Hi! I’m Paul and welcome to my world!
It’s always easier to share the good things. We boast about our successes to anyone who will listen, and continue to boast to those who would rather not hear. The era of social media and the advent of the internet allows me to post this blog and has made it easier to share my story with the world. I’m hoping those who are reading are here because they want to be, not because they are feeling forced.
I’m writing this blog as a form of personal therapy. I don’t have friends with whom I can get together and talk with. I feel a bit socially awkward, introverted, and those who know a prior version of me likely tend to still avoid my presence due to the frustration and anger issues I presented in my attempt to deal with untreated mental illness. I’m also writing this blog because I know I’m not alone with my thoughts, emotions, and attempts at coping with what the world throws at me at any given moment. It is a way at both putting myself out there for like-minded individuals and for those stuck in their own heads to realize life doesn’t have to stay the way it is.
My struggles don’t end just in my mind, however—and this is where I need the help in not feeling the shame my own ego does not want me to share in fear of judgement and not feeling like I am “enough”.
Roughly three years ago I weighed 320 pounds, give or take. For a man who measures 5’7” on a good day, its safe to say I was a pretty big guy. I also had seen the inside of a gym since college and as a man on the later side of his 30’s, so it is also safe to assume I was more body mass than anything else.
I started a new job in August of 2015 when I was at my heaviest weight. Immediately I lost roughly 30 pounds due to the physical nature of the work. Around May of 2016 I weighed 270 pounds. In about six months I was able to drop an additional 50 pounds through diet alone. I was vigilant about what I was putting in my body. I was receiving countless compliments about how good I was starting to look. I enjoyed the positive attention. It was motivating.
I decided to ease up a bit during the 2016 holiday season. I had worked so hard that year. Surely a few weeks of not keeping track of my caloric intake would have no ill effects. I was wrong. I gained about eight pounds over the course of a month or so when I finally weighed myself in January of 2017. It was hard to get my nutrition back on track. I can honestly say I have yet to get it back on track to this day, which is a primary reason for this post.
Around April of 2017 I made the commitment to exercise. I live in a community with a pretty good public recreation center so I found a trainer through their website. Without him I would have never found the confidence within myself to even go to a gym let alone know what to do when I got there.
Long story, short I was extremely committed to exercise from around April of 2017 until October of 2017 when I lost my job. The downside of that was my nutrition went to shit as I was building muscle at the rate of a bodybuilder so I was hungry all of the time. My body was slowly transforming and looking great.
When I lost my job, I slowly started losing my motivation to go to the gym on a regular basis due to my negative mental state. What was six times per week transformed into four, then to two or three. It is the end of April and I can likely count on my hands how many times I have gone this month.
Today I still have significant muscle mass but my mid-section has expanded during the past six months. My clothes are feeling tighter and I’m no longer receiving compliments or even comments about my physical transformation. My counselor even asked during my last session if I was still going to the gym. I wonder if it was his subtle way of noticing my weight gain.
I weighed myself for the first time in over six months this morning. I felt sick. 279.5 pounds. I am familiar with the “muscle weighs more than fat” excuse and I know my body composition is drastically different than the last time I weighed that amount, but it is time for change yet again.
The work I have to do on myself is not just in my head. Its also on my body. Its all connected. I am a firm believer in the concept that our lives are lived in our own mind, but I also know you have to take care of the physical body your mind calls home otherwise this experience I call the world of Paul will cease to exist.
Today I will make the plans to get my body back on track. Tomorrow a new journey will begin!