've lost over 140lbs, and I'm not done yet.