When 2016 began I weighed a remarkable 283.6 pounds, I was eating poorly, drinking a lot of diet cola and not exercising. I was slowly and with little regard for the truth, killing myself. By the last day of 2016 I had given up my diet cola addiction, I had completely changed the way I eat and the way I view food, and I was exercising daily and looking forward to adding to my workout routine. So, I ended 2016 a full 90 pounds lighter than when I started, for those of you who can’t do the math that fast, that means that when I woke up on new years day 2017 I weighed roughly 193.4, a little over 90 pounds lost. I am now 4 days into the new year and down a little more, I weighed 192.6 this morning, which is a 91 pound loss since starting this journey. I began this journey on April 28, 2016.

I met a woman at the store not that long ago, and when I knew the exact day I started on this path, she pointed out that I sounded like an addict who had given up something. In a way, I feel a bit like an addict that has given up something. Certainly my diet cola habit was an addiction, when I went without for more than a day I would get headaches. Certainly the fact that I craved sweets and junk food, and not the healthy options, meant that my eating habits had turned from nourishing to filling some other need, some addiction that I had developed over time. So, maybe I am a recovering addict, but food, unlike most addictions people get through, can’t be shunned forever, food is necessary and isn’t evil or the enemy, even if sometimes it seems that way. The addiction then must be conquered in a world where I will forever be exposed to food. I am no longer an addict, I no longer crave the garbage and junk food, I no longer crave or am even tempted to drink the diet cola, I am not interested in the sweets or artificial sweetener that brought me back for more over and over in a constant cycle of unhealthy eating and drinking that only left me wanting more and weighing more.

I know this is my path, and that it isn’t for everyone, and it might not even work for everyone, we are all of us individuals, my new goals are to continue on this journey, to keep losing weight and to getting fit and to building strength and stamina. My new goals are to being more active, every day, to learning more about what it means to live a healthy lifestyle, to living as clean as I can. My new goals are to not become that know it all, who will tell you every mistake you are making in your life, who will lecture you about your choices in that overbearing way, because I gave up what you still do. I am not looking to jump on a bandwagon and spout off about how my way is the best way, or the only way, or what everyone should be doing. This is my lifestyle choice, it is not my religion, it isn’t going to work for everyone. What I can tell you is that I had to give it all up at once, I had to make the change quickly and with no looking back, because that is what worked for me. It might work for some people, others might need to make changes gradually, still others might not need to change as much, everyone is different and their path must be their own. What I will tell you is that if I can do it, if I can change my life and lifestyle so drastically, and have so much success and find myself growing smaller everyday as I grow wiser and stronger, then anyone can do it.

I didn’t find a magic lamp that did it for me, through my faith and the support of other people I have continued on this path. I think talking about it, making it public and putting it out there, so that people were interested and watching, that made me have to be honest and forced me to either stick with it, or admit defeat and I am not good at admitting defeat, or losing in general, or in giving up in front of people, so I knew my own mind well enough to know that I would rather keep going than to admit I couldn’t do it to other people. Maybe that made the difference this time, so often we go on quiet diets, where we don’t want to mention it, in case it doesn’t work, or people can’t see the results fast enough, and they begin asking. I don’t care if it slows down, as long as I don’t. So, bring on 2017, the new year promises to be a healthier one than I have had in years, and I know I will get to go shopping for new clothes, more than once, and I will move more, and eat less and be healthier and happier and it will be good.